Friday, January 06, 2012

Running: NYRR New Year's Eve Midnight Run

Happy New Year! I hope this new year is off to a great start for everyone. I want to recap the run I did on New Year's Eve...

I wrote on the blog about how I would be finishing out 2011/starting out 2012 with a fun run in Central Park. The run actually started at midnight on New Year's Eve, so I spent the day doing what I would normally do on a Saturday - weights class at the Y, some shopping & cleaning and a bike ride. But I tried to take it easy so I'd have energy for the run. After all, I'm normally in bed by midnight and I've never run that late before.

So what to do to unwind before hand? Oh, I know - why don't I meet up with William (aka #SourBalls) in Manhattan for a post Happy Birthday/pre Happy New Year's hello? Around 9pm I got into my running clothes -

can't forget my Happy New Year light up headband!

I hopped on the B62 bus...

on the B62 catch the J Train in Williamsburg (side note: when you take this train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, you get to see one of the most magnificent views of Manhattan on both sides of the car as you go over the Williamsburg Bridge - worth a ride when you are in NYC, especially at sunset).

One stop later, I was at Essex and walking to East 4th St to meet William. On my way, I realized I'd be passing by Cake Shop, where DJ/Comedian/all around rad chick and Weight Watchers superstar, Rachel (aka @Popjew) was working. I haven't seen her much lately so I wanted to stop in and say hello. Look at her now - she's now down over 50 pounds and looks incredible!

Rachel looks amazing!
I'm so happy for you Rachel, I love seeing that smile on your face!
From there I walked to the bar where William was hanging out with his friends & cousins. He'd been there for hours and was already drunk...

William being William (note: his hands were not actually on me - they were inches from me. this is his favorite shot, naturally)
While there I saw the Weight Watchers commercial on TV and stopped everything to tell William we had to watch - because Suzi Storm was in it!

Weight Watchers commercial
J Hud looks amazing! I forgot what she used to look like.
It turned out to be the J-Hud only commercial. No Suzi Storm :(

So William and I went back to drinking our beer...

I love drunk William
holy drunk eyes, batman!
I got a NYE badge on Untapped. William gave me the finger.
I checked in on Untappd and got a NYE badge. I don't know why William thought this was an appropriate response, but he told me to photograph it, so there you go.
Self portrait with noise maker and beer
lovely ladies (William's cousin & friends)
William's beautiful cousin and friends, all with Happy New Year tiaras.
I told William and his friends & family that I had to leave so I'd make it to Central Park in time for my run. But first, a little stretching while I finish my beer...

Stretching, with a beer, before the run
drinking and stretching
I took the 6 Train up to 68th Street and made my way west to Central Park. Immediately I noticed this run was not like other NYRR events I've attended - Central Park was jam packed! I never saw so many people at one of the New York Road Runners events! I could barely get through the crowd to find baggage. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time before the start of the race (it was about a quarter to midnight) so I didn't even get the enjoy the pre-event festivities or get many pictures. I just grabbed a couple -
There were costumes everywhere you looked
so many costumes on this run, I loved it!
I have no idea what these costumes are. (I've been informed they are "Angry Birds" - thanks!)

6 tutu'ed ladies!
I was a little jealous - I tried earlier in the day to buy a pink tutu but arrived at Capezio just as they closed (early close for New Year's Eve)
Since this was a fun run, we had bibs but no timing chips. In fact, there weren't even corrals! We all just lined up on a first come first served basis. Did I mention it was super crowded?!

I can't believe how crowded this run was!
This is the crowd ahead of me waiting to run. You can't even see the starting line from here!
I wasn't doing much while lined up - just looking at the runners around me - when I heard someone yell "3... 2... 1... HAPPY NEW YEAR!" I just kind of looked around but from where I was still only saw the same runners I was waiting with, and had no one to talk to or wish a Happy New Year. I didn't even hear Auld Lang Syne, which was weird to not hear. It was strangely anti-climactic. But then the fireworks started. Yay!!!

(Note: Because it was so dark, many of the photos you are about to see below are blurry.)

beautiful fireworks!

Here's a little video of the fireworks:

and another:

I had turned on the lights on my headband and tried to capture some of the fireworks behind me. You get the idea...

trying to get the fireworks behind me

We were treated to an impressive array of professional fireworks for at  least ten minutes. To be honest, I didn't expect it to be as grand as it  was.

I snapped this photo of runners/celebrators as they posed for someone else -

Runners & Revelers
So many spectators watched and cheered us on!

U Look Awe-some
Great signs, guys! Thank you!!
so many spectators in Central Park to cheer us on!
I honestly don't ever think I've seen so many spectators at a run in Central Park - this is just a handful I captured
The race had begun while the fireworks were going, but I was so far back in line I hadn't even moved yet. Finally, around 12:15, I crossed the starting line. Almost immediately, I saw two runners ahead of me, with a dog. I noticed the back of their shirts said Vegan. Naturally, I was very happy to see this and had to photograph them -

Go Vegan in 2012
the woman was running with a dog on her left but it's obscured by her body. The man's shirt says Go Vegan in 2012.
After I snapped the photo and passed them, the man called out to me by name. It turned out to be Anthony, who works at my favorite Vegan ice cream shop in New York City, Lula's Sweet Apothecary on East 6th St! (mmmmmm Lula's...I love you so!)

My curl looks great here!
I wish I had been able to get a clear shot of this group. The back of their t-shirts spelled "2012!"
furries run!
There was a costume contest before the run so there were plenty of people running in unconventional outfits
skyline (blurry)
Another shot I wish was more clear - the NYC skyline from within Central Park. Simply gorgeous!
Thanks for cheering us on, guy!
I love that this guy was just standing there, facing the runners and clapping for us. I high-fived him as I passed.
After the halfway mark, I saw something very exciting, something that everyone who had run this race previously had told me about... the CHAMPAGNE station! OMG how great is this?!

hell yeah a champagne station!
NYRR should have a champagne table at every event!
mmmm champagne
I stopped for a moment to drink my champagne toast for the New Year!
Finish line
Finish Line
As runs go, this one wasn't so great for me - I had a few issues actually. For one thing, I had to go to the bathroom for half of it (in retrospect I should have stopped and used one of the facilities along the route) but what was far worse were the brand new sneakers I was wearing for the first time. They actually hurt my feet, which is something I've never experienced with new shoes. I ended up returning them and have a new pair I'm going to try out today (Thank you, Jack Rabbit for the amazing customer service!)

After finally going to the bathroom, I made my way to the baggage area and saw that familiar "Black Girls Run!" logo on a few ladies T-shirts. I know one member of that group, Florence, so I asked the other members for her, but she was not there. However, her friends were more than nice to me - telling me they knew who I was and love my blog. And they even posed for a photo with me! Thank you ladies and happy new year!

Black Girls Run!
Can I be an honorary black girl? :)
Teletubbies Run!
Teletubbie action!
Despite the time it took me to complete this event (about 50 minutes), I had a great time. We got really lucky with the weather (it was about 48 degrees/no precip), I loved the fireworks, enjoyed the costumes and it was great being surrounded by so many people that were so full of happiness and good cheer. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I choose to end my year and begin this one with that run. I'd definitely recommend it. And if I get the opportunity to do it again, I'll make sure to get there a little earlier to enjoy the costumes and everything else.

But now I'm on my way out to try my other new running shoes. Let's see how these treat my feet...

Happy New Year, everyone!


  1. Hi Sheryl, love your blog. As a fellow WW and just getting into the exercise thing. Just wanted to let you know that the costumes in the picture you took are from the video game Angry Birds.


  2. Oh thank you. I know of that game but never saw it.

  3. looks like a GREAT way to bring in the new year! I wold love to do something like this! Sorry to hear about the issues during the run, but all in all it's just a great representation of who you are now - a fit chick who RUNS on NYE! Who would have thought it???

    Happy 2012!!!

  4. So cool!! Best run event EVER!!

  5. You look amazing! I love your rockabilly pin up style. Congrats on the run!


  6. What an awesome way to start the New Year. I too where I was in New Zealand did not hear Auld Lang Syne, which too thought was weird. It must be the first New Year I've had in a long time and it wasn't sung - quite strange.

    All the best for 2012 - especially the New York Marathon, I have my registration in the non-gauranteed international entry but it seems like only a 12% chance of getting a spot. But you never know, 2012 might be my lucky year :)

  7. Sheryl, this looks a lot like the Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco (3rd Sunday in May) that we do every year!

  8. Where did you get that cute hot pink jacket? That looked like a fun run, it's always good to read your posts!

  9. This makes me want to spend a NYE in NYC -- looks like so much fun! Happy 2012 :)

  10. That pink jacket - believe it or not - is from Victoria's Secret. It was 70 but WORTH IT! omg, it's lightweight, has the thumb holes, several zip up pockets, some reflective stripes and even inside pockets. It's really a perfect running jacket and I highly recommend it.

  11. sounds like it was a blast! sooooo jealous i was working! lmao

  12. What a fun time. Good for you for running on New Year's. And those drinks are well-deserved.

    Girlie Blog

  13. Drinking WHILE you run, not after?! WOW - must convince people to have one of these runs in Edmonton! Its great to see so much support for a "fun run".

    Glad you had a memorable NYE!

  14. Love your wonderful running outfit very pink! What a wonderful way to start the year I hope this year brings you everything you wish for.

    Ps I'm so glad your posting again I missed hearing your motivational posts over the holiday period.


  15. Same headbands!

    That looks like a fun run. I have "vegan" shortie shorts I got from Robert Cheeke, if you wanted something similar. I run in them and it makes me much LESS likely to give up because I don't want to embarrass vegans. Sadly, this is the kind of inspiration I still need.

  16. Happy New Year! What a great way to spend NYE!
    I laughed when I saw you drinking champers at a stop.
    I was home in bed with the flu in summer. How awful. Haha

    Hope you have a cool 2012.

  17. Holy Crap you are gorgeous, amazing and inspirational!!! I am back on the blog / gym track and I read through a bunch of your stuff and I'm super excited to follow you !

    The best in 2012

    The Skinny

  18. Sheryl, what an extra great post. Thanks!

  19. Ending one year and starting the next with a race is perfect! I did one run on New Year's Eve and another on New Year's Day.

    Oh, and after my run on Sunday morning (yesterday), I had brunch at a bar in Minneapolis that had Brooklyn Brewery selections! I thought of you as I enjoyed my Brooklyn Brewery Brown & Blast!

    Happy New Year, Sheryl!