Home races Washington Heights Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K Race Recap

Washington Heights Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K Race Recap

by Nellie

Washington Heights Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K


Even though the race was in Washington Heights (in between Harlem and the Bronx) I only had to wake up at about 6am for the 9am start. I was out of the house pretty quickly but unfortunately Sunday commuting bit me in the tail again and the commute ended up taking longer than expected. Grr!


I had layered up pretty well I think. I had a bottom layer of UNIQLO gear, another cold gear Under Armour Top and my Gaiam jacket.  On the bottom I had leg warmers my UNIQLO and another sweatpants by Under Armour… I felt like a stuffed turkey (and looked a lot like one too!). But I was warm!


After the very long train ride I followed the intensely large crowd down to the New Balance Track and Field Center. It was absolute pandemonium. I wish I had made the decision to pick up my bib days before because all the crazy wasn’t even worth it!


I got my bib, and because I didn’t want to check a bag, I put the shirt on OVER everything I had on. Oh boy. At that time I met up with the Black Girls Run! sisters and chatted (and laughed a lot) until it was time to go.

The Hills were so real! It was pretty much non stop throughout the entire 5k! I’m not sure if it was the hills or the 20 degree weather but I had a hard time catching my breath whole run which has never been an issue before. I found myself coughing a lot and stopping to regain my breathing pattern. It was weird!


There were 3-4 bands along the course playing everything from salsa with live drums to the blues with harmonicas. It was pretty awesome. Also, with 5000 people on the route the streets were pretty congested but it didn’t bother me too much.

I finished strong, no PR but I felt good. This completes the first out of 9 NYRR races for guaranteed entry into the 2016 NYC Marathon.

After every race I will list 3 things that I wish I knew! Here are my 3 takeaways from the race:

1) Add hand warmers: everything was warm except my fingers.  There were no gloves that could have kept these digits warm, I needed backup!
2) Pickup bib before hand: I wish I had done this to avoid the crazy of thousands of people who all had the same idea!
3) Bring a change of clothes: Wet run clothes made for a very long cold ride home. Especially when you didn’t bring a coat! I know better for next time!

Have you used hand warmers during races? Any fun plans for the weekend?

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Janine Huldie March 6, 2015 - 5:22 am

Great lessons you learned and sounded like a great experience 🙂

Allie March 6, 2015 - 11:50 am

Oh Nellie! I wish I could have told you some of those things before the race, but this is how you learn, plus it toughens you up 🙂 For your hands, try mittens instead of gloves or those convertible glove/mittens by TrailHeads. The mittens keep all your digits together and leave your hands nice and toasty. Putting lotion or Aquafor on your hands pre-race also helps keep them warm.
Nice job finishing this one. Only 8 more to go!!! :-)))

Kim March 6, 2015 - 12:34 pm

Any time it’s cold outside I have hand warmers in my gloves/mittens – my fingers stay cold in normal weather and cold weather does them in!!

Lashawn March 6, 2015 - 12:54 pm

I have no Advice because I just can’t run in the cold! Lol. I’m training now for a 10 k, but I think I’m going to add a few 5ks along the way. I had said never again for a 1/2 but……

Kita March 7, 2015 - 12:05 am

No to the cold. I hate when my clothes get wet and it’s cold not a good look. You make running in the cold look easy though.

Marie March 7, 2015 - 2:32 pm

You are some kind of trooper! I can’t stand when my fingers are freezing. I used to have to wear hand warmers when I was snowboarding, so you know the difference!

Tamara March 8, 2015 - 6:05 pm

I don’t run at all in the cold (or at all) but I went snow hiking today and my pants and socks got so soaked! Had I not gone home to change, brrr…. warm, dry clothes are important!

Leslie March 10, 2015 - 6:15 pm

Congrats on finishing the first in the series! Running in the cold can be really hard on your lungs. At least you were able to finish. Now only 8 more to go! You can definitely do it.

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Magan April 9, 2015 - 1:33 pm

congrats on 1 of your 9 down. I have always wanted to run this one- it looks like such fun. I ran the Manhattan/Fred LeBow Half Marathon two Januarys in a row, and let me tell you those hand warmers are life-savers! Can’t survive the cold runs without them. Good luck on your next 8!

Nellie April 9, 2015 - 2:04 pm

Thanks Magan! I considered running the Fred Lebow Half and I just couldn’t do it, so you are my hero! I need to have a stack of hand warmers for when it gets cold again!

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