Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

Coming into the finish (RunKarlaRun.com)

The NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K on Saturday, January 9 with 5,222 finishers was my first race of 2016. Named for founding NYRR member and longtime coach, the race is also a fundraiser for a scholarship fund in his name for scholastic runners; $1 of each registration fee benefits student runners.

It was also my longest run since the Honolulu Marathon on December 2013 (race report to come!). Since I’m just getting back to training, I didn’t have any delusions about busting out a PR or anything at this race. I just wanted to run a good hard effort and see how that felt.

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

The start (Courtesy of NYRR)

As one of NYRR’s race announcers, it was fun to run one of their races for a change. Don’t get me wrong: I love being a race announcer. It’s honestly as much fun as running. But I miss running my NYRR races from time to time. I worked the NYRR Midnight Run on New Year’s Eve and will be working the NYRR Fred Lebow Manhattan Half later in January. So I decided to strike while the iron was hot, and it was hot—41 degrees in January!

In this post I’ll walk you through the course, NYRR’s new bib and corral system, and, of course, how my race went.

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

Ready! (RunKarlaRun.com)

What I Wore

I planned my outfit as an homage to all my runDisney peeps running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon the same day. So I threw on my 2014 Walt Disney World Half Marathon shirt, along with some favorite matching blue gear (all freebies):

Sparkly Soul TCS New York City Marathon Sparkle Wide Headband

Walt Disney World Half Marathon Shirt

New Balance Print Shapely Shaper Bra

Gore Running Wear Mythos Windstopper Gloves

C3fit Compression Performance Long Tights

Puma Ignite PWRWARM Shoes

New NYRR Logistics

No one does race logistics like NYRR. I don’t say that as an employee, but as a runner who has run more than 100 races all over the world. The more races I run, the more I appreciate the efficient machine that is NYRR.

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

Runners stream into the finish (RunKarlaRun.com)

Starting in December, they implemented a new bib system, which was fun to try out for myself for the first time.

Namely, bibs are assigned on demand when you pick them up, not in advance. No more waiting in line by last name or by bib number; rather, any available staffer can help you. Each runner has a unique QR code that appears in your race confirmation email. Wait in any bib pick up line. The NYRR rep scans your QR code (or looks it up if you can’t find it), and your bib number magically gets assigned to you.

We’ve also got new corral assignments. Corrals are still assigned by pace. Once they scan your bib, they put a letter sticker on your bib. That letter indicates your corral, A through L.

But each corral now has a set cut-off pace. NYRR now converts your best performance (at their races) to a 10K pace to assign your corral. That way, everyone’s corral assignment is based on a 10K equivalency time. In the past, some people had a 5K pace, some had a half-marathon pace, and it made for some wacky corral assignments. Case in point, my best 5K pace is 7:59. My best half-marathon pace is 9:12. That’s a big difference.

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

Corrals (Courtesy of NYRR)

It all also makes pick-up at bag check quicker. Before, bags were checked roughly by corral. But that meant that runners of similar speeds were all picking up bags from the same place around the same time. Now, you check your bag by bib number, which is randomly assigned based on when you pick it up, not based on your speed or name. So the flow of runners gets more evenly distributed through the bag check area.

Case in point: my husband, Phil, and I had bib numbers just one number apart and so checked our bags together, even though we have different last names and were in different corrals. He finished 20 minutes ahead of me and picked up his bag right away. I finished 20 minutes later. There wasn’t anyone in line in front of me at my bag check. Pretty sweet.

The Course

No matter which direction you run it, Central Park is a challenging course. One of the things I like about all of NYRR’s 10Ks—which constitute slightly more than one loop of the park road—is that they mix it up: some races run clockwise, some run counter-clockwise, some races start in the southern end of the park, some start at the northern end. So even though you might be running the same loop, you’re having a very different experience at each race, with the big hills coming at different mile markers, depending on the run.

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

The course

I rather like the approach of the Joe Kleinerman 10K. It starts at the northern end of the park and runs counter clockwise.

Mile 1—Start on the East Drive just south of the 102nd Street Transverse and head north through the worst of the hills—Harlem Hill—and onto the West Drive.
Mile 2—Saying you run “down” the park’s West Drive is a misnomer in this section. You actually climb a series of three hills, known as the West Side hills.
Mile 3—Best section of the race. It’s a glorious downhill, followed by a flat, straightaway.
Mile 4—Once you see the 72nd Street Transverse, you’ve got a sneaky, small climb to the TCS New York City Marathon finish line. You loop down around the bottom of the park and onto the East Drive.
Mile 5—Now you come to the 72nd Street Transverse on the East Side and continue north to Cat Hill, the last of the baddies in Central Park.
Mile 6—What a great mile to finish on. You’ve got a flat, straightaway at Engineers’ Gate (East 90th Street) and a nice downhill section before a left onto the 102nd Street Transverse into the finish.

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K


So if you run this course “right,” your first two miles should be your slowest. Miles three and four roll mostly downhill, so you can make up time there. Mile 5 has the last big climb—Cat Hill—so you’ve got one more big challenge before Mile 6 crests near the highest point of the course, with a nice downhill into the finish.

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

Hi! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Karla’s Race

Easing back into running after a marathon is always exciting and arduous for me. I didn’t race the Honolulu Marathon, but rather paced a friend through her first tangle with 26.2, finishing two hours behind my PR. So it was far from an all-out effort for me.

But 26.2 miles is still 26.2 miles and I wanted to treat the distance with the respect it deserves in recovery. I wasn’t marathon sore after the fact like I usually am, but my legs were tired. There was no denying that.

So after the race, I took a week off from running, then eased back in with 2, 3, 4, and 5 mile runs.

Four weeks later, 6.2 miles was the farthest I’d gone so far. I really didn’t know what to expect.

All in all, I’m really happy with where I stand. I ran a solid race, going by feel more than the time on my watch. I pushed hard, but not so hard that I’d crap out when I reached Cat Hill—which has happened to me in past Central Park races. And I gave the last mile everything I had, crossing the finish line in 59:24, at a 9:34 pace.

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

Happy to be done! (RunKarlaRun.com)

No, it wasn’t as fast as my pre-marathon 25:06 5K at an 8:06 pace. But I didn’t expect it to be. My 10K paces are never in line with my 5K paces. It’s honestly my worst distance. But best of all, my paces really reflect an even-effort when considering the terrain:

Mile 1—9:34 (uphill)
Mile 2—9:36 (uphill)
Mile 3—9:07 (downhill)
Mile 4—9:28 (rolling hills)
Mile 5—9:40 (uphill)
Mile 6—9:07 (downhill)
Mile 6.2—8:48 (straightaway)

Those paces are a touch fast, since my watch clocked me going 6.3, rather than 6.2 miles, but you get the idea.

One troubling thing. My plantar fasciitis has been coming and going. I made it through the marathon without any pain or problems. But, of course, putting it through 26.2 miles didn’t help and it crept back in after that. At the Joe Kleinerman 10K, I didn’t feel my PF at all, until the 2.65-mile walk home. So I’m going to take the rest of this month to take it easy and see what I can do to really get rid of it once and for all.

Here’s the thing about my PF: it’s not really painful, just annoying. But I don’t want to let it get to the point where it’s painful. So I’ve been taking it easy, trying to see what works and what doesn’t as far as nipping it in the bud. Time off doesn’t seem to do anything. I have a night splint that seems to help, but only so far. Rolling and icing are good in the short term, but don’t seem to do anything long term. And I’ve just received some orthotics that I’m hoping will make a difference. We’ll see.

Race Report: NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K

Bye bye! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Joe Kleinerman 10K Takeaway

In the middle of this race I made the honest realization that 10K is my weakest and least-favorite distance. I can’t gut it out for 25 minutes of exquisite pain, like I can in a 5K. I also can’t settle into an easy-at-first steady pace like I can for a half or marathon. I’ve just never found my 10K groove.

To wit: my current 10K PR, 56:44 at a 9:09 pace, is the first 10K split of a half-marathon. It’s also more than a minute slower than my best 5K pace of 7:59. Obviously, I can do better.

So I also decided mid-race that I need to run more of them. I need to conquer the 10K.

I’m going to make that a goal for 2016.

So there you have it. My year of running in 2016 is officially under way. Happy New Year and Happy Running in 2016!

As mentioned above, I am a part-time employee of New York Road Runners. I run and write about their races because of love them, plain and simple. As always, all opinions are purely my own. Seriously. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.

About The Author

Karla Bruning

Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.

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Author his web sitehttp://runkarlarun.com


01 2016

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  1. 1

    Great write up about the new system. My PF too has been burning!!! I’m really trying to et that in shape. What orthotics did you get? I need to invest. And what a goal. I have my own for a 5k 😉
    Heather @ http://www.Heathersmean.com recently posted..Be PositiveMy Profile

    • 2

      Sorry to hear about your PF! I got the Walkfit Platinum Orthotics. I know two people who’ve struggled with PF who swear by them. We’ll see! Good luck with you 5K goal!

  2. 3

    very cool about the new bib and corral-I bet it will make things easier. That also explained why when I logged into myNYRR to look up my marathon time that it gave me a 10k projection time haha

    • 4

      The 10K projection for everyone makes so much sense! I don’t know if I’m imagining it, but the flow of runners felt better.

  3. 5

    Well done Karla. Your course description brings back memories of my run around the park in November – anti-clockwise too, but from the south-east corner. It was a warm day too! I recall struggling up Cat Hill, but thoroughly enjoying running in the park.
    Sorry about the niggly PF. There must be 1000 ideas on what to do about it. I had it pretty bad about 15 years ago – gradually got rid of it by avoiding uphill running at all costs (I’m convinced that’s what kicked it off in the first place).
    Ewen recently posted..Fresh running legs for a fresh yearMy Profile

    • 6

      It’s interesting you say that because I’m fairly sure uphill running is what triggered my PF. Just before it struck, I’d done a 24-hour relay where I ran uphill (including up a ski slope) more than I’ve ever done in my life. Haven’t fully shaken it since. I’m sticking to the treadmill for now on a flat incline. Let’s see if that helps. Thanks!
      Karla Bruning recently posted..Race Report: Bermuda Triangle ChallengeMy Profile

  4. 7

    Great job!!! You make me jealous that I don’t live closer to NYC to do more NYRR races. I’m excited to running the NYC Half again this year, but so many of the other races look fun too. I did the Jingle Bell Jog in 2013 also and had a great time.

  5. 9

    I’ve been struggling with PF for awhile now – not super painful, just annoying. I need to look into a night splint. I’ve been getting acupuncture which has been helping. I’ve only run Central Park once (as part of the NYC Half) but it was pretty amazing – and definitely hilly!! Great job!
    Emily recently posted..Snow!!My Profile

    • 10

      I’ve been finding the orthotics I bought really helpful for PF too. Hope you’re able to nip yours in the bud!

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