The Mengoni Grand Prix is a NYC based race known for its longevity. Past champions include the incredibly talented athletes featured below. It is with great honor that I declare, I have earned a place on this list.
This year’s introduction of an equal prize pool for men and women caught the attention many fierce competitors, including past champions such as Laura Van Gilder, Kristin Lotito, and Camie Kornely. As my third race in Central Park this season, I felt comfortable with the course and familiar with the strengths/weaknesses of my competition. Unlike previous park races, Mengoni did not feature primes. Without mid-race goals to juggle, I was intently focused on maintaining a controlled finish. The finishing stretch was a straight approximately 400 meters in length, ideal for a long sprint. On early laps, I honed in on mile markers I would later use as cues for the finish.
When an organized lead-out train by team Stan’s NoTubes p/b enduranceWERX emerged to my left around the final 400 meter mark, I quickly hitched a ride, then launched a sprint when I felt we had arrived at a distance I could endure. The lead out established an initial gap on the field, while I delivered the final blow giving it my all on the last meters to hold off the winning-est woman in America, Laura Van Gilder.
Following the race, Glenn and I joined the women of team Radical Media for the Annie Londonerry ride hosted by We Bike NYC. The purpose of this ride was to celebrate women on bikes by honoring Annie “Londonderry” Cohen Kopchovsky, the very first woman to cycle around the world. Our route took advantage of NYC’s Summer Streets initiative, which opens Park Ave. from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park for people to play, walk, bike, and enjoy the city streets free from the presence of vehicular traffic. At the end of the ride, Bicycle Habitat hosted a picnic and gave away prizes!
Due to the 3:30am start on the day, Glenn and I were able to accomplish all this before 11am. We topped off the day with one of the most relaxing afternoons we have had in a long time. It was a rare opportunity to catch up with family, take a swim, and make smores. I also got the chance jump on a trampoline for the first time in several years, and to my surprise was able to do all the same tricks mind you without the same level of finesse. Flips, aerials, handsprings and more, I’ve still got it!