Saturday, October 19, 2013
This morning I ran the first ever NYC Cupcake Run in Astoria Park in Queens, NY. I ran it in 21:13, placing second overall!
(It was advertised as a 5K, meaning 3.1 miles, though I measured it more like 2.88 miles. No biggy! Just FYI.)
Here are my stats from Garmin:
I was excited for this race. Put together by the same person who puts together the NYC Pizza Run, this was hard to turn down because a) it happened on my birthday, making it a great birthday-cake substitute, and b) it was in Astoria, which is where I live.
Jason, the organizer, knew I did a nice amount of tweeting about the event, and from those tweets he realized it was going to be my birthday. So with incredible kindness and forethought, when I checked in Jason handed me something special: A birthday hat! I wore it the entire race.
Speaking of the race, it started a few minutes after 11am on Shore Boulevard and ran at first on the shoreline sidewalk along Astoria Park. I started with the front group of runners and eventually was leading the pack for much of that first leg, coming into the first cupcake station in first place. I did not presume this to mean I was going to win — in fact, I took this to mean that I need to pace myself else I’ll burn out and definitely get passed later. Into the first cupcake station, I plowed into a very rich cupcake, demolishing it. I had wanted to pick up water here but I actually didn’t see any! Fortunately the cupcakes were moist with very creamy frosting, making them easy to cram. A second or so after I realized it had made it into my mouth, I took off, maintaining my first-place position.
It was after halfway down Hoyt before the left turn that the other runner I was up against (John) overtook me. I had been slowed as I tried to consume the cupcake in my mouth and as I struggled to get it down without choking. I realized that maybe I should have spent more time swallowing the cupcake than just getting it into my mouth because maybe my time could have been better spent running. Oh well. John got quite a distance ahead of me and I was pretty certain I wouldn’t catch him, so I focused largely on maintaining my second-place position.
Into the second cupcake station I saw John and told him not to let me beat him! I grabbed a water and I remember virtually nothing about this cupcake, only that I lost the cap to my water bottle in trying to figure out how to wet the cupcake in my mouth. John left before I did but I watched him get about the same distance as before away from me before I shot out of the station as I think as other runners were arriving. Without the cap on my water, I plugged my index finger into the bottle and ran like that, trying to gain something on John.
I was going at a pretty decent clip. I’d had some caffeine earlier and I haven’t really been running, so I was a bit surprised that I was running at a decent clip and not really losing my breath. I hit the third cupcake station and engulfed a chocolate cupcake along with some kind of chocolate piece atop it. I don’t remember its making it into my mouth. However, there are going to be some great photos on the Facebook page for the event, for sure, as I understand I might have been one of the more rabid consumers of the race’s signature food item. I guess I was more competitive in this race than I realized!
John was long gone and while the water did help the cupcake go down, it was going to be hard to catch him. It seemed to me I didn’t have anyone behind me but I didn’t check. I basically settled in to finishing second with my birthday cap on, knowing that a second-place finish would actually win me a prize. Just as I was turning onto the last leg, my friend Jono, whom I’d told about the race just that morning and who lives around the corner, started cheering my name! It was cool to see him show up to cheer me on. I shouted that I was in second … and fortunately I held onto that position as I crossed the finish in 21:13, making for nearly 7:40s without pausing the stopwatch at the cupcake stations. Such a cool happening on my birthday!
Afterward I met several of the other runners and their friends and just hung out (hanged out?) in the park. People seemed happy and seemed to have a great time. There was no vomiting from what I could tell, and fewer people seemed to look “sick” compared to the NYC Pizza Run. I’d definitely recommend doing this run in 2014 … it’s for charity!