Saturday, June 18, 2011

Evening Stroll

Through Central Park. With 15,000 other folks.

Thursday evening, I participated in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge with Team 815 from the Episcopal Church Center. While I'd walked in similar events in Atlanta, I'd never joined my colleagues in NYC for this annual race. The event is so popular in New York that it has to be held on two consecutive days to accommodate the 30,000 registrants.

We struck out from our offices at 815 Second Avenue at 5:30 and headed toward the subway and on to the staging area in Central Park, inside 72nd Street entrance. Our group was assigned the Orange area, where a table and sign awaited our team. Our "security" volunteers took possession of our worldly goods and spread the table with water, fruit, and cookies. (Thank you for watching our stuff, Eric, Sharon, and Esther!)

For the race, I was assigned to the White Group - not based on skin color, but based on ability. I'm not a runner, so all walkers were White. Each participant area was jammed, but folks were well-behaved as we awaited the 7pm start time. The fastest groups were led out first, so we slow-poke walkers were the last to go. Our numbered bibs had a couple of tracking strips taped to the back, and as we crossed the start and finish lines, our times were accurately recorded.

I stayed well to the left to allow runners to pass. But anyone who knows me knows that I'm a fast walker, and I was often outpacing folks with non-white bibs. It was a lovely, breezy evening, and the 3.5-mile loop around the park was quite enjoyable. A couple of people commented on my shirt (it had the Episcopal Church logo) as they passed me, so I'm assuming they were good Episcopalians.

I crossed the finish line with a time of 59:44, not great, but respectable for an old broad.

All in all, a lovely evening stroll.

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