Charity Running / Damon Runyon 2018

By | April 15, 2018

I love supporting charities. I’ve done 5K fundraiser walks since I was a kid, since mom & dad always taught the importance of giving back: whether that be time, money or otherwise. April is already 5K-palooza as it’s theoretically spring. I’ve done the March of Dimes Walk every year and in various years have walked for 9/11, MS, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Hope for the Warriors and others.

But the running/fundraising landscape is so complicated at times, even beyond charity bibs for marathons, and I really hate asking for money even if people are happy to do it as a tax deduction. When I started running, I decided to raise money for Joyful Heart in memory of my friend Linda’s daughter Kira. When I realized how many 5Ks had a fundraising component I decided I’d just sponsor myself and if people wanted to donate, I’d point them to my Joyful Revolution Athletic Club page.

Oddly, the one I never did as a walk was Damon Runyon. To me that is beyond bizarre given my love of the Yankees and that it’s a fundraiser for cancer research.  I did the run last year for the first time, and in 2018 it moved to April. I was torn at first: better weather, but the week after Cherry Blossom. When I realized the intersecting dates I wondered if I could do a 5K the week after a 10 miler. Luckily in the intervening four months my body learned to recover more quickly and I signed up at the end of March.

about that better weather!

.While April isn’t June, today was more than a little ridiculous. I acquired a Mariano shirt, but it barely saw the light of day because it was so windy. Yes, lots of pink was probably what led to one of the volunteers asking me if I knew what other meaning 42 had. Yes, jackass, although I don’t think I’d have thought to wear Mariano today if a friend who was running hadn’t mentioned it.

greetings from the warning track

The laps of the stadium are kind of weird and with the start inside Gate 4, neither my watch nor Strava worked so I don’t have my time. I know it wasn’t good for a 5K, but I think it was better than last year.  ETA: 41:01. Exactly what I thought on both counts. It’s kind of nice just to run sometimes. If they send the time, I’ll take it. I’m taking the mileage though, because it puts me at 200 for #RunTheYear even if it’s 3ish, which I think it is. In rereading my post from last year, I realize most of my thoughts on the course remain the exact same.

While I was still distracted on the warning track because it’s awesome running in the stadium, I was less so than last year. I think in part I just wanted to keep moving because it was so cold. Before we got there though, we had to complete two laps of field level. I think I accidentally completed three, which did my time no favors. I wasn’t sure though when the course split sign came up if I was supposed to have passed that once and then go, or two full laps. Oh well. It was then onto the warning track for two laps. The warning track is where you first encounter the race’s confusing signage. It says Mile 1. But does that apply to the first lap, or the second? I saw 20m had passed from gun time, but I don’t think I was that slow unless I did do an extra Field Level lap. Oh well.

From here it was onto the absolute worst part, stairs from the field level up to main. Never ending and with zero view as  you’re in the stadium interior. I jogged the first flight and then walked the rest. They’re just too crowded and while I walk 64 steps daily, I never run them since I’m often carrying too much crap. Maybe I should start though.

I love this view

At the end of the main level lap, you hit more stairs but at least these are exterior stairs with a view, and what a view. They’re also wider so there’s more room to run, err, jog them ahead of a lap of the terrace level. Although the rain held off, luckily, this is where we ran into a major wind tunnel that was a head wind. Luckily I knew the best part was to come, running down the ramps from terrace level to the Great Hall. You feel like you’re flying and because it was cold, I wasn’t dragging the way I was last year. But when you enter the Great Hall, the course splits again: finish to the left, course continues “to mile 2” to the right. Um, no, mile 2 sign was at the top of the ramp. I guess they mean the completion of mile two, but super confusing.

Although my legs were feeling good, I jog walked the steps. I knew I was maintaining a steady pace since I was consistently on the heels of a couple in yellow windbreakers. Knowing exactly what was to come and not feeling overheated, this lap flew and I was quickly on the ramp back down to the Great Hall.

Mariano and a medal

I actually forgot this race comes with a medal. Although I was excited to receive it last year as it was only my second one, it was rather uninspiring. I like that the 10th anniversary one is in the shape of a baseball diamond. Finish line festival was smaller than last year, but nice to have pretzels in addition to bananas and bagels. Coffee or hot chocolate would have been nice.

Overall? April is much better than July, even if it didn’t exactly feel like April. The race is a little expensive for a 5K considering none of the race fee money is a donation, that’s done separately. But there’s something amazing about running Yankee Stadium that you just don’t get from running in the streets, so I’d say it’s worth the money. How are you otherwise going to run on the warning track? I think this is going on my annual calendar so long as I’m in town.

Other Notes:

  • Yesterday I did the hill repeats I talked about, although Strava didn’t pick up the segment. 3x was the perfect test of it as I didn’t want to trash my legs ahead of today. It felt “comfortably hard”. I need to figure out the recoveries. Hopefully if the path opens this week that will be part of a longer “runway”.

5 thoughts on “Charity Running / Damon Runyon 2018

  1. Coco

    That sounds like an interesting “course” — too bad the signage was so confusing. I do fundraising for Cherry Blossom (Children’s Hospitals) and Lawyers Have Heart (Am. Heart Assn.) but pretty much am inviting different groups of friends to donate.

    1. cari Post author

      It’s a very interesting course. I want to know how on earth they measured it as there’s no easy way to calibrate devices. It’s definitely one best treated as a fun run. Good point re: different friends

  2. Liz Dexter

    Gosh, that does sound a weird course and a bit taxing! I think we were probably running at the same time, though, which is nice! Well done!

    I did my first runs for charity – a charity supporting women and girls in Ethiopia which friends ran. I then did the Birmingham Marathon for the BIrmingham Women’s Hospital, as they did my operation and looked after me well enough that I could DO the BIrmingham Marathon – I raised a decent amount but will go back to just running. When I did my first mara, I donated £26.20 myself to some chosen charities.

    1. cari Post author

      Oops, missed this one.
      Chosen charities is key. When my brother & sister in law trained for their first marathon they did Team in Training. While they’re big, they’re not as big as Team for Kids here, which many use to get into NYC. I was surprised to read in the run up to Boston that their fundraising minimum is higher by a third than NYC. The charity runners’ stories are some of what I love about Running the Smoke — all the different personal reasons.

  3. Pingback: April Runfessions: planning and (not) racing |

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