Today a bunch of friends of mine plus about 600 other participants took part in the 25th edition of the Bloomfield Sunset Classic 5 miler.
What makes this race unique is that its held in the early evening on a weeknight typically in the humid and hot weather of a NJ summer. Its a very popular local race and its treat because it finishes at Foley Field a running track and football field. Foley field has a brand new track literally a year or so old..and what runner doesn’t love finishing a foot race on a track with cheering fans! its perfect.
The usual local runners where there. Christine , Duncan and myself would once again do battle. One of the hopefuls for the overall race win was our friend Zeeshan, but a running injury earlier last month left him less than in top shape, he finished 5th overall.
Right on time at 7:30p the race started on Broad st. Running up toward Montclair. The first mile was packed as the field remained pretty close through the first mile. I passed Christine about at the 0.5 mile point , from there I just kept focused. The overcast sky provided some relief from the sun , but it was still pretty humid.
Approaching mile one the left hand turn onto Sunset and its quarter mile climb left everyone gasping. For some strange reason this race had more grunts and groans from the competitors… It was strange… atop Sunset we again turned left as the road flattened a little. I turned to look back to see if I could catch a glimpse of Duncan or Christine but they were not to be found.
Then it was running through then quiet streets of Glen Ridge devoid of cars. crowd support was great, with all sorts of neighborhood folks offering encouragement, cooling us down with water and great volunteers at the numerous water stations. Approaching the end of the street another left turn took us on a steep .10 mi. descent onto Essex street. At this point I was still pushing hard and felt was holding my own as few to no runners were passing me. A few more peeks back and still not seeing the gang.
Right past Mile three there is another slight dip and rise, once it flattens out its all downhill to the finish. The last steep drop in a right hand onto Glenn Ridge ave. Before the last 1.25 miles to the finish gave me an opportunity to pass a few more runners on the downhill. Running back through Bloomfield and one more left turn before Foley Field track comes into view.
We enter the track on the far side and then have about 300yds on the track towards the finish. Now is the time to really push it . my pace held steady until the final 100yds when I pushed a little more to pass a few more runners at the line, always satisfying to finish with a little kick. Overall a decent run, I met my goal of doing a sub-40.
Within a few minutes Christine finished strong pulling away from any known foes, and finishing a bit faster than last year in 41. Rounding out our group Duncan finished a few minutes behind Christine.
Overall it was a fun race, and after some hot dogs and ice cream , the thunderstorms started sending everyone scurrying for their cars. Lots a fun and a great time.