27 March 2011

Colon Cancer Challenge

Another NYRR race has come and gone.  As you may know, I like long races, 15K, 13.1-mile, etc.  When registration for the Colon Cancer Challenge became available, I signed up at once.  The day has come and gone.

As usual, the adventure began with the NYC subway.  For this weekend, my D train runs on the N line.  Pity those tourists with their maps, not much applies on the weekend.  The race was scheduled for 1100.  I left home at 0900 to leave enough time to pick up my bib and T-shirt.  Just for kicks, I ran to the nearest N station, only to wait there for a long time.  Not only the subway changes routes on the weekend, it also runs slower.  I thought of getting off the D at 47-50 Street Station, but that would mean a walk of over 20 blocks to get to the Bandshell in Central Park.  I switched at Columbus Circle for the local C train and got off right at 72 Street and crossed the park to get to the Bandshell.  I planned to run 10 extra miles after this 15k (9.3-mile) race so I wanted to save the energy.  Part of a marathon training dictates that one should run a 20-mile trip a few weeks before the real thing.  I signed up for the St. Louis Marathon and it is just two weeks away and I haven't done a 20-mile run yet.

While waiting for the light to change to cross Central Park West, I read a plaque on some nearby building.  What interested me was that the architect was Irwin S Chanin.  That Chanin, for which the Cooper Union's Architectural School was named after.  Supposedly he was famous for using the "twin towers" design seen on a few buildings around Central Park.  I thought of the movie "Ghostbusters" when I saw the building later on from inside the park.

Somehow I thought that it was a requirement to donate some money for research on colon cancer in order to run in the race.  I didn't donate anything and only paid the registration fee.  I got my bib with no hassle.  This time I even saved the NYRR four safety pins as I had them from my previous races.  No point of wasting them pins if they are so re-usable.  I never thought of it but after getting my bib that my father died from colon cancer, indirectly anyway.  It started at the colon but by the time surgery was done to remove the offending cells, the disease already spread to the liver.  "I run for my father", some people at the race wrote on their T-shirts or had paper signs taped to their clothes.  Conveniently, there was a donation tent at the staging/expo area so I dropped $20.

Stalk-running alert!  I got defeated by a stalk-runner today.  Somewhere along the route I noticed a woman with a purple hoodie and white headphone passing me.  I didn't try to pass her but just maintain my normal speed.  Eventually that's enough to pass her, so she was probably running at variable speed.  Around Mile #8 she used a downhill to zoom past me but I didn't copy the tactic.  I still thought that I should conserve my energy for the 10-mile run after the race.  Still, as the finish line came into sight I couldn't help it and started sprinting for it.  My stalk-runner was up ahead, way too far for me to catch up.  Even though I lost to my impromptu running partner, I still broke my own record for a 15K, the Ted Corbitt Run last year, by 20 seconds or so.

The sprint exhausted me.  Gatorade tasted so good just then, I should have grabbed another one.  Back at the expo area there were only bagels and apples.  My original plan was to resume running once I reach 72nd Street and Central Park West.  In reality, I was so tired and cold, I walked all the way along 72nd Street to the West Side Highway, while eating the bagel and then the apple.  It was a worthwhile trip, as Riverside Park was so beautiful.  At 72nd Street, the waterfront of Riverside Park stretched north and south.  I needed to head south for some other business so south I went.  I was no longer in a race, and was tired anyway, so I stopped here and there to snap some photos.  I measured via Google Earth that to get in 10 miles from 72nd Street and CPW, I would need to go to the waterfront, travel south all the way to tip of Manhattan then loop back north to the Williamsburg Bridge.  Somehow I didn't have the energy to do so and only went as far as 23rd Street, Chelsea Pier.  At least and at last, I got to discover a new trail.  Many times I drove on the West Side Highway and glanced longingly at the beautiful bike/jogging path along the Hudson River.

Looking north.  I like the "bar stools".

Looking north.  If you don't mind the mossy steps, I suppose you can take off your shoes and let the wave laps at your feet.

Bring your date here for a romantic outing!


Some day I will run north to see where this path ends at, but today I needed to head south.

Who you gonna call?


  1. Nice photos, Qap. I always enjoy reading about your running victory :) and the photos added much flare to the story.
    I am counting the days to April 8th.
    Don't worry about St. Louis Marathon - you are already the winner in my records - haa haa
    Have a good week. Be well - see you soon.

  2. Thank you for the good words, TOTA. I checked the Go St. Louis site, the time allowed is 6 hours, so worst case scenario I'll take that long to finish, but it'll be so much better to complete in 5 hours.