I’ve been wanting to run the New York Road Runner’s (NYRR) Oakley Race for some time now. I signed up for it for three years in a row and this was the first year I was actually able to attend. I had heard such amazing things about the race, and I loved the fact that it was a women only race! Prior to the race, two clothing companies – Marika and Zobha reached out to me to see if I would be interested in wearing their apparel at the Oakley Race. I flipped through the catalog and was intrigued. I loved so many of their clothing but what would be the suitable outfit for Oakley?
I found a teal green tank that was super thin. Perfect! I knew it would be a hot day and since I sweat a lot, I thought it would be perfect. I chose the Marika Tek – Revved Up Colorblock Singlet coupled with the Marika – Basic Flat Waistband Bermuda shorts.
The Marika Basic Flat Wastband Bermuda Shorts comes in black. They were extremely comfortable and are 89% Cotton and 11% Spandex. They also have the CoolMax gusset. I loved the way they fit on me and that they weren’t tight on my body.
The tank was amazing too. The Marika Trek Revved Up Colorblock singlet was made of a very light, thin material that was sheer and perfect for hot, humid weather.
I also wore my New Balance Fresh Foam shoes in size 8. I wanted to wear a good sturdy shoe for this race because I knew most of it was uphill and I needed the stability, which by the way, I got from this shoe. (I was happy I wore it.)
Further, I wore my new Iron Fit Endurance cap. Love this cap! The color is perfect and it’s so comfortable on my head!
My teammate, Marti D and I left for Manhattan at 6 am from Long Beach, NY. We got in rather quickly, was lucky to find parking right by the start of the race, and met up with some of our teammates from All Women’s Tri Team. Many of the women were at the Oakley celebrating Black Girls Run (BGR), a group formed nearly four years ago in Manhattan (started in Atlanta) and started with the Oakley Race. (In 2009, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks-Rocha created Black Girls RUN! in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority.)
The start of the race was uneventful. We ran through the streets of Manhattan. Marti and I decided to do the Run 5/walk 1 Galloway Method. It was too hot and humid to run straight and we wanted to preserve some energy. The first mile worked out great. The second mile was even better.
By the time we got to the third mile, we were dragging. (I should say I was dragging. Marti has more energy than a 15 year old kid!)
At every water stop, I poured water on my head but it didn’t help much. At one of the water stops, I bumped into my friend Lauren Blackwell. I worked with Lauren at Lockheed Martin and I knew she was going to be there because she posted something on Facebook. But with 8,000 women there, I never thought I would see her. That was so fun!
Along the run, we also saw, AWTT teammates, Shirley Pickney, Lisa Highlander and Tinnette Span.
There were tons of spectators and the park was beautiful but very, very hilly. Harlem Hill was impossible to run up without walking a little!
When we saw signs for the last 800M, I was so excited. I wanted it to be over. I was feeling very swollen and sluggish. I told Marti to sprint. I did the best I could. We finished the race a little longer than I had anticipated but I was glad to complete it. We each received a flower, a really nice medal and a bagel (talk about New Yawk!)
Tinnette and I sat down on a park bench while Marti went to find some of our teammates. I noticed that my whole body was covered in a heat rash. I was dizzy and feeling very sluggish. When Marti returned empty handed, we went to the Oakley booth. As we were walking, I started to cramp up bad. The backs of my legs were killing me and my feet started to cramp up.
I walked over to the Hospital of Special Surgery booth. To my surprise, my knee doctor, Dr. Sabrina Strickland, was there. I gave her a hug. (BTW, she totally fixed up my meniscus issues and for that, I’m grateful.)
At the booth, I rolled on a roller and stretched my hamstring. I felt a mess.
After the race, my clothes were completely stuck to my body like a second skin. I loved the way they looked and got lots of compliments but I was glad to take them off and happy that I had a change of clothes in the car!
Marti and I left our friends and walked back to the car. As we drove out of Manhattan and back to Long Island, Marti said, “Mission accomplished – We didn’t come in last… We didn’t die…. So, we won!”
I looked at her and although a little disappointed with my race results, I smiled because I knew she was right.