The new Queens route advertised "free parking and easy train access" and since I live WAY too far to take the train for a 7am race, I opted to drive and brought along another fellow Upstate Manhattanite from the Inwood group. After a painless drive there, we took full advantage of the free parking and headed to the start in the already sweltering heat at 6am. As most other probably did, I adjusted my "race plan" when I woke up and saw that it was already 83 at 5:30 a.m. It went from attempting to just run a dignified sub-2:00 to simply finishing without passing out. Thank god for friends.
The race began in Flushing Meadows Corona Park which I'd never been to, but heard plenty about from the Queens contingent on twitter. It seemed like a large park with lots of bodies of water scattered throughout and lots of brown, thirsty grass. We started and ended with a loop around the World's Fair Globe which was huge and pretty neat. Apparently it is actually called the Unisphere... who knew? Unfortunately they had drained all of the water from the fountain around it and were painting when we ran by, providing a sort of "huffing" effect as we trotted by inhaling the fumes.
In general I can't say that I remember a ton about the course, which tells me that it was nothing impressive. I remember running past the stinky industrial park along College Point Blvd and then hearing about this later that weekend, we ran past that very station. I also recall running around the lake in the park and thinking "if it weren't so disgustingly hot, this might be a nice spot to sit." There were a few other things that ring a bell such as sniffing the air and asking "are we by the zoo?" (yup) but the rest of the run is lost in the haze of humidity and sweat that we trotted through all morning. The things I remember clearly though are the fire hoses spraying the crowd every 0.75mi or so near the water stops (ahhh so nice) and taking full cups of water and Gatorade at every single stop along the course. I hardly every drink Gatorade during races because it sloshes in my tummy and gives me cramps, but we were sweating it out so quickly that it never had a chance to bother me. We also took walk breaks at each water stop, with the breaks getting a little longer as the race progressed and no one wanting to make the first move to get us running again. We were having fun and just trying to get through it without dehydrating or overheating- I'm happy to report that we were VERY successful. None of us were able to stomach the idea of sucking down hot GU packets at any point during the run, so we survived on salt packets (for TK and MP) and Endurolyte tabs for me.
We trotted across the finish line in 2:04:09 looking cute and smiling (there's a brightroom video to prove it!) and just happy to have run a smart, respectable race. I never could have done that on my own, it would have been torture instead of the silly, fun, girl-fest that it was. I even managed a respectable 122 in my age group out of 737.