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  • Van Cortlandt Park course

    Has any one ever ran tbe Van Cortlandt Park 8k course in NYC. What type of course is it, what do you think would be sub 27:00 for the 8k be a good time for an average runner.

  • #2
    Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

    Depends on how you define average. It's an honest course- not slow, not fast.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

      >Depends on how you define average. It's an
      >honest course- not slow, not fast.

      Everyone I know who ran the 5K course in high school (you can include myself) did NOT call this course average. That course is straight up treacherous, IMHO. And we didn't go back into the hills for another 3k.

      When was the last time they had an international cross meet there (World Champs)? Was it '84? Or ever? I wonder why?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

        The '84 World XC race was held at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, wasn't it? I don't believe there's been an international level XC race at Van Cortlandt in generations. I ran there back in '70 and it was a TOUGH course.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

          Depends on the type of runner. Take two guys who can both run 25:00 for 8k on the track, but one is a pure cross country runner and one is a pure track runner. The one who is a pure cross country runner - that is, the one who enjoys and thrives on a course that requires him to change his stride and pace regularly - can probably run 25:15 or 25:20 at VCP on a good day. The pure track runner, on the other hand, - who likes to tuck in behind other guys and hang on, never changing his pace until a final kick - will be eaten alive by VCP. Probably won't break 26:30.

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          • #6
            Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

            I believe there's an extra hill the runners go back into (for the 8k), with a 45 degree angle. No joke!!!!

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            • #7
              Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

              cemetary hill is the only tough area...the rest is ok...the back hills (bridge to bridge) are not hard..it's where x-c for women began in the 60's...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

                Aaaaah, the memories! The 1 train to 242nd (one hour from school) to get to the meet. My little out of shape self running those hills in the cold, then chuggin' down a delicious roast beef and cheese sandwich from the local deli down the street. Aaaaah, So "Runner's Worldish"!!!!! (smile!).

                I wouldn't take those memories back for anything!!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

                  my best memory of VCP as an 18-21 year old competitor was going to numerous "all comers" summer 6 pm weekday track meets at the Stadium. Long Island Rail Road into Penn Station, then 7th Ave. subway all the way to the end of the line at 242nd. St.; down the steps and across the street into the stadium ! Great memories for me too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

                    DF, let me guess, you are a flat lander. First you say NYC and Boston Marathons are incredibly tough courses (?????). Now you have 45% hills in courses and you suggest that hilly courses shouldn't hold major championships. Why? Does not everyone have to run the same course. Why do you want road races or cross country meets to be just like a track race with a absolutely flat course.

                    Hilly races can be very exciting and fun to run. You just have to realize when you run them you can't compare times from course to course.

                    I ran a trail marathon recently where the times of the top runners were between 30 and 45 minutes slower than we can run on a flat road course, but I can't tell you how fun it was. We sat around for hours afterwards trading stories about different challenges on the course (i.e the "mountain at mile 12", the stream crossing, the slippery single track section, where we through in a surge up one hill only to pay for it on the next).

                    As long as everyone has to run the same course and distance then its a fair race. Not every race is about trying to set a distance PR. It can be about racing old rivals or trying to better your time from previous years.

                    Give hilly races a try, they can be just as rewarding as a flat course PR. Also hilly courses bring an extra sense of comradery among competitors as they are not just rivals but they are partners who competed against the same obstacle, a tough course.

                    Ultrarunner
                    (who grew up in the mountains)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

                      I'm not positive, but I don't believe the 8K course goes up Cemetary Hill. I'm pretty sure it didn't when I watched Iona's Paddy Doyle Meet of Champions in '01, although someone else who actually lives within 2500 miles of the Bronx might know better than I do. Also, about ten years ago or so they redid the course. The path is pretty smooth now, not at all like it was before.

                      The last national championship race at Vanny was the TAC (now USATF) in Nov. '90, when Kempainen ended Porter's streak.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

                        >DF, let me guess, you are a flat lander. First
                        >you say NYC and Boston Marathons are incredibly
                        >tough courses (?????). Now you have 45% hills in
                        >courses and you suggest that hilly courses
                        >shouldn't hold major championships. Why? Does
                        >not everyone have to run the same course. Why do
                        >you want road races or cross country meets to be
                        >just like a track race with a absolutely flat
                        >course.

                        Hilly races can be very exciting and
                        >fun to run. You just have to realize when you
                        >run them you can't compare times from course to
                        >course.

                        I ran a trail marathon recently where
                        >the times of the top runners were between 30 and
                        >45 minutes slower than we can run on a flat road
                        >course, but I can't tell you how fun it was. We
                        >sat around for hours afterwards trading stories
                        >about different challenges on the course (i.e the
                        >"mountain at mile 12", the stream crossing, the
                        >slippery single track section, where we through
                        >in a surge up one hill only to pay for it on the
                        >next).

                        As long as everyone has to run the same
                        >course and distance then its a fair race. Not
                        >every race is about trying to set a distance PR.
                        >It can be about racing old rivals or trying to
                        >better your time from previous years.

                        Give
                        >hilly races a try, they can be just as rewarding
                        >as a flat course PR. Also hilly courses bring
                        >an extra sense of comradery among competitors as
                        >they are not just rivals but they are partners
                        >who competed against the same obstacle, a tough
                        >course.

                        Ultrarunner
                        (who grew up in the
                        >mountains)

                        I didn't even suggest (nowhere near it!) any of those things at all. I love Van Cortlandt Park. I questioned why VCP has NEVER had a World Championship. I also questioned why there are haters of this years NYCM, due to the slow men's times. I suggested that times are slow because of the difficult course (that's why it took 12 years and a course adjustment to break the course mark). That didn't mean that I hate it. Not at all!

                        I ran both VCP and NYCM. Two of the most joyous
                        courses I ever ran. Both are tough. But I still love the courses. And yes, the 45 degree incline is still treacherous (smile!).

                        Aaaaah, my previous Runner's Worldish thread creats a misunderstanding (laugh!).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

                          Dan,

                          The 8k does indeed include Cemetary, and always has. I don't think the HEPS course has changed in 30+ years.

                          Even so, there are definitely tougher courses out there than VCP. It's hard on the body though, with that hard surface and steep descents. The flats allow some modicum of a rhythm to be established vs. courses like Rim Rock or Arizona, where constant turns, ups, downs, etc. prevent a nice rhythm.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

                            As someone who lives in the NYC area and runs regularly at VCP, I can give you the scoop on the course.

                            The 8K course is basically the same as the 5 Mile course that has been used for at least the past 50 years. With that history, one can compare today's times with those of Zwolak, Liquori, Dulong, Keough and so on.

                            This course goes up Cemetary Hill on the second loop. I think it is very challenging course with both flats and tough hills. When the course was upgraded in the mid 1990s, the length and layout were not changed. It is very different than the golf courses common in other parts of the country, but nothing beats VCP's history and tradition. Just take a look at the names on the top 100 times of all-time.

                            T&FN archives has some stories on Vanny if Garry or Dan want to help with search.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Van Cortlandt Park course

                              Good enough DF, I must have misunderstood your posts or have them confussed with the thousands of other posts. I am just use to people complaining about hilly course when I have always loved them. I find a gently rolling course to be superior to a pancake course for my times as well. Breaks things up a little.

                              Happy running. But you are still a "flat lander" aren't you? (LOL)

                              Comment

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