Raley Abramczyk ’15

I really didn’t believe my coach at first when she told me what it feels like to run at the Armory. I thought to myself, it really can’t be that different than any other 200m indoor track I’ve run on before . . . but it is.
The track is situated at 216 Fort Washington Avenue in New York City; it’s definitely a trip way uptown, but it’s well worth it. Just being in the facility alone, you can feel the electrifying energy radiating from the track. As you climb the few flights of stairs up to the track level, you’re surrounded by records on the wall that were all achieved on the Armory’s track. When you finally exit the staircase and approach the track, it’s so surreal–all around you are images of famous runners who have competed at the armory–you look in one direction and you see videos of famous races playing, in another direction you see a picture of Brenda Martinez, and with another glance you can see Emma Coburn’s old bib number.
Upon entering the room of the track, you see the stands perched one story above it looking down, and the energy in the room grows stronger. You warm up for your race, feeding off of the atmosphere, and you feel yourself bouncing around the banked turns during your warm up laps. You stretch, run through drills, and you’ll be nervous, no doubt, but as your heat is called up to the track, your nerves disappear, you just stare at yourself on the jumbotron while you’re striding out, and you realize that you have to run well.
When the gun goes off, and you start your race, you’ll realize what makes this track so special. You’ll understand that unlike normal tracks, this track isn’t built anchored into the ground, so neither are you. You start to realize that what your coach says will hold true: you’ll feel like you’re floating along, and when you finish your race, you’ll feel light and relaxed. When your race is over, you’ll certainly want to run there again–I know I do–and hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to come back.