Being from Long Island, besides the ING New York City Marathon, there is no bigger local race than The Great Cow Harbor 10K.
This race has grown in popularity since its inception in 1977 and now draws over 5,500 runners (including elites from all over the country).
So what makes this race so special?
First and foremost is the course. It is simply spectacular. Runners get a scenic 6.2 mile tour of the quaint little village of Northport, NY. The course is hilly and challenging, but the rich greenery and water views are worth the effort.
Second, the spectators are great. Northport is a small town, but the people come out in droves. They are loud, energetic, and supportive. They also bring plenty of cow bells! Get it? “Cow” Harbor? I especially liked the drunk guy in a banana suit (it was 9AM) that tried to pass me a beer at Mile Five!
The sheer number of runners is another great aspect of Cow Harbor. Make no mistake, this is a “small town” race, but the field size gives it a “big city” marathon feel. A staggered / wave start of 5,500+ runners adds to the excitement.
Lastly, the presence of elite runners adds to the mystique of the race. Big names come from all around the country to race this prestigious course. Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor are a few names that come to mind.
In fact, I was lucky enough to meet Deena Kastor afterwards. She was extremely friendly and even gave me and my wife a quick Latin lesson! “ASICS”, is an acronym of the Latin phrase “anima sana in corpore sano”, which translates to “Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body”. Thanks Deena!
Weather conditions on race day were absolutely perfect (mid 50′s with slight overcast) which led to some very fast times. In fact, course records were set for both the men and women. Mohamed Trafeh won with a 28:17.4 (4:34 pace), breaking the old course record of 28:22 set by Ryan Hall in 2006. Janet Cherobon-Bawcom set a women’s course record with a 32:26.4 (5:14 pace).
I even managed to PR (personal record) on this challenging course with a 46:28.3 (7:29 pace)! You can check out my Garmin Data if you are interested.
This was my first time running this awesome race, and I can easily see it becoming an annual tradition! Enjoy the pictures below!