On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sgt. Keith A. Ferguson Memorial Run/Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge 5k race report

I am a sucker for:
-a race, especially a 5k;
-a gimmick, such as running through a tunnel or over a bridge;
-and peer pressure.
In other words, a 5k over the Brooklyn Bridge that a few of my running friends were doing was an absolute no-brainer for me.

Problem is... I went out and ran 17 miles on Saturday.  And then I couldn't get to bed on time Saturday night.  So maybe I wasn't in peak form Sunday morning.  I thought about bailing and said, "No. You're meeting your friend on the subway platform and you're dressed.  Just go."  I got out the door and my friend texted me to say she was bailing.  I went anyway.

Long story, short: Bridges aren't flat. Races the day after long runs aren't pretty or easy.  My goal was anything under 30 minutes, but they didn't have a chip mat at the start.  The course was not that wide.  More confusingly, the walkway wasn't closed off to non-race traffic.  And, I didn't bring my Garmin (and they had no clocks or mile markers on the course).  So, I missed my goal and have an official time of 30:41.  Still under a 10 minute mile, at least.  I won't lose sleep over it.

For as cynical as I sound about the whole thing, it was kind of cool.  A race with a good cause is always touching (and it doesn't get too much more poignant than a dead police officer if you ask me).  I met Sgt. Ferguson's aunt at bag check and evidently his mom was greeting the finishers (I missed her).  Also, there was a moment as we were headed back when two girls behind me said, "Look!  There's the Statue of Liberty!!" and started squealing about it.  If that's not a really, really cool way to start a morning, I don't know what is.


  1. Can they please bring this run (and therefore the Brooklyn Bridge) to Holland? Would love to run it once, and I know the perfect canal for the Brooklyn Bridge to be at. :)

  2. 17m! gaga!!! awesome :) I had a scheduled 14 on the docket but didnt have time or the soul to finish it this wkd. Ended with 11.25m and that's fine by me.

    And we ran the Brooklynn bridge and lemme tell you, its NOT flat at all :)

  3. Sorry for bailing :( I didn't feel normal until approx. 7pm. I don't know what was wrong...maybe I was dehydrated from Saturday. Ugh. I promise I will not make a habit of bailing. Yay for under 10 minute pace!

  4. Oh, Kate, no worries. I'm glad you're feeling better. You more than did your part for me helping me through Saturday's run!

  5. I live near the Brooklyn Bridge and I still get giddy walking/running/biking over the bridge:) Love it!

  6. I love hearing about your super cool NY runs :-) Kudos on the 17 miles. Wow.

  7. Dude, they didn't close it to regular bridge traffic? wtf? Also, your day-after-17-mile-5k time is still better than my PR. Just sayin'.

  8. Nope... not closed to bridge traffic. Some very confused deer-in-headlights tourists on the course! And my race time doesn't say that I'm fast so much as it says that you need to run a non-Percy Sutton 5k! And also the course was allegedly slightly short. But I'll take it.

  9. Eek, racing for a fallen officer is always worth while, no matter what time you come in at.

    But it sounds like you did great for not having any timing devices.

    I've never raced on a bridge. Sounds amazing.