Monday, January 23, 2012

Run at the Rock: First Blood

"Back there I could fly a gunship, I could drive a tank, I was in charge of million
dollar equipment, back here I can't even hold a job parking cars!" --Stallone

Apparently I've started using my Sly Stallone face in races.  Sorry I forgot who took this picture.

Monday, January 9, 2012

NYE in NYC at the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run in Central Park

So as some of you might recall the Rockettes came to DPAC in November to perform their Christmas Spectacular show.  My wife wanted desperately to go to this as she had never seen the Rockettes, but none of the dates seemed to work for us and the ticket prices were kind of high.  So as Christmas approaches, she starts to get some of the winter blues.  Around this time last year we were planning our trip to the Christmas Markets in Germany and Austria, and this year she could only look forward to the joy that holiday visits from my crazy family bring...  With the baby on the way, it seemed the sun was setting on our opportunity for one last trip as a couple.  Stick with me, this is going somewhere, I promise.  So I hatched the super secret plan that we would take a trip to New York City for New Years as her Christmas present.  She had never been and this way we could see the Rockettes at Radio City.

A quick Google search and I realized Times Square was the last place anyone wants to be on New Years, unless they have a bladder of steel and are prepared to stand in one spot without food or water for 12+ hours.  These are adjectives that would better describe a Guantanamo detainee than a pregnant woman (although for some reason they generally frown on letting Guatanamo detainees into Times Square on NYE...especially ones with backpacks).  A few more Google searches and I stumble across the Midnight Run in Central Park by the NYRR.  This event attracts at least 5,000 runners and after being there I wouldn't be surprised if there's another 2,500 that run as bandits.  I never saw a number on the naked guy in the Hello Kitty thong.  Come to think of it, I don't think any of the people in their underwear had numbers!  Did I mention people dress up for it, as there is a costume contest and live music and fireworks and a laser light show (although I don't remember the laser light show).

Ok, I'm going to skip ahead to the run part before I end up turning this into a travel blog by accident.  All I'm going to say is the Radio City Christmas Spectacular was great and EVERYONE should go see The Book of Mormon.

View of the stage
So New Years Eve rolls around and we walk the 1.5 miles from our hotel to the staging area in central park.  We arrived sometime between 10 and 11, as the place was packed, but I know it was before the costume contest that started at 11.  I didn't catch too many of the costumes in the contest as we were in the massive clusterf... of a line to get our blinky pins and foam hats.  I'm pretty sure I did see princess Leia, Han Solo, Luke, Darth Vader and a Narwhal.  These wouldn't seem so odd, except they were all together as one group.

Those tear drops mark the elite group in front
So after we secured our silly foam hat things and blinky pins it was off to find the race start!  Wait, the Porta-Potties, then the race start!  As we were making our way through the crowds following the signs to start, I hear someone behind me yelling, "follow me to the starting line, " and turn to see the flag bearers with the elite runners in tow.  This is a fun run, but still we probably shouldn't start in the elite group.  So we make our way into the middle of the pack.  The crowd begins to fill in around us.  People are in costumes everywhere.  A tiny man gulps down a 5 hour energy in front of us while bouncing up and down like a perpetual motion machine.  We await the countdown to midnight.

View looking behind us at the start (6,000 registered and who knows how many unregistered)

5..4..3..2..1 and the fireworks begin and off we go.  Ok, more like off the elite runners go.  The rest of us slowly start to move after a few minutes as one massive river of people.  We start out at a nice run, but it doesn't take long for the +1 to realize running is no longer comfortable when you are 20 weeks pregnant and already have to pee again.  Walking actually turned out to be a great time as this way we got to see alot more of the costumes and really enjoy the fireworks display.  Some highlights I recall include:  Guy juggling glow in the dark balls while running, giant Christmas present man, many angry birds, lots of people wrapped in working Christmas lights and many, many drunk spectators clamoring for high fives.
Kaboom!  Happy New Year!

More fireworks! yay!

New 4 mile PR!
We walked into probably the most energizing finish line I've ever seen.  I can only imagine what the crowds must be like for the NYC marathon.  This was a great time, and I have a feeling we might be back.  Although, definitely remember to take into account how many miles you have to walk to get to and from your hotel, which, for us, turned this into about a 7 mile event.  Happy New Year everybody!