This past Saturday, February 18, 2017, I participated in one of the Staten Island running communities favorite races. Why is it so popular? Maybe because it is a 10k, maybe because it’s in the middle of February, or maybe because it’s in Staten Islands largest Greenbelt. I think it’s all 3! But whatever your reason is, our running community is getting bigger and more adventurous. More and more people are getting into running and enjoying being in nature.
The Cold Feat 10k race is in its 7th year. The first race was held in 2010 in nearly 2 feet of snow but that didn’t deter participants and continues to attract more and more runners. The race fee helps support the not-for-profit Greenbelt Conseravancy mission to offer environmental education initiatives for children of all ages and abilities. The Conservancy, which works in partnership with NYC Parks, also leads trail maintenace and beautification projects that help keep the Greenbelt trail system in great hiking and running condition. You can find more info about their programs which are held throughout the year on their website www.sigreenbelt.org (and there you can also download the trail map).
The race starts and finishes at the federal style David LaTourette House located in the LaTaurette Golf Course on Richmond Hill Road. The course itself changes every year. This was my second time running this race and it was definitely different from last years course. We started running down the big hill on the golf course which took us to the multiuse path by Forest Hill Road and then onto the single track trails. The course did not disappoint. It had it all: steep uphills, winding downhills, loose rock, mud, snow, sharp turns and loopy loops and who can forget those dreaded blue trail stairs. Agh, just thinking about those now makes my legs scream. The course was meticulously laid out to make sure we get the whole trail experience which made the finish that much sweeter. I wasn’t feeling my total self that day. I have been battling a sinus cold all week and not getting much sleep. Waking up that morning I did not feel victorious so I decided to do my best and kind of go by feel. After the gun went off and running down a steep hill with the sun warming us up and the temperatures rising above average gave me a boost I needed. I don’t usually take off running my fastest because I don’t want to burn out but during a single track trail race you kind of want to find the group with similar pace. I run with a GPS fitness watch with heart rate monitor which is nice because you have so much feedback like speed, distance and HR. Well, my HR was so high I had to take some walk breaks up those hills but as soon as it was bearable I gunned it again. The race had 1 water stop by the nature center about half way through the race, which I decided to take advantage of and walk while drinking. Now it was the home stretch so up the slope toward the finish line I went. I caught up with a nice pace group whom I stayed with till the finish. Running up to the finish line I see my husband yelling to me to speed up because I’m the 3rd female coming through. What? No way! Impossible! But I sped up crossing the finish line at 58:16 with 9:22 pace. So he was correct to my complete shock I was 3rd female overall-pretty sweet! At the awards ceremony I was gifted with a beautiful medal made from wood, no doubt from our own downed Greenbelt trees, and a wonderful book High Rock And The Greenbelt-The Making of New Tork City’s Largest Park by John Mitchell, which I started reading today. I’m still savoring my winnings today and flying high from the endorphins but running with my friends in my favorite place makes this victory that much sweeter. And of course a special shout out to all the Greenbelt staff, volunteers, and first responders, Dorothy Reilly and Nancy Cofrancesco who made this race possible.