This run takes place in Corona Park in Queens, near Citifield. This is a beautiful park with no vehicle traffic. Easy access to the park from the subway and a scenic, traffic-free run. Okay, that’s all the nice stuff I have to say.
The race was scheduled to start at 9 am but started 10 minutes late due to heavy winds. I’m assuming the race markers were blowing all over the place so I can’t blame them for this. It was a very windy, chilly morning. There is a 5K that takes place at the same time with the same start line. So you are lined up in corrals by time with people who may run a 12 minute pace for 3 miles and other who run a 12 minute pace for 13 miles. Big difference. Extremely congested start that lasted for 2 miles. There are always people who line up at the wrong place at races but it was much worse than normal at this race because of the combined start.
There were 13 mile markers on the course. Unfortunately they were not in order. At mile 1 there was a 9 mile marker. I found out later that this was a loop course and that eventually that mile marker would be the 9 mile marker. I didn’t see the 1 mile marker until around 3 miles. There were cones all over the course and lots of volunteers but no one was really telling you what to do or where to go. Volunteers were taking selfies and chatting with each other. After the first loop the fast runners will pass you during the next two loops so you just follow them. The last loop you are on you own. Good luck. I actually stopped and asked volunteers if I was going the right way (the answer wasn’t always yes) since they didn’t volunteer any information when I passed them. There is orange chalk painted on the asphalt but it literally shows arrows going in all directions.
The course is pretty the first time through. Once you realize that you have to do it 4 times your soul will be crushed. I was ready to quit at the 5 mile mark. So boring. About halfway through the race, the general public shows up to visit the park. So now you have tourists blocking the course taking pictures. No signs that say “Hey there is a race today. Be courteous to runners”. On the bright side, Gatorade and water were plentiful throughout the race, even for the back of the packers. Still bagels and apples at the end and no one who finished left without a medal.
On course entertainment. Helpful volunteers. A split start between the two races. Accurate course markers. So much room for improvement. I was really excited to run a race through a NYC park but was disappointed in the end.