By: Leo Reid
At the end of Bridge the Gap DC (#BTGDC), it was evident that there was a huge social and athletic gap that was created. After the 17 French-Canadians (@werunmlt) left, and I finally packed all the airbeds and tent down, it was clear I needed to find a race that could replicate such a great weekend. So, Brooklyn would be the part deux.
So, let the weekend begin: I packed my bags and headed to the airport for the short 45-minute flight to NYC. Private jet, baby!!
Once I landed, I Uber Blacked from the airport to bib pick-up, then settled in with the crew for the lituation.
The energy was pure silk, and the running community that I have come to love was very present. Being in a very diverse group of runners who also like to have fun is only part of what a run weekend is all about. Bridge Runners (@bridgerunners) and Harlem Run (@Harlemrun) were representing their city and reminding us of a race weekend feeling called crew love.
It was an early night in–stretched (yoga), got my race day clothes together, spent five minutes arranging my bib and other items, then spent 20 minutes taking a picture and getting a clever caption for my IG post.
If you have never run a race before, you may not understand the need to get the proper arrangement and picture for your social media. It is not only a reminder to your friends on social media that you are a boss at sorta training for something, but it also reminds you how artistic you are in finding the right filter and writing clever captions.
Bed time! If you want to ever get close to breaking your personal best/record, getting enough water and rest is important.
The race day morning routine is to get up early and hydrate to fuel muscles throughout the race or desperately try to soothe the alcohol induced vertigo of a hangover.
I have to get to the race on time to take a pre-race photo. This picture is important to prime my social media friends for their timelines being flooded with my accomplishment until the next #TBT where I reflect with an inspirational quote. #Crewlove #Believeinself #Allwedoisrun!
I get in my run wave but convince myself that since I am still tasting the Long Island from the night before, running with the squad is better than chasing Aaron (@sartorialgazelle). Racing him is just impossible!
I started the race and enjoyed the low 60s weather and the great run atmosphere.
Overcommitted in the first few miles, I had to stop and “go” because the drinks from the night before were running through my kidneys faster than my legs were, and struggled through the last few miles before mile 11.
Mile 11! Cheer squad!!! Picked pace up and pretended I was going at a good pace. Practiced few surprised but photogenic poses before reaching cheer squad because they go by quickly and you never see who is taking your picture!
Running slowly, I took in all the happiness and littness of cheer squad.
Cheer squad was just the energy I needed. I could see the black flag from a distance and could hear the familiar voices of DRC cheering. Cheer squad was lit!
@wrucrew, @bridgerunners and @districtrunningcollective signature confetti made my nausea and mild cramping disappear. The sheer joy of cheer squad and their positivity at mile 11 was appreciated by my, and other, fatigued legs counting down the next 2.1 miles. If you have never experienced cheer squad, you are missing out, and you need to experience the true community it teaches. Cheer squad people: Thank you! Y’all were live, baby!!
I got back to a slower pace my breathing and tiredness could tolerate while thinking, Who do I need to hound to get those cheer squad pictures? Did I even smile in them, or was I a blur? The anxiety pushed me to finish faster to see them.
13.1 miles!! I ran determinedly to get this medal but, most importantly, for brunch and to continue the fun weekend in NYC. Brunch was great and the experiences of communing with DRC and other run clubs made the clanking of medals and the extra time it took for my meal more bearable. Bonds were formed and strengthened during that weekend, and I appreciate all the other crews. #Crewlove
I flew back to DC just in time to run my 10k. It was a great run with the squad again, and this time I was hydrated and doing better.
Even though all these things did not happen to me, nor was I ever on a jet plane (#bowwowchallenge), I suffered from severe FOMO. The fear of missing out made me refresh my social media feed whenever possible. I felt like I missed a weekend my friends kept posting about using clever captions for all their run pictures. Yet, I felt like I was a part of the squad but not in any of the pictures from brunch, cheer squad or any of the turn ups. The one thing I felt, though, was the great community of friends and strangers who came out to support runners on both days. It gave first-timers with DRC joy finishing their race and brought more people closer as a crew. It’s crew love, baby! And the crew was definitely live, baby!
Congratulations to all who ran and to all who cheered. It is another medal to the game but an experience worth every moment that no other race can recreate. So, learn from your partying, your underpreparing, your overexerting in the first few miles and get your Cheer Squad mile 11 picture face ready because all these things pass quickly! Brunch awaits!