This is a nice low-key, hometown race put on by the terrific people of the Greater Long Island Running Club. I have been a bit of a fixture at the race since 2008, when I won the event for the first time.
I feel like each year there are so many events that I would like to try and experiences that I would like to have but the good people of Long Island always ask for me to come back and give it another go and I can't let them down so each year, I mark the first weekend in March on my calendar and each time I get to enjoy their cheers as I race around the park battling wind, weather and the competition.
I have been fortunate and have since won the race four times: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, I ended up 2nd in 2012 to a very solid athlete and I hope we get to race each other again in 2013.
During those years, I established the current course record of 2:55:05 and have been hoping to break that record since but each year I am just a little short.
I am also hoping if I can post a nice time and finish well, I might be considered for the USATF 50K World Team for Team USA of which I was a member in 2009, 2010.
All that said, 2012 was a tough year for me and my family, we have some issues with one of our children and also I suffered a number of injuries (stress fractures, hernias, plantar factious, bike crash) that left me sidelined from running. It was a tough time but also a time when I made some changes and did a lot of cross training that I think will allow me to keep running for years.
I am still testing the running legs, lungs and heart as I have just be able to start training again in early 2013 and I am unsure just how the 2013 USATF 50K Championships will go but I am going to give it my all and see just how it shakes out.
I am so thankful for every run I do and I will be sure to let you know how it goes.