This morning, I ran the NYRR New York Mini 10K – a race launched 40 years ago as the first ever women’s only road race. Established in the early years of the running revolution as a daintier alternative to the men’s only half marathon, the Mini 10K (originally called the “Miniskirt 10K,” according to legend) was a chance for the fairer sex to try their hands (er, feet) at what was at that time an extremely new and completely male-dominated sport.
Fortunately, society has come a long way since 1972 and a women’s only road race is no longer a novelty sideshow of the New York running scene; instead, it’s an opportunity to showcase some of the best athletes – male or female – on a global scale. Toeing the starting line at today’s race, for example, were Edna Kiplagat (reigning world marathon champion), Desiree Davila (Team USA 2012) and, oh yeah, me.
I may not have logged 5:11-minute miles like my close friend Edna, but I did manage to maintain a solid 7:40 pace and a new PR of 47:31 – more than a minute faster than my last 10K. More excitingly, my 5K split clocked in at 23:27, or more than 30 seconds faster than my previous 5K PR logged in Texas in May. Turns out, a week of terrible eating, curtailed workouts and utter indulgence in Brazil can work wonders for speed. I guess I’ll be making caipirinha cocktails and doce de leite breakfast pastries part of my normal running routine here on out. It’s science.
This was also my first ever women’s only race, and for the most part, it was glorious. Pros of women’s only races: the t-shirts are cut better, the swag bags include beauty products, no one makes grunting noises as they sprint up Harlem Hill and NYRR distributes flowers (flowers!) at the finish line. Cons of women’s only races: the pre-race bathroom lines are insane, and everyone feels the need to make the same lame joke about it over and over again. I get it. Women take a long time in the bathroom. Let’s all agree to accept this fact and move on.
Next on the racing schedule is Wednesday’s JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge, widely considered – to use the scientific term – the biggest cluster-F of a race ever held in the city. Over two days, 12,667 entrants from 403 companies – including thousands of non-runners required to participate by their bosses – will descend on the Central Park Loop for 3.5 awkward miles of cursing and elbow-throwing. Alright, Wall Street bros. Bring it.
Any of the 12,666 other JPMorgan runners reading this? If so, any tips for Wednesday’s madhouse?