By Michelle Rafferty, Publicity Assistant
For one weekend every year, New York City becomes the capital of the running world. When marathon weekend hits, crowds gather all over the five boroughs to cheer on professionals runners, celebrities, friends, and co-workers alike. I personally recommend mile 24—it doesn’t get enough attention because it’s so close to the end, but it’s when you get to see people really fall apart, or rally up and show an incredible amount of grit. And admit it—some voyeuristic inspiration can do us cold hard New Yorkers some good every now and then. Though I should confess, I may have been one of the more inspired bystanders at mile 24, because I knew ten of the top female runners personally.
I moved to New York sixth months ago, a retired collegiate runner, and when I joined the New York Athletic Club Running Team (NYAC), I didn’t realize that I would be running with possibly the most successful cross-section of women in New York City. You want to network? Speak to these women. A VP at Goldman Sachs, an orthopedic resident, a special education teacher, a compliance director for Governor Patterson, a law school student, a production manager for Fila, an editor at another big time publishing company whose name shall not be mentioned…I could keep going, but you get the idea. These women are all successful, under 35, and fast!
To give you an idea of their speed, I’ll throw some statistics out there. Six of the women on the NYAC team ran the marathon in under 2 hours and 55 minutes. That means each of these girls ran 26.2 miles in under 6:40 minute pace per mile. And all ten of the women that ran did it in under 7:15 minute pace per mile. Let me put this in perspective. I’m guessing you did the mile fitness test at some point in junior high gym class. Perhaps you were shrewd enough to come up with a believable excuse to not participate, or you were able to strategically injure yourself with a protractor in geometry the period before. But chances are you experienced the burning lungs, lactic acid—perhaps even considered feigning death—as you made your 16 laps around the gymnasium floor. Now imagine doing that 25.2 more times. That’s kind of what the marathon is like.
And you know what the crazy thing is? The women of the NYAC running team are still running! They are currently training for US Cross-Country Nationals this winter (think grass, spikes, and barriers comprised of hay and water, or Michael Cera in the film Juno), and the US Half-Marathon Championships in January. And here comes my real plug. The team is approaching only its two year anniversary—meaning there is still a lot of room for growth and development. NYAC just garnered its first New York Road Runners Racing Series Championship—a fancy way of saying this team is the better than all 53 other competing teams in the state of New York—and the pundits (admittedly comprised of running message board junkies) think there could be many more.
So, I’m inviting all New Yorkers, runners and gym class slackers alike, to come support the NYAC Running Team this Thursday, where my teammates and I will be guest- bartending at the bar Third and Long in order to raise travel funds so that we can have the chance to do some real damage on the National Scene.
Information is as follows:
Who: New York Athletic Club Women’s Running Team
What: Guest-Bartending Fundraiser
Where: Third and Long
When: Thursday, November 18, 6-8pm
What you get:
• $10 at the door gets you a bracelet that will get you drink specials ($4 drafts and house drinks from 6-10)
• Party souvenir
• Raffle of various running-related items as well as various non-running related items
• Dart board
Directions: Third and Long is at 523 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016
Check out the NYAC running team here.
The first photo is of Olympic Trials Finalist, Lesley Higgins. The second photo is of Columbia University Alums Stephanie Lenihan and Caroline Bierbaum.
Photos by Victah Sailer