Thursday, July 21, 2005

Swooshing Through Central Park, Doin' It For Randy Jackson

I ran the Nike Run Hit Wonder in Central Park last night with Kimberly & my pal Chuck. Like last year, it was a ball.

The event started an hour before racetime with a concert by The Donnas. I haven't seen them live in about six years, when they played The Continental and sounded like a girly Ramones. They've really come a long way, and sounded great on the big outdoor stage. It seems they learned a thing or two about hooks from Butch Walker, who produced their most recent album.

It was about 88F when the race started, which was not so bad considering the previous couple of evenings' temperatures.

The race was so packed, it took us a good two minutes just to get past the starting line. One of the race's "hosts" Randy Jackson (best known for sitting next to Paula Abdul on American Idol, but I like to think of him as the bass player in latter day Journey) reached out of the review stand, high-fived Kimberly as we ran past, and commanded her to "Do It, Dawg!".

She & I totally slow-cruised the course, while Chuck smoked us, as he's working himself toward the NYC Marathon that he qualified for and will be running later this year.

The bands that played along the course were kind of iffy this year, compared to last years beautiful new wave cheesefest.

We passed Chingy, whom I wouldn't know from any of the guys with gold fronts and sideways Yankees caps who stand in front of the liquor store in Plainfield on my way home from work. He sounded good, though, and looked like he was enjoying watching the runners go by.

Shortly after, we coasted past Nina Sky, whom I'd never heard of before. They didn't hurt my feelings or anything, and were easily the cutest band of the race. About a mile later, we came upon Fountains Of Wayne, who looked like they were literally melting in the heat. We heard the end of "Mexican Wine" and the intro to "Radiation Vibe", both of which sounded like they were being played under duress.

The last "act" on the race was DJ Z-Trip, whose new album is one of my favorites of the year. However, while we passed his area, he was merely playing James Brown's "Sex Machine" on one, don't get me wrong, James Brown is always cool, but jeez...I could have probably turned on Jack radio and heard the same thing.

Post race, we were all awarded medals (everyone's a winner in NikeWorld!), and were treated to a concert by Joan Jett, who is still foxy-cool after all these years. Thankfully she's grown her hair back out and she looks like Tegan & Sara's hip older sister.

All-in-all, despite the bands along the course not really making much of a difference in the whole experience, the race was lots of fun. Kimba and I are gonna run it again in Los Angeles in September, where it finishes on the field inside Memorial Coliseum.

Tien Mao has more photos, including the Joan Jett concert here.

The Armchair Athlete was all about the schwag.

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