Report of Sylvie Kimche of the 70+: Washington Heights 5k

On a very cold and windy morning – what else is new? It’s either very cold and windy … or rainy for that first race of the year…. the W70+ stated the year with a bang with a (tight) first place finish only 10″ ahead of Mercury Masters.
Our fighters were Deborah Barchat, Judith Tripp and the forever-young Lynn Blackstone.
Deb led the team in 33:54. She was 1st too in her W70-74 age group (out of 37). Well done Deb!
Deb’s comments on the race:
It was murder, fighting the whole way.  Waiting almost 14 min to start (I watched the winners finish as we finally started moving!) I was so completely frozen I started way too fast, eager to be finally running.  Of course, it caught up quickly when I stopped being able to breathe!  Basically I had a horrible time but I tried to finish with a shred of dignity, making sure to keep my form at the end.  (Another benefit to working strength with Ani!)  Armando! Give this man the keys to the city!  and Tony!  Thank you!  What a night-and-day difference you made!  I was thrilled we had a team, and I know it was hard for a number of others (thank you Caryl!) which makes it so much more worthwhile.
Judith was 2nd for the team in 35:49 and was 4th in the same age group. Thanks, Judith, for showing up on a really cold morning.
Here is what Judith had to say:
I am not fond of this race, and the few times I’ve done it I have run up to the start with a couple of friends which is nice.  This time I was taking trains which is always a bit of a gamble.  I was lucky to meet Yusuke at the A train and he very kindly shepherded me all the way up to our great bag check at 174th Street!  (Thank you so much, Yusuke and David and Cheryl.)  My thanks also go to Sylvie, my captain and teammate, who brought me a blanket to wrap around myself at the start (why is this race always so cold?!!)  Today I miraculously warmed up after a while and finished the race.  (Next time Caryl will show me a view from the Cloisters!)  Thanks also go to Tony for cheering me on towards the end!
Lynn was 3rd for the team in 36:14 and was 3rd in her W75-79 age group (out of 23) behind 2 younger runners. Being at the top of her age group, that is quite a feat.
In her own words:
Special, special thanks and appreciation to TONY, who cheered me on for the last mile and a half!!! His words got me out of my comfort zone and running!!! What a way to begin the season! I look forward to training hard and improving. The race was fun; the annual walk home great. And best was reading Sylvie’s email that my running allowed me to cross the finish line with only seconds to spare to contribute to the CPTC Women’s 70 Team First Place!
Caryl Baron braved the elements and a posterior tibial tendonitis to be there in case some of her 3 other teammates would have a problem. She had been  ordered not to run so she walked the whole course in a very commendable 47:15 and was 9th in the W75-79 age group with that speedy walk. Thanks for being there Caryl!
Also I want to add that Sherrel Harmon,  one month away from turning 70, ran a fantastic 28:33, for 3rd in the W65-69 age group (out of 56). Too bad that she will still be 69 for the next team race, the  UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, just 3 days before her birthday on April 1st! … Can’t wait for her to join our W70+ team!
In her own words:
I felt like a popsicle waiting at the start of the race.My feet were like ice blocks. I managed to start feeling them just before the mile mark where my race truly began.  I worked the uphills and charged the down hills.
I don’t think I’ll ever get over how breathtaking the view is as we make the 
 turn to go back down toward the finish line.
Thank you Coach Devon and Coach Tony for your hearty very encouraging cheers! 
Congrats to all of my CPTC teammates who are all winners for just toeing the line on this frigid but beautiful Sunny day!!!
Congrats to them all!
As for me, still recovering from my ankle surgery on Feb 6, I was cheering and  taking photos. I plan to be running – probably not racing – the UAE Healthy Kidney – and be back hopefully racing for the next team race Run as One 4 miler on April 26
Huge thanks to Tony and Devon for cheering our athletes. Huge congrats to all our teams and to our coach Tony for the unbelievable team results: podiums in all 10 age categories! Bravo!
PS. Of course, since I wrote this 11 days ago and forgot to sent it,  a lot of things have changed with the coronavirus and the cancellation & closing of so many things. For instance, Sherrel will be 70 for the next race since the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K is now cancelled… let’s hope that things will be back to normal by April 26 for the Run as One 4 miler!
[The Run as One has been cancelled as well, as the Japan Run. Editor’s note]
Stay safe and healthy all!

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