Upcoming WE ARE NYC RC Runs!

Happy hump day to everyone out there! The sun hasn’t come out in New York city that much the last few days but that doesn’t keep this group from running. So many of our members continue to post their “rainy days” run since they keep gaining their motivation to run in the rain from the group itself! Another benefit of being part of a running community like ours!

With that being said, here are some of our upcoming group runs that you all can partake in to keep that motivation going! Hope to see you at one of these!

Club Members At Last Weekend’s 5th Avenue Mile!

WEEKLY GROUP RUN IN CENTRAL PARK! (all paces are welcomed!)

โ€ข WHAT- Weekly group run (5-6 miles)

โ€ข WHERE- Central Park – Meet At NYRR Run Center (320 West 57th street, NY, NY)

โ€ข WHEN โ€“ Thursday, September 13, 2018.

โ€ข TIME-Meet up at 6:00pm, leaving run center at 6:15pm

Taken at the last workout led by club member Tobias

5 Mile Run & HIIT Training!

โ€ข WHAT- 5 mile Central Park Loop/HIIT workout 10 mins of high intensity interval training, followed by a one mile run to a location in central park. Repeat 5 times for a total of 5 miles and 50 mins of HIIT. Led by one of our club runners Tobias!

โ€ข WHERE- Central Park – Meet At NYRR Run Center (320 West 57th street, NY, NY)

โ€ข WHEN โ€“ Saturday, September 15, 2018.

โ€ข TIME-Meet up at 8:00am at Run Center

Members at the NYRR 15 Mile training series! 18 Mile one coming up this Sunday!

NYRR NYC MARATHON TRAINING–18 MILE RUN!

โ€ข WHAT- 18 mile training run. While this is a NYRR run, you can run this together w/ a club member! After all, it is an 18 mile run!

โ€ข WHERE- Central Park – Meet by 102nd transfers on East side by softball field 8.

โ€ข WHEN โ€“ Sunday, September 16, 2018.

โ€ข TIME-Meet up at 6:30am, run time 7:00am!

What Races Are You Running?

What Races Are You Running?

As many of you probably know by now, I am a big believer in setting goals thru running. It is one of the many reasons why I still run at 42 years old. When lots of men are pondering miniscus knee surgery or “fill in the blank” surgery, I have decided to keep pushing my body because of the goal fulfillment aspect that comes with running! For now, I can say that I don’t regret it one bit. I’ve been back to running now about three years, two of which have been serious years. For full disclosure, when I say serious, for me it simply means that I am actually tracking my time and monitoring my progression. That is as far as serious goes with me!

Come Join Us At A Starting Line Near You!

You likely have also read my insisting that you all give a race a try once again, simply for the notion of setting a goal, working towards it and hopefully finding some physical, mental and emotional gain from it. I’ve gotten questions however from people who arent runners such as “Where can I find a race by me?” or “I am looking for a race that is a certain distance but can’t find one?”. Therefore I have decided to start a section of this site that is dedicated to races in and around the New York City. Call it a race calendar of sorts that folks can reference should they need a race to run that suits their skill level, or lifestyle. Maybe you wake up on a Friday and decide, I have nothing to do this weekend, where can I run a race? Maybe my page can help you!

In the meantime, I am reaching out to some of you that do run. What races do you have coming up? I would love to include them on my race calendar as a point of reference. Let me know what you are running in the comments section or as always, you can email me at catrunsnyc@gmail.com !

Lets get out there and conquer some races! Check this race calendar often as I plan on updating it constantly!

Donโ€™t let mind tell you that you canโ€™t run a race- YOU CAN!

A Marathon Of Inspiration!

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Shalane Flanagan Wins The Women’s Race! (photo credit USA Today)

The 2017 installment of the New York City marathon has come and gone. I must say that there were so many great emotions for me personally during the last week because of the marathon and I didn’t even run the race! From the race week activities, to just visiting the finish line and to hearing the stories of so many friends that ran the race, it has been a great week to just take it all in.

When the race finally began, I decided to “watch” the race for the final time hopefully in some years to come. I literally say on my couch from about 9am until 2pm which is when channel 7 ended their coverage. I was engulfed by all of the stories coming across the broadcast. One of the ones that really got me emotional was the story of Beverly Ramos, an outstanding female runner from Puerto Rico, who completed her marathon  training in Puerto Rico after the wrath of hurricanes Irma & Maria had left the island in shambles. With the suffering that her country was enduring, Beverly pushed on and was determined to run the marathon. Her interviews on the broadcast were pretty emotional. She may not have finished as well as she would have wanted but she came to New York, competed, and is likely going home to Puerto Rico a champion. 

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In his final race, Meb collapses at the finish line (photo credit – NY Daily News)

Then there was the story of Meb Keflezighi. Most of you probably know it. The storied American marathoner is calling it quits after this race. For a while, he teased us all a bit during the marathon as he ran with the lead pack and he may have even taken the lead once or twice. Nevertheless, the 42 year old marathon legend would finish in 11th place in his 11th NYC Marathon. Adding more suspense was that he collapsed right after the finish line. He was fine, just exhausted from giving the marathon that he loves so much, all that he had left in his body. He will be missed on the NYC marathon scene, at least by me.

Shalane Flanagan talking to children before the start of NYRR Percy Sutton Kids race in August.


Then of course there was Shalane Flanagan. Oh how she has lifted so many young girls spirits. Being a youth amabasador for New York Road Runners club, Shalane was a favorite for alot of kids on Sunday, including my 7 year old daughter who got to meet her back in the Percy Sutton 5k in Harlem back in August (see my pic above from that day!). Shalane was at the starting line for the kids races that day high fiving all of the kids before they sprinted to the finish line. Fast forward back to Sundayโ€™s marathon, watching her with my daughter from the couch was pretty awesome as she broke the tape to become the first woman in 40 years to win the New York City Marathon. Hoisting the American flag with a huge smile on her face was not only a much needed proud moment for Americans but INSPIRATION for so many young girls. 

Then there was the fun aspect for me to track some celebrities from my couch with the New York Road Runners app. I got a kick out of watching Kevin Hart go out at sub 3:30 pace only to see him cramp up and finish in 4:05. I remember thinking “man Kevin Hart is going to CRUSH this”, but this is the marathon and it will test you! I also saw Tiki Barber and Prince Royce run a steady race and I am hoping that when I run the marathon in 2018, I can at least run faster than the three of them did!

 

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Peg Trager from Minnesota Finishes on Crutches (photo credit – Mike Waterhouse)

However none of these stories hit my heart and soul like the ones that ABC News 7 posted on their website earlier today. I ask you all to give this article a read and take some time to read the stories of the runners WHO NEVER GAVE UP. These aren’t experienced professional runners or folks in tip top shape. They came to this race wanting to finish. When water stations were empty and abandoned and when people no longer lined the course to cheer them, they continued. When nightfall fell they didnโ€™t waiver. When their bodies told them “No mas”, their mind and their spirits told them to continue. Read these stories, they all finished the race! This is why running is SO POWERFUL and why it is my wish for all of you to experience the power of overcoming something you didn’t think you could do and being proud of it! Once you read these stories, if only one of you will get up and make a vow to make yourselves better, then my mission was accomplished for the day!

Always believe in yourselves just like the 50,000 plus that crossed the finish line on Sunday did! If your up to it, join me and letโ€™s crush the 2018 NYC Marathon ir any other race together! 

Unity Thru Running – A Breath of Fresh Air!

Running brings together so many!

Aside from what you have read on my posts about why I love to run, I failed to mention that a MAJOR reason why I run is to escape the madness of todayโ€™s world. Sure I can come home and turn on the TV and put something on but it will likely result in troubling news channels or controversial TV shows. There is too much conflict in the world today and I understans thay to many of you out there the root causes of those conflicts are important to you but for some people like me, it can be a bit much. 
On Tuesday night I saw a post on Twitter that called my name and literally fell in my lap. I had a friendโ€™s party to attend starting at 8pm in Manhattan but usually I finish work at 5pm. Itโ€™s easy to go to some bars and have a few drinks and pass the time. But the tweet I saw was calling my name.

This tweet caught my attention!


The New York Road Runners club was holding a conversation with Dr Simran Jeet Singh to talk about diversity issues and how running can help unite the disconnects that exist. Better yet, this conversation was happening from 6:30pm – 7:30pm and two blocks from where I had to be at 8pm. Like I said, this literally fell into my lap! 
Dr. Singh is currently a professor at NYU. He also is running the NYC Marathon next week. Being of the Sikh religion, Dr. Singh started the conversation describing to us how he has encountered many forms of discrimination as a child growing up in  Texas especially right after 9/11. He recounted an incident during one of his brotherโ€™s birthday parties at a local skating rink. His family had obviously paid money to have the party there and upon arrival they would not let him and others enter the rink because they were wearing turbans, a proud symbol of their religion, and were asked to take them off if they intended to enter. The end result, the members of his party and others walked out of the rink and boycotted it..

Dr Singh running with members of his community


Discrimination didnโ€™t stop as a child. As an adult, Dr. Singh picked up running because he felt that running โ€œempowered him in a world were people thought he was differentโ€. However, discrimination would still present itself to Dr. Singh. He recalled during the first of 5 NYC Marathons that he has already run, that a young boy chased him early on in the race in Brooklyn while throwing things at him and calling him a terrorist. Imagine having to run with any type of fear? As if a marathon was not enough stress and to have to face this early on in the race as well? 

That incident in the NYC Marathon wasnโ€™t the only form of discrimination he would encounter while running the races he has run.  He described a more recent race he ran where a volunteer working the water station refused to serve him water because according to them he was โ€œa filthy muslimโ€.  This incident caught some media attention and was covered in New York by WPIX.  

In an effort to gain some good out of the negative experiences he encountered, he was inspired to start a running club for Sikhs in New York to raise awareness and to talk about these issues with other members of his community experiencing the same. The goal was to raise awareness of discrimination within the Sikh community  but also to make these members feel empowered, just as he had felt, because in reality they are no different than the thousands of other people who run these races week in and week out. 

Dr Singh at NYRR Run Center Wednesday night


That my friends is why running can be a great form of unity. I have always thought that running is a different sport than what we are used to. In all sports itโ€™s a team of individuals trying to beat the other. While itโ€™s true that in running, there is a winner that takes home the โ€œfirst placeโ€ medal of trophy, 99.9 percent of runners are not seeking that first place award. I know aim not (lol)! They participate in the sport because of the personal challenge against themselves. So the notion of having to be better than someone is stripped away for most the minute we toe the starting line. 

Dr. Singh made a very profound point as he wrapped up his conversation on Wednesday night. He made the point that running โ€œhumanizes us no matter what their background isโ€. This my friends is absolutely 100% true. 

Recently prior to the Staten Island Half Marathon  that I ran in September, I recall race director Peter Ciacia asking us all to unite because of all the hatred going on in the world. He said that even though we couldnโ€™t fix all of the wrong in the world, we could start with one another. There is truth in this because each and every time I am in the starting corrals for a race, I look around and just look at the thousands of people standing there. All colors. All religions. All background. ZERO HATE. For the short term future whether it is 10 minutes, 2 hours or 8 hours, each and every person is focused on their task at hand- finishing that race. Further, more often than not, when a fellow runner goes down in a race and falls, there are usually several people that will put their game plan aside and stop and help that person back up to their feet. They donโ€™t care the color of the personโ€™s skin or anything else about them. The human spirit simply takes over. 

The human spirit at work during a race!


As a hispanic male runner, Iโ€™ve come to the end of some long races and have seen the human spirit at work. Strangers cheering me and all of the other runners on, in all types of weather. Children sticking out their hands to get a โ€œsweatyโ€ high five from a stranger. Volunteers willingly handing out water and aide to anyone that needs it. 

What Dr. Singh is trying to do in the running community, I hope can transcend into other parts of our society because sadly the world is just not a good place to be in at times. Thankfully for me, I have running to escape it all! I find it very inspiring also that I was able to hear this conversation as we are on the heels of the NYC Marathon occurring next weekend. 60,000 runners, so many of which will be here from other countries to run the race will take to the equally diverse streets of NYC. It can be argued that running has already united us all. Now only if we could work on the the rest of the world! 

I personally would to thank Dr Singh for taking the time out of his busy schedule and his marathon training to talk to us Wednesday night. Follow him on twitter, @SikhProf . He claims to actually tweet when he runs races. I might have to try that one of these days!