Social Event Recap: Pies, Pizzas, and Pints

By Linda S. Chan

One of the things that drew me to PPTC is just how social our club is: There are social runs and events every month. Maybe the growing warmth inspired us to come out of our winter hiding places, maybe not, but March has been and continues to be jam packed with races and events. PPTC held three social events just this past week.

Photo credit: Jimmy Leung

Photo credit: Jimmy Leung

March 14: Pi(e) Day Run

March 14th may be like any other day for most, but for a certain crowd, March 14th (or 3.14) marks pi day. You may recall from your grade school days that pi or π is an irrational number with a sequence that does not settle into any repeating pattern, and that it is equivalent to the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Wikipedia has more information on pi, but for our purposes, all you need to know is that the first three digits are 3.14. March 14 called for a group run to celebrate…by making pi pie!

photo credit: Eric Levenstein

photo credit: Eric Levenstein

We met up at GAP (the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park) where our Pi(e) Day Run co-leader Eric Levenstein explained the well- planned 3.14 mile run course around and in Prospect Park. There were runners of all paces, from 7:30 min/mile to 13:00+ min/mile. Crystal Cun graciously volunteered to lead the faster runners, and Pi(e) Day Run co-leader PaFoua Hang brought up the back of the group as a sweep running with me. Thanks, PaFoua! We all were ultimately all rewarded with PIE from Abu’s Homestyle Bakery, and washed down our pies at Glorietta Baldy.

My favorite pie was perhaps the coconut custard pie. It’s one of my all time favorite types of pies and the one from Abu’s Homestyle Bakery does not disappoint. I never had a navy bean pie before. Have you? Apparently, Abu’s is known for it. The texture is smoother than pumpkin and sweet potato, and reminds me a lot of red bean paste. It was a good pie. There were so many pies and happy faces and stomachs. There was even some cake!

March 16: L&B Spumoni Gardens Pizza Run

L&B Spumoni Gardens is a Brooklyn institution. If you live in Brooklyn and haven’t been there, what are you waiting for?! How could you not have been drawn to join the run with posts like this? This event was a joint run between PPTC and BTC (Brooklyn Tri Club). Jimmy Leung and Christine DiGangi were the co-leaders of the run, with Christine serving as the coordinator with BTC. 

This run started at BPS (Bartel-Pritchard Square) for 5.2 miles of a slow decline all the way to L&B Spumoni Gardens—perfect for an easy shake-out run the day before the NYC Half.  Again, runners with a wide range of paces attended. Christian Urena and Niki Zingman hung with me at the back of the pack, and David Coleman served as our bike escort for part of the run. Thanks, Christian, Niki, and David! 

When we arrived at L&B, the faster runners were already feasting on pizza, but that meant there was also no wait for pizza, at least not for me, because Peter Chian walked to the table with a pie and offered me a square.  Thanks, Peter! 

photo credit: Christine DiGangi

photo credit: Christine DiGangi

The pizza is never a disappointment at L&B.  It lives up to the hype, and is so much better after a run as a way to refuel (just don’t ask your coach or nutritionist!) It was too cold for me to take part in the spumoni, but some of the runners were undaunted and indulged. Also, congratulations to the four runners who ran together to complete the NYRR NYC Half – Virtual 13.1M, with the Pizza Run serving as the final miles of their virtual half-marathon. Leanne Glasser organized the meet-up for this combined effort.  I don’t know if NYRR is sending you a medal, but a square of L&B beats a bag of pretzels and an apple for recovery food.

March 17: NYC Halfter Party

What do you do after running the NYC Half, especially when it’s also St. Patrick’s Day?  You go to a pub to celebrate, or commiserate with your teammates.  Mark Guralnick organized this year’s NYC Halfter Party at Kings Beer Hall.  The Halfter Party was from 2PM to 5PM, meaning even wave 5 runners had time to finish the race and make it out to the party. (I know because I’m a wave 5 runner, and I was there!)

Because of a snafu at the NYC Half, I finished the race with my best time since 2012, but didn’t get a medal (NYRR misplaced some boxes of medals).  I arrived to Kings Beer Hall to so many congratulations and words of sympathy.  PPTC member Rosie Cortijo was able to get me a medal after NYRR “found” them and brought one to me at the Halfter Party.  That made my already celebratory mood even better.  Thanks, Rosie! 

There was a modest spread of food provided by the team (thanks PPTC!), and a wide selection of beers.  Of course the best thing about these team social events is getting to see everyone you know and getting to meet new people. 

I was a bit tired from the race and had a couple of pints of cider, so I neglected to take a copious amount of photos to add to this post. Sometimes it’s more about the experience and less about the photos you can take, but I did get some selfies:

It was a week of fun events! No matter how slow or fast a runner you are — or if you’re a new member or a more seasoned member — I hope you join us at some social runs and events. 

Alison Kotch