NYCRUNS Firecracker 5K-Governor’s Island Race Review

I like gifting experiences rather than stuff. Meredith (my NYC roomie) celebrated her 29th birthday earlier this month. Last summer I got her into running, so I figured entry into the Firecracker 5K on Governor’s Island was the perfect birthday gift. Meredith is a transformative educator at Columbia Secondary School in South Harlem. She teaches sixth grade English, built the school’s community garden and directs the school musicals. If she can make time for running, anyone can. Last summer Meredith had no running experience and in just two weeks we were consistently running three miles together. Meredith has always averaged 29/30 minutes for three miles, and today she ran an incredible 25:13!!!

I haven’t run a 5K in years. There’s no easing into a 5K, you have to run fast the whole time! A few months ago Lauren Fleshman wrote a great article for Runner’s World entitled 10 Reasons the 5K is Freaking Awesome. She calls for a 5K revolution, arguing they result in less injuries, require no gels or blocks, and are cheaper. The two-time U.S. Outdoor 5000-meter champion wonders why value a slow marathon time more than a hard effort at the 5K when she states, “I want to talk about how, with three laps left, my body felt engulfed in flames, and how alive that feels compared with the slow burn of the marathon.” She’s right. If you run a 5K right, it is incredibly painful, and you don’t get any of that marathon glory.

I didn’t have a goal for this race. I love not having goals for races because I go in so much more relaxed and never experience disappointment. I surprised myself averaging a 6:27 pace with a 20:04 finish and was the third female finisher. I felt great the whole time, but it just finished so quickly. I’d love to run another 5K in the near future and use a little more strategy. I learned that I didn’t need to pace myself much for the first half, I just need to GO!

After the race I went to Carmen’s in Brooklyn. Brent and Marta were already here, and Mama and Papa are on their way. Looking forward to a fun family weekend (and work). Happy Fourth of July!

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Thinking of running a NYCRuns Race?


  • Relaxed community feel
  • This course was gorgeous! Great view of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty
  • The race director was hilarious, cracking jokes on the mic before the race
  • AMAZING bagels after the race
  • Inexpensive


  • Huge race shirts (I gave mine to Brent)
  • Getting to Governor’s Island was time consuming (but it was worth it!)

Five Movement Tips

Running 85 miles the week before I came to New York and now averaging 20 miles a week feels strange. I miss my long, slow, meditative runs. I miss the feeling of accomplishment after I face my fear of the track. I am also experiencing run club buddy withdrawal syndrome. I hope they have not forgotten about me! As an endurance junkie, I am having trouble with sitting through class from 8AM to 7PM, and ending the day with even more work at the library. Working at a school I rarely sit for more than a few minutes. A few classmates and I have taken measures to add more movement into our day. Does your work involve a lot of sitting? Follow these simple steps to give you quick boosts of energy!

  1. Go on a morning and afternoon power walk. At the Summer Principals Academy we get 15 minute breaks at 10:45 and 3:00. A few cohort members and I use this as an opportunity to see the sun and power walk down Broadway. Sometimes we even stop for some quick yoga moves. Power walks give my brain a much needed break.
  2. Recruit a co-worker to join you in the plank challenge. Plank is one of the best core strengtheners. It’s also really fun to get creative and find strange places to plank. My favorite this week, the park bench in Riverside Park.
  3. Always take the stairs. Always. Even at the 181st stop off the A train. It will make you stronger!
  4. Two miles is better than no miles. Yesterday morning I ran two miles. It’s all I had time for before class. I could have easily stayed in bed, convincing myself it wasn’t worth the effort. Although two miles isn’t ideal, I still got some endorphins.
  5. Drink lots of waterNot only will you gain the many benefits of proper hydration, you’ll be forced to get up move during your many trips to the bathroom.
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Frisbee on the Lawn, Power Walks, Quick Morning Run to Yankee Stadium, Two Miler, Plank Challenge and Stairs!

How do you do to add more movement to your day?