Race Report: Jack Dowling 10 Mile Long Island Half Marathon Tuneup

I won’t bury the lead: I won the women’s race by three and a half minutes. And, boy, was that fun! They even had a little tape for me to run through.

So now that you’re impressed, I’ll instantly deflate things by including some crucial information: There were only 20 women in the race, and lots of them were walkers. So it wasn’t exactly a NYRR race. But, a win is a win, so I’m taking it, little plastic trophy and all.

I ran this race as yet another sandwich run: four miles at aerobic pace, then the race, then another five at aerobic pace. I ran the four early miles too fast, mostly because my legs felt great and I was excited (having seen the winning women’s time from last year).

It was insanely windy, actually windier than forecast. I’m guesstimating the wind at around 15-20mph steady, with gusts near 25-30. For the majority of the course, we were battling headwinds or sidewinds (which were almost as bad; I managed to kick myself in the calf during one gust, as my foot was blown into my other leg on a turn). For one glorious three-quarter-mile stretch, the wind was at our backs. It’s pretty obvious when you look at my splits what the wind was doing.

The wind explains my finishing time of 1:13:09. I was hoping to run something between 1:10 and 1:11, but it was not to be. Still, I was in the lead within the first 50 yards and upon hitting mile four, where I could see runners coming from the opposite direction, it was pretty clear that unless I fell apart, I’d stay in the lead. So I spent six miles feeling the little thrill of my impending victory, however modest.

The race was organized by the Long Island Road Runners Club in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. It was surprisingly quick to travel to and is a great park for running: lots of paved paths, grass to run on, and mostly flat. It was a well-marked race (and it started on time), and everyone was very friendly and welcoming. The LIRRC has races nearly every weekend, so I’m sure I’ll be back.

Like the 15K a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t race this one all out. But I did apply myself throughout and my pace was again very even. Heart rate average was 89%. My watch read 10.08 — it’s amazing what you can do when you can actually hit all the tangents — which equals a 7:16 pace. If only it hadn’t been so windy…

One final note on that wind. When I was doing my final five miles, I ran along the course. There was one unmanned water table and I noticed that there were no cups of water left. Since there were still people on the course, I thought I’d make myself useful (and give myself an excuse to stop for a moment) by filling up some cups. I filled five cups and what happened next was comical: A sudden gust of wind blew all five cups right off the table! I gave up and kept running.

8 Responses

  1. Woohoo woman!! That’s fantastic! I don’t care how many people were in it, there was tape there, all for you, and you got to break it. Wonderful. I was so excited after reading that.

    Tangents are wonderful things, btw. I’m so glad so many people haven’t a clue about them.

  2. A win on your birthday. Can’t beat that.

  3. #1 — happy birthday!

    #2 — how exciting to be a tape-breaker. I want to be you when I am 44 (I have 8 years to work on my improvement)!

    (#3 –I am convinced tangents are how I ran the Queens 1/2 so well last Septmeber. That course has helluv turns.)

  4. That’s cool! A plastic runner girl for your birthday!

    Takes me back to my first podium in the Yerong Creek Fun Run (don’t tell anyone there were only 50 or so entrants).

  5. Congratulations!!!!!!!! And Happy Birthday!!!!

  6. this is a very great achievement. Winning is not just all about the trophy and cash that you get. It’s a matter of how you did it honestly and the struggle that you made to win.

  7. congratulations and good luck!

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