After a week of anxiously tracking various meteorology sites and ruminating on what Saturday’s projected “wintry mix” might mean for Sunday’s scheduled 7:30 AM start, 36 Harriers toed the line amidst near-perfect conditions. Weather was in the mid-thirties, sunny, and even provided a slight tailwind along the West Side Highway.
And they made the most of it.
Just two weeks after a strong finish in 2017’s first club points race, the Harriers rocked the H across multiple categories on Sunday. There were five PRs: Steve Bowker, Meredith FitzPatrick, Gary Frankland, Michelle Hillenbrand, and rookie Wendy DeWolf in her debut donning the jersey. Dianne Kenna finished 9th out of 644 in her age group. Head Coach Scott Bartucca successfully passed his personal fitness test for this point in the season: a sub-1:23! And there were two triumphant returns from injury: Mirjam Lablans, Ted Larsen and Keith Pyke.
Shifting from the conditions to the course, Times Square worked its dazzling magic yet again, making several Harriers feel inspired and brand new. The section is a perennial favorite with a turn that leaves the hills of Central Park out of sight and brings the final 5.1 mile stretch. It’s also where the Harriers racing in spirit – the cheering squad – set up camp with our brand new banner.
Daisy Chen said “The thrill of running through Times Square never gets old, and it is one of those things that makes you fall in love with NYC all over again. Big shout out to…the cheering squad, Aaron, Zach, and Kat.” Michelle Hillenbrand agreed “I didn’t think I would be so excited to run through” there, “but wow, so incredible – because of the lights and energy, but also because of our dedicated cheer/photo squad. Thanks Aaron and Zach for catching my gloves."
If there was a Harrier MVP of this year’s NYC Half, however, it was most likely Steve Bowker. Steve not only ran a PR that was 6 minutes faster than his prior best, but also organized the club’s traditional post-race brunch. Steve chose Felice15, which poured a steady stream of mimosas and pints, and, per Coach Eva Frissora, served “Michelin-star” caliber food (and Eva knows her restaurants!).
Kudos to all of those who came out on Sunday. As Steve toasted: “We certainly have a lot to look forward to heading into the Brooklyn Half!”