04 March 2012


Another year, another Coogan 5K race.  I cannot remember why I signed up for Coogan 5K race last year.  Maybe it was because it was one of the few NYRR races that are not held in Central Park.  Or because I planned to explore the west side waterfront of Manhattan after the race, which I did, not exactly the waterfront but pretty far west nonetheless.  Or maybe it was the challenge of the terrain, very hilly, I was told.

This year I planned to have a post-race run across the George Washington Bridge and down the east coast of the neighboring New Jersey down to Newport to take the PATH back to New York.  It would be a great run except that it would take time.  It turned out my son missed the regular weekend swimming exercise last week so today we needed to make-up for it, even though we already had a session just yesterday.

With last year's Coogan, I had my fastest time up until then, 10:22 minutes per mile.  I beat that pace later in the year with the Jingle Bell Jog 6K (10:07) and the Ted Corbitt 15K (10:21).  I was on a roll and hoped that with the Coogan race in 2012 I would beat my finish time by a few minutes.  I managed to have a personal record (P.R.) alright, but by only 6 seconds, i.e. last year's finish time was 32:10 vs. this year's 32:04.  What is the margin of error on these things anyway?  Would an improvement of a few seconds negligible?  That only differences of a minute or more count?

I used to run these morning races on an empty stomach but since I discovered GU I do take them as "breakfast" to get a boost for the races.  I took one gel pack this morning, but perhaps not soon enough for the race.  The recommended time is 45 minutes before the race but I did it at 30 minutes.  Who knows, that 15-minute difference could have sent the necessary nutrition to my legs for a faster finish time.

There are a few good things about today's race, other than my meager P.R.  After finishing the race, a woman from behind told me that she used me as a marker, to push herself for the finish line.  Sort of like what I once referred to as stalk-running.  It was such a short race that I think I passed her at Mile 3 and there was only 0.1 mile to go, not much of a stalk really.  Still, I feel honored.

I had the good fortune of having my friend Mike come over from Fort Lee, just across the nearby GWB, to take photos for me at the event.  Brightroom was not at the event so even if you want to buy photos it is not an option.  NYRR photographers took some great shots of the event, but usually the people in the back corrals don't get any exposure, until now.  If you were in the 6000, see if you find yourself below.  If you find your photos and like it, look for a Chinese guy named Mike and buy him a drink at the Coogan Irish pub.

Wait wait don't tell me what Cooganized means.

More waiting.  I was so far back and it was so noisy, I did not hear the national anthem at all.

I was going to check-in the yellow hoodie but it was cold so I kept it.  Instead of fumbling with removing the bib from the official race shirt to put it on the hoodie, I just put the shirt on the outside... and looked kinda weird.

The #1 finisher, look at how that leg kicks back!

Almost there!  I think this was at Mile #3.


  1. Congratulations on your Coogan race (BTW, what does Cooganize mean?) You looked pretty cool with the shirt over the hoodie - actually you just set a new trend there!
    It is nice to have someone waiting and taking photos - I sure enjoyed having you in STL last year. Not sure if I would be at the GO!St. Louis this year.
    It is sunny and a bit chilly but all is well here.
    PS: I think I also have a copy of the magazine with Prof. Chinitz.

  2. Thank you TOTA! Coogan is the local Irish pub in the Washington Height. They sponsor the race. I am not that sure what Cooganize means but my guess is that it means going to Coogan to have a good time, to most people anyway. Being a non-drinker, I did not even know where the pub was until a few months ago. I even had lunch in a pizzeria next door to the pub and did not know that was THE Coogan.