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WTC Run to Freedom 5K

by Meghann on September 6, 2010

Most people would think running a 5k the day after a 20 miler may seem a little crazy, but certainly not I. ;)

Ok…. maybe a little crazy.

When I was first proposed with the idea of running a 5k while I was in New York City it wasn’t even a question of saying no, it was Yes! Yes! Yes! all the way. I immediately registered and thought nothing of it. That is until yesterday – as I was hobbling around Chinatown – it dawned on me that maybe registering for a 5k the day after 20 miles wasn’t the smartest decision ever made. Oopss..

I was blinded by the bright lights of race bibs, t-shirts, and running in a city I love and rarely get to see. Sure this race was going to be tough, but who says I had to make a bigger deal then it needs to be? Some races are meant just for fun and this race was going to be one of them! :)

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The racing committee did a fabulous job keeping this race casual for us by not having the race start until 10:00 am. This gave our group ample time to sleep in (until 7:00) and grab a real breakfast before heading to race site.

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Derek and I split an egg and cheese sandwich on an everything bagel on the taxi ride over.

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mmm…. cheesy.

I wasn’t aware until that morning that the race wasn’t actually in Manhattan, but instead on Governor’s Island just a ferry ride a way from downtown. I’m not sure I have ever taken a ferry from NYC, it was a fun added bonus to this adventure.

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We randomly ran into Dierdre and Amelia from Highways To Health on the ride over. It’s a small city after all!

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Governor’s Island is a beautiful tiny island right off of Manhattan. We ran into someone that used to live on Governor’s Island when he was in the Coast Guard and it was fun to hear his stories on how living on the island used to be. He said it was great to wake up every morning and have the statue of liberty to your left and have the former World Trade Centers to your right.

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In 1996 the coast guard left and the National Park Service took over, now a days the city of NYC owns the island and is trying to breathe life back into place with free concerts and festivals very weekend.

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The race was very casual. There were chips, but no fancy starting line or corrals. A recording of the National Anthem was played then a man shouted in a microphone “Go!” I actually prefer small races like this. It keeps it fun and pressure free.

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My goal from the beginning was just to have fun with this race and I knew I would have the most fun running along side Derek.

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He’s had a rough couple of weeks with running and I knew he would need that extra support.

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Turns out Derek didn’t need my support at all – he did awesome. He didn’t stop once, never complained, and kept solid 10 minute miles the entire time. It was like he was a whole new running man.

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After a 3.1 mile loop around the island the finish line seemed to appear out of nowhere. One last final push and we crossed the finish line together just under 31 minutes.

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I was so proud of my little runner. :)

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I enjoyed a juicy post-race peach.

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Ferry back to the city.

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After the race we headed to The Meatball Shoppe in the Lower East Side.

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Ashely had just visited The Meatball Shoppe with her parents the weekend before and could not stop raving about it. We were all super exited to try it after hearing so many great things about it.

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The place is definitely an experience. You pick your balls, your sauce, and how you want it served.

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I selected the Veggie Balls with Tomato Sauce over a bed of greens.

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The veggie balls were amazing. They were lentil heavy, crumbly, and full of flavor. The sauce was also thick and rich.

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The group shared a plethora of sides and i believe we all agreed the polenta was by far our favorite. :)

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After a great lunch we did a little exploring and headed back to the apartment. Nothing like a casual afternoon to make a wonderful vacation even better. :)

P.S. Besides one or stolen pics from Ashley, the majority of these photos were shot with my droid. How freaking awesome is that?!?!

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