Third Annual Running to Rachmaninoff Run
The Third Annual Running to Rachmaninoff Run 8th of September 2012
Two years ago I ran from Ps1 in Queens New York to Rachmaninoff’s grave in Walhalla upstate New York. I carried a bouquet of Chamomile flowers with me. Last years I decided to make the 33 mile ran an annual tradition inviting people to ran along with me. This year would be the third edition.
In tradition with the last two year I decided to change the starting location again. This year I choose the Bushwick location of Luhring Augustine gallery, where I had the exhibition opening the same afternoon. Because I had to be back in the gallery showered and fresh at five, we decided to start the run at nine am. The change of location ment that the run was one mile shorter than last year. It would be 32 mile and from the internet I understood the running over the triborough bridge might be a bit of a challenge.
The first run in 2010 I ran alone. Last year we started with about nine people and finished with two, so my goal for this years third run was to finish with three people. My brother came with me to New York to run. He’s more a biker, although he once run a marathon in 2010. He’s got two little kids, a one year old and a three year old, so needless to say he didn’t have much time to train. I was curious how he was going to hold up.
Reid Singer also signed up. He was the only finisher besides me last year (six days after he ran the New York marathon). I was happy to see his name on the last. Also Eleanna Anagnos signed up again. She had to stop early on in the race last year and was hoping to do better this year.
Having done the Chopin heart and body triathlon this year (a 1000 mile triathlon) I felt confident that I wouldn’t have a hard time with it. It was going to be my tenth marathon in 2012.
It’s the tradition that we run with Chamomile flowers to Rachmaninoff’s grave. Rachmaninoff suffered a nervous breakdown when he was nineteen and besides being the national flower of Russia, Chamomile also eases the nerves a bit.
He moved from Russia to Los Angeles in 1917. He died in 1942 and could not be buried in the family grave in Switzerland because of WWII. He ended up with a distance relative in Upstate New York.
The weather was good for the run. It was cloudy, but after a very hot and humid week, the prospect of rain, wasn’t too bad. We started running and paced our selves to Eleanna. She wasn’t up for the whole distance but wanted to run six miles.
Bushwick turned out to be a bit more of a barren setting than Manhattan and central park, which marked the first few miles of our run last year.
Soon it started raining, it wasn’t too bad cause it was warm enough, but I wasn’t too sure how to keep my 24 page home printed maps dry. I hid them under my shirt but soon it started to rain like crazy. I stopped in a shop to get a plastic back, which was a better shelter from the rain.
Eleanna started to have calf problems and had to pull out after about five miles. Reid and me started to push the pace a bit and then it started raining like hell. After a few minutes every piece of clothing we had on, including; shoes, socks, underwear got totally drenched. I got a bit nervous about running 32 miles in totally wet socks. Blisters will probably be inevitable.
We came at the triborough bridge and couldn’t find the pedestrian entrance. At this time it was raining so much that the visibility was very limited and the outlines of the bridge were looking rather apocalyptic. You couldn’t see where the bridge ended. We finally found the entrance and started running over the bridge. The atmosphere with the rain and strong winds was quite strange. A bus came by and we got totally splashed, but it didn’t really matter cause, we were soaked already anyways. When we looked back to Queens to sky had turned pitch black. I was hoping we didn’t have to run through a thunderstorm. We ran off the bridge at Randell’s Island to get the bridge to the Bronx, which turned out to be rather tricky to find.
When we got to the Bronx everything got a little better. It stopped raining and the sun came out, which made it rather warm. Ten miles into the run my brother started to have some problems with the pace that me and Reid set and we slowed down a bit. He started to look a little bit red and I was nervous he wasn’t going to make it.
We ran trough the Bronx and soon got to the remote and rather pretty looking suburbs of New York. At this time Reid started to slow down. He didn’t train more then nine miles so far this year and started to suffer from the distance.
We slowed our pace to very relaxed jogging and ran trough the last rather ugly ten miles of the run. It’s basically a shopping area made for cars and sometimes there are no walking paths and we have to run on the roads.
We got to prettier areas close to the cemetery, which is also a bit hilly. At that point in the run, your legs get so stiff, that the last thing you want is running up hill. We got to the cemetery and the last surprise of the run is always that Rachmaninoff is on top of a hill.
The three of us made it. I gave Reid and Erwin their medals and we stretched a bit before racing back home, to have a quick shower before the opening. In the car a got a message from the gallery asking if we had survided the queens tornado. Apparently we had found the entrance to the triborough bridge and left Queens just in time.
We arrived there a bit late but happy. A lot of people were already there, having no clue of what we have been up to earlier today. They only noticed that we were walking a bit funny.