Group Run Recap: Cherry Blossom Run

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Lillian Park, the group run’s organizer

Lillian Park, the group run’s organizer

Text and photos by Marta Cabral

Sometimes hosts dress for the occasion. But this time, as our race host put it, she created the occasion for her perfect cherry blossom outfit - and PPTC’s Cherry Blossom Run was a great one! Lillian Park organized a group run from Prospect Park all the way to Roosevelt Island, with a loop along the beautiful pink blossoms.

We lucked out with the weather and it was a beautiful day as we met at GAP. As usual, we went around stating our names and paces, and Lillian - our stylish host - explained the route. Since it was a completely new route to me, all I really heard was a whole bunch of left and rights, get to a bridge, another bridge, and then down a creepy set of stairs where we will be met (attacked? greeted?) by zombies. Got it.

It was a large enough group, with three solid pace groups around 8:30, 9:30, and 11:30 minute miles. Luckily there were at least a couple of longtime PPTC members in each pace group, so there were no worries on getting lost. (No one wants to face zombies alone!)

As I try my best to beat my own 10-minute mile pace (I want to do well for the team in the upcoming Brooklyn Half!) I often feel behind the group. But Lillian - attentive and generous host she is - always made sure I knew where to go, signaling back for me on every turn.

I finally made it to the creepy staircase (well, not so creepy in the beautiful sunlight), and braced myself for strange encounters. Instead, Lillian was there to welcome me and send me on my way to an island loop. The blossoms were indeed beautiful (just like the ones on Lillian’s tank top!) and it was such a pleasant route.

Yeah, I could have taken the F train straight home in the end. But I decided to yet again follow Lillian’s perfect route and take the tram to the city for another moment of beautiful views. As with everything else this morning: So worth it!

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Alison Kotch