New York City baby - the city that never sleeps. And it's absolutely true! Flip that city is wild. I hadn't been there for a few years, and I'd forgotten what it was like. Sensory overload in every way!
First: the saga that was the journey from Ktown to NYC. My intrepid mother and I hit the road about 2:30pm on Friday afternoon, anticipating an ETA of about 9:30pm. Kevin left about an hour later in his own car. We had smooth passage through the border and were rocking out to Queen when a blizzard hit us - whiteout conditions! Not phased, my mother pressed on with caution and rightly so: we passed vehicles in the ditch and interestingly enough, a truck with its trailer on fire. However, once through Syracuse the weather cleared and roads were in much better condition so we continued on through Binghampton, Scranton, and then into Newark. There the fun continued as we searched for the elusive Lincoln Bridge to Manhattan Island. The search was not for the faint of heart and we required the (ultimately useless) advice of several of the local peoples. Understanding their strange dialects was trying, but we tried our best with those backwards settlers and eventually figured out how to get to our destination. Our time of arrival: 11:00pm. Kevin's time of arrival: 10:55pm. We met up with my dad (who was conveniently down working in NYC for the week) and headed to the bar for a stiff drink of rum and coke (hold the rum and coke and mix the ice with water), then, to bed.
Race Day: I arose about 8:30ish and headed down for breakie. The price of $28 for the continental was a bit steep but I took a big gulp of air which held me over until I got back to my room to utilize my emergency travel stash. I then went for a little shakeout in Central Park and topped up my confidence by blasting past a trail of middle aged folk straggling through the last few miles in of a half marathon race. Stretching, some more food, and a little television took me to 11:30 when I went over to the track with Kev and the some of Guelph team who were down there also.
The Armory: a madhouse. The New Balance Games is a highschool meet with approximately 2500 of the little whippersnappers milling around. I was taken to the elite athlete area to relax, but I really didn't have much time. Movement prep, warmup and a couple strides and before I knew it was 1:40 and I was toeing the line. The 200m track was slick: raised off the ground and banked at each end. No idea who most of the chaps are beside me but BANG: we're off! Watching the video (in the Videos section of my blog) will give you a better sense of the race, so I'll just give you a brief outline. The rabbit went out in 58-59ish and then 1:58-59ish but in the charged atmosphere we seemed to be absolutely flying around each bend. There was no time to settle but I think I made the right moves to get into 3rd by 400m. However, that's where this old boy started to fall apart. The race left me and I struggled home for 5th in 3:48.45. A great time, especially for an opener and considering my recent lack of continuity in training, but not how I generally like to finish my races. However, Kev was pleased: another manifestation of good coaching to open up what will be an exciting year!
A cooldown and chat with a good friend of mine Travis, who I met in Australia and lives in NYC, as we watched the elite men's and women's miles. Both excellent spectacles with Taylor Milne of Guelph grabbing second in 3:58.1.
Post race - dinner and a show with my parents was in order for the evening. We went to see an excellent production of Mama Mia, which really allowed me to let loose my vocal cords on the unsuspecting Yanks. Then a couple beers at a local watering hole, then off to bed. The next morning we headed to church at St Peter's cathedral on 5th Ave before breakfasting at a Seinfield-esque diner and then heading home. We left my dad in NYC as he had to stay for another few days, but ma mere et moi had no troubles on the way home. It was -32 C when we arrived home, and the house was an ice box, but what better a way to cool off following a rollicking weekend?