NYC Ekiden Team Tero-Giraffe

Team Tero-Giraffe tore it up over 16.2 miles of Central Park

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2-Person Team Tero-Giraffe

Last Sunday, despite feeling godawful on Saturday, I tore myself out of the warm cozy apartment and into the humid cold drizzly park to participate in my first ever (as an adult) relay race! The NYC Runs group organized an “Ekiden” which is a Japanese style relay race where the runners of each team wears a sash which is passed from runner to runner. How interesting! The first American ekiden took place in 1988 right outside the United Nations where we work. [Click here to see a video!] Since Fernando and I found out about this rather late and signed up last minute, we only had each other for the 4 leg race. Which meant we both had to run twice.

As dismal as the day was, bound by the fact that we had paid for this race and that we couldn’t do it alone, we both bucked up and did our 2 mile warm up to the Start Line. Although it was not as organized as NYRR as it seemed a bit messy and took a bit to get underway, I thought it was a great thing that despite not having a ton of money or volunteers, they were hosting this fantastic race anyway! The organizers made the final announcements and explanations (I mean, the concept is pretty simple!), I took off my sweatshirt and stepped into the starting corral with my colleague from work who happened to be running the first leg too on his own 4-person team! I adjusted Team Tero-Giraffe’s brown sash and the horn blew!

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Blackfoot and Ishigaki-san, colleagues and competitors!

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A Race to Fight Brain Cancer

Join the Voices Against Brain Cancer’s mission to find a cure 5 Mile Race

My last race was my 9th qualifying race for the NYRR 9+1 program last Sunday and it was a great race. The race was dedicated to support Voices Against Brain Cancer, a not-for-profit public charity organization which raises funds to research a cure for brain cancer. Knowing people who have suffered or people who have watched their friends and family suffer, this definitely was a cause I wanted to support.

IMG_5432And I also wanted to do well! I set myself a goal of under 36 minutes, which would mean the slowest average pace would have to be about my 10K time during the Rock ‘N Roll race. However, I was skeptical because I felt I did awesome at that race (I even got an award in the mail for winning 1st in my division just last week!) and wasn’t sure if it was reasonable to expect a replication of it. Anyway, anything between my 6’59” 4 mile pace of two weeks ago and my 10K pace was going to be my goal.

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