Today myself a bunch of other runners took part in the 2016 annual Portugal day 5k. This race has special meaning to me, its in my old neighborhood of the Ironbound, and it was the first organized race I did back in my younger days ( it used to be a 2-mile and 10k back then),
Being held in mid-June this race is either very hot and muggy or like today very sunny and surprisingly windy.. Taking place during the Portugal day festival the streets still have the remnants from last nights party , although much reduced from years past (now Portugal day celebrations in the Ironbound only take place a few blocks East of Penn Station, whereas in the past it used to be all along Ferry street to the five corners.), other than that the atmosphere is much as I remember it. The race attracts a lot of good local talent, and sub-16 minute winning times are common.
We lined up right across the street behind Penn Station Rail Road station. Facing east we waited and the starter’s horn and then went off. Then it was time to run down Ferry St. which has been revitalized quite a bit in recent years, with new sidewalks, and many new storefronts and buildings. My legs felt pretty heavy today so I was hear more just for a fun run than anything else. I ran with Alicia for about a mile before she slowly pulled in front. Then near 1.5 mile some guy on a skateboard came up to besides our group of runners, I went next to him, and decided to have him pace me a little, he recorded it on his phone. That little sprint did little to help me, and at the stadium turn around, my pace slowed even more..
Finally it was time to make the right hand turn at the five corners and head to the finish. The race seemed to have fewer folks this year and the gaps between runners were greater. As I passed my parents street my mom came out to cheer, a brief stop and hug, before I headed up to the finish line.. Almost caught a few of my rivals, but legs were just too heavy today. Time was pretty pathetic, but had fun running through the old neighborhood.
Fun race, very affordable and a great activity to do especially if your thinking of coming down to Newark for the festival.