The race falls into the "goofy things runners do" category. It starts at 10:00 pm and runs a 10K from one polluted industrial canal (Newtown Creek) to another (Gowanus Canal), finishing at one of our favorite bars (Lavender Lake). There's no real course. The challenge is to get from point to point as fast as you can. There's a division of opinion as to whether the fastest route is the shortest, or the flattest, or just the one where you're least likely to get lost . . .
The race sold out, but the field was slightly depleted due to, um, rain. Still, about 50 folks showed up to run. My training has been long and slow, so a 10K made some sense. What the heck. My goal was to try to run 8s, or as close as I could muster. Three of us (Arvi, Caroline and I) agreed on that goal. We did not, however, agree on route. Caroline and Arvi planned to make a key turn at Gold (slightly longer, more complicated, but flat), and I had planned to turn at Washington (hill, but won't get lost). We set out. Caroline took off way too fast. I know this because I went out way too fast and she went out faster. I assured Arvi that we'd come back together, and we did, but we still ran the first mile in 7:45. Yikes. Then I got inspired, and kept going, blowing past the two of them, running the second mile in 7:50. The field split pretty badly, and I found myself running by myself along deserted Brooklyn streets. I slowed to 8 and change, and then Arvi and Caroline came back (or so I thought). We ran together under the BQE, and then we came to the route decision point and Caroline (or at least I thought it was Caroline) turned toward Washington and Arvi continued toward Gold. Rather than follow Arvi, I followed the person I thought was Caroline, but she got a few steps on me and picked it up. I hung in behind her, keeping her in sight, but about 50 yards behind. Our pace slowed pretty badly, down to 8:30 plus, and then, disaster struck. At Atlantic Avenue Caroline (who might or might not actually be Caroline) caught the light and I got stuck -- for about 45 seconds. Argh!! Then I took off and finished the last mile at 8:30. As I was coming down Third Avenue a clutch of runners came up from behind, and I kicked it out with them, finishing in a pretty tight group. I averaged 8:20 (I stopped my Garmin at the light), which is a little bit slower than I'd hoped, but it was dark, rainy and dark.
Oh, and it turned out that Caroline wasn't Caroline at all. She finished a minute or so back, and I never found out who I'd been chasing. Arvi got lost, and was a few minutes further back yet . . .
Anyway, that was probably the most fun I've had at night in the rain . . .