17 December 2012


Much as I would love to give you details of my bike trip in Queens and Manhattan, i.e. the second part of the PERSONAL TRI-BORO BIKE TOUR, I need to pre-empt that writing to bring you the latest in my road-running adventure, the NYC Runs Hot Chocolate 5K/10K...

So we know the personal tri-boro bike tour was for me to go get my race packet, which consisted of a mug and the bib, as pictured below.  Much as I love T-shirts, I must admit that I do have quite a few already so having a mug as a race souvenir was a good thing.  It is also good that the time tag was attached to the back of the bib.  One fewer thing to worry about, i.e. unlike the D-tag, there is no need to attach the tag to the sneakers.  Of course, the down side is that on the subway ride over to the race, while waiting on the subway platform, without the D-tag sticking out from the laces on the sneakers, it is not easy to tell who your fellow runners are.

The subway ride to Roosevelt Island was uneventful, and that's a good thing.  Earlier in the weekend, I noticed a sign saying there would not be Coney Island bound service.  By Sunday morning, however, the token clerk wrote "Normal Service" on the whiteboard in the token booth.  Not that I dread a little longer walk from the N train station after a 10K, it was good to know.  Many years ago, Roosevelt Island was accessible only by tram or by foot/car via the bridge from Queens at 36th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard.  I did take a tram trip just for the fun of it and still have the tokens I saved as souvenir.  Nowadays the F train has a stop there, aptly named "Roosevelt Island".

The 10K race was scheduled for 10 AM but I wanted to be early to take photos of the 5K runners.  I also picked up race packet for a PPTC member.  I emailed her once I got out of the subway to tell her that I would wait for her in the subway station, away from the cold rain.  She called me back a short time later to ask me to meet her at registration area, near a mutual Facebook friend.  Mug and bib transferred to its owner, off I went to do some stretching and mingling in the crowd to greet PPTC friends and NYC Runs officials.

I took a few photos of the fast runners lining up for the 5K then walked down the corral looking for PPTC members.  Found one and took her photo and just as I was still at the end of the corral the race started.  I rushed back to the front and snapped a few, uh, blurry photos.  It must be the overcast sky and the lack of a working flash on my camera.  Next time I'll use my wife's still-flashy camera.

I had some time to kill before the 10K race started.  Walked around a bit and took photo for a different PPTC member as well as those of the runners milling about waiting for their turn.  I wanted to take a picture of the front-runners for the 10K race, too, but I didn't want to risk having my bib mistakenly picked up at the start mat.  I am perfectly fine with running from the back of the corral, but it would be bad if my time starts at the mat before I actually run across it.

Hurricane Sandy brought about some damages to Roosevelt Island so the course had to be changed.  I was a bit worried that I would get lost somewhere along the slightly different course, but good thing there were volunteers etc along the way to guide the runners.  I was with the bulk of the runners all the time too so I was able to follow the runners in front of me.  I typically run at least 8 km so the 10 km race should not be a big deal, but after a few Ks I did wish it would be over already.  I suppose running on the street I had many forced stops, at unfavorable traffic lights and such, perfect time to catch my breath.  In a race, the road is usually closed for us runners so there's no excuse to stop, unless the body cannot take it any more.  And my body sure could take it!  I ran continuously, through the light rain.  There was some dirt road in the northern part of the island and runners were advised to wear old shoes for the race.  Luckily, it didn't rain that heavily so we didn't have a muddy path to deal with.  I was a bit cold in the beginning but by 5K I felt I had too many layers on.  The course was advertised as flat, perfect scenario to get a personal record.  At the NYRR Queens 10K my time was 1:07.  When I was within earshot of the cheering from the finish line, I started to sprint to end the race.  I was hoping I would beat the few people in front of me but too bad they too stepped on the gas.  I still had a new PR for a 10K, 1:02:44, although I was told later by other PPTC members that had I ran through the finish mats, instead of pausing to stop the GPS watch, I could have shaved 5 more seconds from the finish time.  Oh well, next time, next time I will.

Souvenir mug and bib.  I even brought the mug to the race planning to use it, instead of a Styrofoam cup, so just in case there were other mugs I attached a piece of swimming pool wrist-band to the mug handle.  I got lazy and used a Styrofoam cup after the race though, sigh.
If you run 8 minute-mile or better, you get to be in the front.
Off them 5K runners went!
Race officials setting up the 10K start, which is a short distance from the 5K start.
10K runners already hanging out in the corral.
I normally have a fanny pack across my chest to hold house keys, cell phone etc, but for the Hot Chocolate Run, since I wanted to take some photos before the race and after bag-check, I had a separate fanny pack to hold the camera.

More photos can be found at



  1. Postponing the rain till after the race ended was a challenge. But it was worth it.

    1. I hope you almighty race officials will also postpone any inclement weather comes February 24, 2013, the date of the Central Park Marathon...

  2. Sounds like you had a great race! You also snapped some fun pictures of the event. Love the action shot of the 5Kers heading out.

    1. Glad you like the blurry, uh, action shot, as you better put it, Jen.

  3. Congrats on the PR! I think I did see you there. Thanks for finding my blog and commenting. I am happy to hear the 10K course was easy to follow! I was actually wondering about it, since the course re-routes were not that clear to me ;)

    1. Good think it was just a 10K and the island is small, else it would be easy to get lost.