In no particular order . . .
Thank you to this blog's readers, as we have almost reached 100,000 page views -- about a thousand for each race. I try to read as many other running blogs as I can and it means everything to know others take the time to look at this one.
Thank you to Melinda and my friends at ASICS. They shipped me a box of gear to help me celebrate my 100th race in style at the 2014 Brooklyn Half Marathon. I started in ASICS and I stay in ASICS.
Thank you to the weather. There were 25,587 finishers and I hope every one one of them said a special thanks for our conditions on Saturday. A powerful storm system had canceled the Yankees' game the night before and pounded our roof through the entire night. Then it stopped raining around sunrise and what was left behind was the most glorious day in late spring a runner could imagine. Here are shots of the Brooklyn Museum start at Prospect Park and the finish on the Coney Island Boardwalk.
Thank you to my new Garmin 220 for the help maintaining my pace, a first for me in my sixth Brooklyn Half. My splits were :31:04 for 5K, 1:06:38 for 10K, 1:41:33 for 15K and 2:18:14 for 20K. My finish time of 2:25:57 represented a course PR for the Brooklyn Half. I'm well in the back of the pack as usual, but to quote the Black Eyed Peas: "The race is not for the swift...but who really can take control of it."
Here are my Garmin splits. It recorded a slightly longer distance and thus a minute longer, but it helps to see my splits and match it against elevation and so forth. I can see where I wear down a little in the long homestretch but I was able to finish with two straight negative splits!
Thank you to Coach Andrew Kastor. His mantra of "Everything Forward" was someone I said to myself every time my mind wanted to wander or worry. I would look down at my body and identify every body part that was moving forward -- shoulders, knees, thighs, stomach, penis, ankles, shadow, shoes...each time I did that another minute or so ticked by and I was closer to the end of that mile. Most importantly, it made me think about leaning forward with my form -- like Meb did in winning the Boston Marathon.
Thank you to the Big Cats Running Team. This is the MySpace group I joined at the start of 2007 after I began running. It was national and we each had to pick the name of a big cat species (no duplicates) to enter. Most common ones were taken then, so I chose Monster Cat. I became known as Monster Cat to many other runners. For my 100th race, I went back to that identity with my stripes and roar, and it was great to be reunited in this race with Big Cat runners Roxy (below) and George (in Mile 8).
. . . you remember MySpace . . .
Thanks to Brooklyn, to Coney Island and specifically to Nathan's Famous. We stood in line for close to an hour after the race just for the sake of hot dogs, because hello it is Coney Island and they are worth it. The soles of my feet ached in doing so but I was wearing cushiony ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16s so they were up to it.
When I finally got to the front of one of the many lines, I had Lisa snap a pic to show I had another big finish. I got two chili cheese dogs, fries and a large Blue Moon. (Funny side story: Just as I reached the front of that line, I noticed some guy sidle up alongside our line and tell the woman with a baby behind me that he was going to pay for her whole meal if she would get him a couple of dogs and a drink. She said yes so he had to wait like 60 seconds in line.) We then camped out on the sand and enjoyed.
Thanks to NYRR for the opportunity to race year-round. I have averaged about a dozen races a year. Thanks especially to Mary Wittenberg for her leadership and relating to runners.
And most of all, thanks to my family. To my three sons Matthew, Benjamin and Joshua, because when I started running after my Dad passed away in 2006, I told myself I was going to live as long as possible and set a good example for my sons. Thanks to my beautiful wife Lisa for always being so supportive. Thanks to my stepdaughter Rachel, for encouraging me with my nutrition and fitness and for taking up running as well. Thanks Pennstress the McThinstress and Liam the Mango Tickler for joining the 100 bash, and to the hippie who sold me a Sinatra album on the boardwalk though I have no turntable. Dream the Impossible Dream forever.
On this perfect day, Lisa and I even munched on mango sticks. Ever tried those? Yum.
Here's to the next 100. Amazing things keep happening when you just run.
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