Winthrop Jacobs is thinking about competing in back-to-back road races next week. First, the race on Long Beach Boardwalk and then on the following day or Sunday, April 22 the race in Alley Pond Park in Queens Village. At the same time, the two races could be a little too much for him.
Jacobs is coming off a 34:34.7 for 29th place in a field of 389 finishers in the Run Nassau Cedar Creek Park five-mile race during the fourth leg of the five-series event in Wantagh.
The 56-year-old Jacobs originally hails from Jamaica, West Indies, where the main sports are soccer and cricket. Jacobs at one time was involved in these two activities. In soccer, he played in the defence position.
Jacobs said that he came to Jamaica, New York at a age 13 and resided in New York most his life.
Of course, at that time cricket was not a sport here in New York; now it has grown immensely in the public schools and in outside leagues. At that time, he did not play any sports in high school, because Jamaica, more noted for basketball and track, did not field a cricket team. He did not go out for any teams.
“I started running when I was 25 years of age because I was working at the time and needed exercise,” he recalled. “I think that running is a great sport but just for the exercise. It’s good for me and I enjoy it.”
Jacobs is a member of the Renegade’s Running Club and along with some of the members of the club anticipate competing in one or both of those races.
The annual race at Alley Pond Pak is conducted by the Alley Pond Striders Running Club. It is an age group event that starts on Winchester Boulevard outside of the park and north of Union Turnpike. It finishes insider the park, itself.
For most of the prior years, including last spring, Jacobs competed in this race when he clocked in at 35 minutes. Right now he is not in great shape.
“I also do speed workouts,” said the second finisher from Queens to come across the finish line behind first finisher from this borough Ozone Park’s Roberto Escobar, who was timed in 33:23.7. for 20th place.
Jacobs’ best time for a 5K race was about 18:40; his fastest time for a five-mile race came when he ran a 31:30, a long time ago. He never did a marathon, but next month he will be making his debut in the Brooklyn Half Marathon in late May.
“It’ll be interesting,” he said. “I’m not especially good at (a 13.1 mile event). “In any half marathon event, my strategy is to take it easy because I’m not great in running fast. “I’ll take it as it comes. In an easy (like a 5K or five-miler) I would start out slow and pick it up as I go along.”
In addition to running, Jacobs, a resident of Springfield Gardens, not far from Alley Pond Park, has a full time job as a computer programmer.
“I train about 20 miles a week for short distance races, but for longer runs and half marathons, I’d do more and try to do long runs on the weekend, eight to 12 miles on the weekend and I train at Alley Pond Park most weekend for my long runs.”
Meanwhile, Shaun McGrath of Seaford, New York, easily captured the Cedar Creek Park five-mile run in 27:27.6. The first female to cross the finish line was Shari Klarfeld of Pranier, New York, who was clocked in 31:53.7 for 12th position overall.
The road racing scene is now upon us as there are events almost every weekend and all over the City as well as in Long Island.