Front Runner’s Pride 5 Mile Race

On Saturday, June 25th 2011, I stood at the starting line of a race for a cause that had just made history the previous night. I was about to run the 5 mile Front Runners New York Lesbian and Gay Pride Run, on the morning after Gay Marriage was voted legal in New York State. It was also Gay Pride Weekend in New York City. The energy at the starting line was that of a celebration after a long over-due victory. I felt a sense of pride as a NY resident, and joy for all of my friends who are one step closer to being treated as equals.

This was the first race Chris was going to run with my in NYC, and so that was exciting too. When we parted ways and headed into our separate corrals for the race’s start, I didn’t really know what my goals were. I quickly made the decision to set my Garmin at a 6:55 pace, and told myself I would be happy with that achievement – which I didn’t even know was possible that morning. I had been struggling with shin pain all week, and had taken the pervious day off. I also knew the race course in my beloved Central Park very well, and figured that with tackling Great Hill in the first mile, I should keep my sights on something realistic.

To my surprise and amazement, my breath and legs connected in harmony and as the miles ticked by, I passed more and more men and by the end of the race could only make out one female form in front of me as far as my eyes could reach. I felt like a machine. I may owe some of that success to Ben, who surprised me on his bike in the park, cheering me on and telling me that I looked strong. (At that point my legs felt like rubber, and anything but strong). He yelled that he would see me at the finish line, and so I had another reason to push forward.

On the final stretch, with the finish in view, I caught another female runner, coming up from behind me. I didn’t know which one of us crossed the starting line first, giving us the disadvantage on the chip time, but I was damned to not let her pass me. I dug deep, focused my eyes on the finish line, and sprinted the last leg – losing her behind me and passing a half-dozen men as I closed in on the finish line. What an empowering finish!!!

Here are my stats, according to the NYRR page:

Overall Place: 174 out of 5017 Runners (male and female)

Gender Place: 9th PLACE!!!! (I missed the podium by 4 runners!)

Age Place: 4th place

Net Time: 33:16

Pace: 6:40

Garmin Stats

After crossing the finish line, I felt like a tired, sweat-covered warrior. As I walked to the baggage area, a few men who finished behind me and said that they tried but couldn’t catch me, came up and congratulated me. I was stunned. Had a really done well enough that people took notice? The runner’s high after that race was amazing, and ranks it in the top 5 race experiences of my running career.

Here’s a video Chris took after he found me at baggage claim: 

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~ by Elizabeth on July 8, 2011.

2 Responses to “Front Runner’s Pride 5 Mile Race”

  1. You rocked!

  2. We’re impressed here in Kansas! Well done!

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