It’s just one of those races that I do every Labor Day with a few friends.  Some friends have come and gone over the years. Some we were glad to see go and others not so much.  Our core group has remained the same and so has our race day routine.  Meet at 6am.  On the hour plus ride there we talk about past races, kids, money, drinking, other people, drinking…you get the idea. When we arrive at the New Haven green we use the port-o-potties early so they’re somewhat tolerable.  And then we chat some more until the gun goes off and we start our 12.5 mile adventure.

Most people think of Yale University when they think of New Haven, CT.  Well, there’s a lot more, um undesirable neighborhoods in and around Yale and the race route exploits some of the local color.  I have heard many things from spectators and other runners throughout the years on this course.  Here’s a sampling from this year:

A fat guy sitting on a bench clapping: I could do what you’re doing, I just can’t do it right now.

A little boy handing out water: Get your water here…get it while it’s cold…y’all look hot!

A woman at the 8 mile mark (of a 12.5 mile race!): You’re almost there!

We all agree that the “you’re almost there” comment should be used only when you’re about 5 steps away from the finish line.  At mile 8 it’s just insane!

This year the race day was 70+ degrees with 85% humidity.  God I love the Northeast.  Needless to say I was  dripping wet by mile 3.  I felt really strong most of the way and was able to knock off a few flat 7 min miles in the final two or three.  I just enjoy picking off people in front of me and using my mantras.  A favorite for this day was “keep your pace, run your race.”  It keeps my mind busy.  There were no PRs (personal records) to be had but I did finish about a minute faster then last year (1:32:33).  For those non-runners, a minute is a pretty good chunk of time.  Running is a game of seconds.

It was tricky finding a spot to pin my bib!

We would be transformed into three drowned rats in about 30 minutes!

Some of the running stars were out.  The race draws elite athletes because of the prize money.  They get their own tent but there was still a line of them in front of their private port-o’s 15 minutes or so before race time. If you’re one of very few people who follow running then you may know Matt Tegenkamp – he won the race in 1 hour and Megan Peyton (even I don’t know who this is?) won it for the women in 1:09.  Yep, that’s fast!

Because of the crappy weather there weren’t as many spectators, and therefore not a lot of good signs.  The only good ones we saw were:



Actually, they were the only signs we saw.

The best part of the race (always!) is the finish.  At this particular race there is beer and giant loaves of bread in the park just waiting for you!  Despite the fact that I felt like I had on an adult diaper that had been repeatedly soiled, I got my Red Hook beer and my bread and sat with my friends to give our race re-cap.  There were tales of woe, of seeing things that shouldn’t be seen (peeing, puking, snot rocketing) and finally reaching the finish.  We are usually entertained by the meth heads, homeless people and perhaps a wandering clown at this point but alas, the weather seemed to keep them away as well. Booooo!  We did have the pleasure of seeing a woman smoking.  With a race bib number on.  In a park filled with people who just ran a race! I wanted to throat punch her…or take her picture but I didn’t have my phone on me.  Missed opportunity.

Newspaper in wet shoes works!

Newspaper in wet shoes works!

This is the sixth year I’ve done this race.  I missed one year when I was pregnant with the twins and instead cried my eyes out at my kitchen table because I couldn’t be there.  This race is so ingrained in my life, it’s just a given that I’ll be doing it each Labor Day.  It’s as scheduled of an event as my summer vacation and just as important.  I feel really lucky that I have running friends who race with me year after year.  I feel lucky that my hubs stays home with the boys so I can have my time away.  I feel lucky that I can run, and I’ll do it for as long as I can… which may be about as long as it takes for the funk to clear out of my running shoes!  Yikes!

Do you have an annual race you do?  What did you do this Labor Day weekend?



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  1. Great Job shedding a minute off your time!! New Haven is an interesting place. Our car broke down there earlier in the summer and let’s just say it was an interesting experience and we got a new car! :). This year on Labor Day I reminisced about the sprint tri I did on Labor Day last year! Not happening this year with the rainstorms and fractured elbow! Glad you had a good weekend!

    1. “Interesting” is the perfect word to describe New Haven! I hope that elbow heals soon, although you’ve been able to do quite a bit with the injury!!

  2. This is the best race recap I’ve read in a long time! Thanks for sharing the local color with us. Love the classy little kid handing out water! I can’t believe that lady just lit up like that after running 12+ miles. Crazy! One year I was volunteering at our local Girls on the Run 5K and saw a woman out on the course, with her child, puffing away on a cigarette. DURING THE RACE!! Insane!

    1. Thank you!!!
      OMG DURING the race? Now that really beats all!! People are nuts!!!

  3. Funny. Love those people who yell you’re almost there when you have miles to go! The annual race I run is right in my town, New Milford’s Village Fair Days 8 miler. It’s an extremely challenging hilly course with a steep uphill near then end, going directly into a steep downhill for the finish. But its a fun event and we can walk to the start from our house. Glad you had a fun race!

    1. That is very cool you have a race you can WALK to the start of! I have that with the triathlon and it’s just so great.
      Did you run it this year? Your husband?

    • Kate on September 3, 2013 at 11:48 AM
    • Reply

    I just don’t understand why people smoke anywhere. It doesn’t make sense!! Congrats on shaving off the minute! Happy September 🙂

    1. Me either!? Especially at a race!! Too weird.

  4. I just love that you have this as an annual rite of summer. You know what time you’ll be doing it, where you’ll meet your friends, and what time you’ll hit the port-a-potties! I’m so impressed with your time! Even this non-runner knows that is AWESOME!!
    The only thing we did on Labor Day was eat copious amounts of cook out food at my in-laws. Your tradition is perhaps healthier than ours!! 😀

    Congratulations on another Labor Day well done!! –Lisa

    1. Thanks Lisa! And, don’t worry, I celebrated my race with some wine & a cheeseburger on the grill!! Did I leave that part out? Ha ha!!

  5. They may have been the only signs but come on…May the Course Be With You is pretty darn funny!

    This is the first year I’ve raced at all so nothing is annual yet. I’ve one one local race that I’m likely to do again.

    1. Definitely two really good ones…AND ones I’ve never seen before!
      That’s great about your local race. Often those are the best ones. Here’s to new traditions!

  6. haha! I can’t believe that boy called you all hot. That’s kinda…a lot of things.
    New Haven isn’t so far from me, and there are definitely some colorful characters there! I can barely walk to my mailbox in high humidity so of course I’m thinking awesome things about y’all. And the peeing/puking/snot rockets stuff…I’m not sure I could handle it. I went to a fair on Sunday and it was much of the same, actually! And the snot rockets I saw? My daughter’s.

    1. So funny!! I read that about your daughter:-)

    • Hope on September 3, 2013 at 12:47 PM
    • Reply

    You’re funny Allie. That’s an awesome tradition to have. I can’t stand the “you’re almost there” comment….and I’m a slow runner so even if I’m 5 steps out…it’s gonna take a lot longer than 5 steps.lol. I can’t believe sister girl was puffing on cigs at the race. At least pretend you’re healthy at the event…smh. Love this race recap.

    1. Thanks! I know, right? Since we’re at a race lets wait to have a smoke when we get to the car maybe?

    • Kim on September 3, 2013 at 3:30 PM
    • Reply

    Great job knocking off a minute!!!
    Love the WTF sign!!
    And, I have to tell you – your abs look amazing!!!

    1. Thanks Kim!!! That is a great compliment coming from YOU! You’re an animal!!:-)

  7. So great that you took a minute off of your time! But I’m sad there weren’t anymore signs because I know how much you value your spectators! I had no idea there were undesireables in new haven! When I think CT I think big houses and picket fences, but obviously there are bad neighborhoods everywhere! Anywho y’all look great and this was a fantastic recap.

    1. We have our fair share of bad ‘hoods here in CT!! Thanks Nellie:-)

  8. OMFG! I used to live in CT so I TOTALLY GIVE YOU SO MUCH CREDIT for running in that humidity!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s like mother nature is strangling you! But you kicked her ass! LOL!

    1. You did??? Well shit, I used to live in LA!!! Sometimes mother nature needs a swift kick…and then a hasty retreat to air conditioning and cold water:-) Thanks GiGi!!

    • Kim on September 3, 2013 at 6:20 PM
    • Reply

    OMG… I have to admit, my ADD had me totally skimming this entry…but then…. THEN the words “adult diaper” jumped out at me and I knew I had to go back and start over. So glad I did… As a just starting out novice “it’s actually more of a fast walk” runner… this was totally interesting!!! 🙂

    1. Ha ha!! I always reel ’em in with the “adult diaper” comment:-) Thanks for actually reading!!
      Soon enough you will move up to “quick jogger!”

  9. Congratulations on making a better time! You have been at this for a while…good deal to see improvement over time. When I saw the picture on IG, I was like…Good Lord that’s a tall friend she has there. I don’t know why when I saw it in the post, I thought you were going to explain her height or something….very silly of me. I thought she may have been some elite athlete as you mentioned.

    Race sounds very entertaining & intriguing, 12.5 miles and all, but um..no ma’am! I was doing BODYPUMP yesterday 🙂 I worked all weekend but I’m happy to be off now.

    1. That is SO funny! The “tall girl” is my friend Anne. I can’t wait to tell her you thought she was an elite! She is in my mind since she was one of my very first running friends!! She’s just a very “seasoned” runner and has run a ton of marathons and is the fitness director at a local gym. And an amazing friend.
      You love your BODYPUMP and I LOVE that!! Glad you’re getting some much needed time off!

  10. that’s really great, congratulations! I’ve always wanted to do one of those big championship races or historically huge races and be able to compare my times from year to year! i think there are very, very few races I have run more than once so it would be interesting to see how I did each year!!

    1. You should start doing it! I have a few I do every year and I need only look at my garage wall (where I keep all my bibs with my times on them!) to check my “race results.” It’s very interesting…:-)

  11. Congrats! I love that you have this tradition – things always seem so much more meaningful when you have a tradition! Love the signs – too funny!

    1. They really do!!
      The signs never disappoint…even where there’s only two!

  12. I have a Memorial Day run in NJ that I do every year with friends – or had, I should say. I will have to find a new tradition down here. Despite the humidity, you have such a great attitude about racing! Your love for the run always shines through!

    1. I’m sure it won’t be hard to find another fun run on Labor Day (or any holiday) in your new home! In fact, it’s a great way to meet people & get involved with your new ‘hood! I’m looking forward to reading more about you “settling in!”

  13. That is awesome!!!! A minute off is huge and it was hot!!! Way to go! The best was the person at mile 8 saying you are almost there….that made me laugh out loud. At that point in th erace you are in enough pain to just want to yell at them too and be like..”are you kidding! I have like 4 miles to go!”
    Sounds fun. I did not do a Labor Day race…but wish I had!

    1. Yep – you get it!! I know she was trying to be encouraging but it was the opposite of that!! Thanks Jen:-)

  14. Hey Allie
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! You are a “no-reply” blogger so I couldn’t respond to your blog. If you go into your settings you should be able to edit that and add an email address!

    Best, Jodi

    1. Hi Jodi! I love your blog. I thought I fixed the “no-reply” issue!! Thanks for letting me know…:-)

  15. You were flying! That’s an awesome time- especially for heat and humidity. Congrats!! It’s crazy how humid it was this weekend and now I’m cold. 🙂

    1. I wish I felt more like I was flying instead of trudging through mud! That humidity is a killer but yes, now it’s “cold” in the mornings but I LOVE IT!! Thanks Laura!!

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