Saturday, May 10, 2014

I survived another 5K race

Robin running the 5K race
I survived the Mother's Day 5K race - it took me about 48 minutes to get around Roosevelt Island - my daughter also ran the 5K and her time was about half mine. They gave all us mothers and daughters pink carnations when we crossed the finish line.

I actually could have done it in under 45 minutes but half-way through the race I came upon a little kid running all by herself. She was officially in the race, she had a runner's number and all, but she couldn't have been more than six years old. You can see her in the picture on the left.

Her name was Robin, and I asked her where her parents were and she said they were far back behind us - I couldn't see anybody back behind us (we were pretty far back in the pack.)

Well what could I do? Granted a kid running by herself around Roosevelt Island isn't in the most dangerous of all possible situations, but still, I couldn't go running off without making sure that she was reunited with the adults in her group. So I kept pace with her - sometimes ahead, sometimes behind, sometimes side-by-side but I never let her out of my sight. She was reasonably fast for a little kid, but still, that did slow me down. I kept asking her to look back and see if she saw her people, but they were still nowhere to be seen.

We chatted a little - I told her she must be very fast to beat the grownups in her group - I suggested she might be ready for the Kid Olympics (no such thing as far as I know.) That seemed to make her happy - little kids love that kind of flattery.

Well about three-quarters of the way through the race I was starting to get worried that we would finish the race before Robin's family showed up, and then I was going to have to wait around until they did finally show up, when Robin calls out - "I see my mom" - and there was her mom - chilling out on a bench next to a baby stroller -  ahead of us. Did this woman just tell her kid to run in the race by herself? Robin's mom thanked me when we reached her, so I guess she did appreciate the babysitting, but she seemed completely calm. This boggled my mind. If I was ever in the great outdoors with my daughter when she was that age I would have freaked the hell out if she was ever out of my sight.

I didn't find out what the story was though, as soon as the kid reach her mom I sprinted off trying to make up for some of the lost time. Alas I never caught up with the 80-year-old (approximately) guy running ahead of me, which had been my ambition before I came upon Robin running by herself.

My time was much better for this race than for the LGBT race in Brooklyn I ran with my daughter last year - although I did have bursitis in my hip and limped across that finish line - and even then didn't come in last place. There are a surprisingly large number of out-of-shape people who participate in these races.

So now it looks like this is going to be a regular thing, running in these 5K races - they seem to happen year-round in the NYC area. Maybe that 80-year-old guy will be in the next race and I will have a chance to beat him again. You just wait, 80-year-old guy!

Waiting to start the race - the start line was next to the Queensborough Bridge. Feelin' groovy!