Lynch places 12th in challenge race

Coming off a 35:17.8 time for a five-mile challenge race conducted by the Alley Pond Striders, Collin Lynch will take a short journey to East Meadow, Long Island this weekend.

The purpose will be to compete in a race on Long Island Marathon day. He is not going to run the complete marathon distance of 26.2 miles but intends to compete in two races, the 10K and the mile on the same course as the marathon. His goal is to go under 14 minutes.

His strategy is to go out for a fast start. Once he gets that fast start, he will be all right, as Lynch explained.

Originally from Trinidad, Lynch used the Alley Pond Park race as a challenge and a prep race for the future.

The race in Bayside marked his first for the season. Lynch placed 12th overall in a field of 175 finishers in the second big race in Queens this year behind a very huge event in Flushing Meadow Corona Park earlier in the year.

“This race helped me because it was a challenging race, and I like the hills,” said Lynch. “I’m impressed with the facilities here and with my time,” he added.

The initial four-place finishers were the ‘class of the field’ as they were about three minutes apart. Then the rest of the field was close and tight with runners battling each other down through the stretch and at the finish line.

Lynch, who did not attend high school in New York, but at Trinity in Trinidad, indulged in cricket, soccer and running. His running specialties were in the 400 and 800 meters.

“I really liked running and took it up at a young age for there wasn’t any physical contact in track,” he explained after his Alley Pond race. “After high school I attended New Paltz College where I was on the cross country team running competitively.

Contrasting running in Trinidad with running in the United States, he said, “when I came here I had to change my whole running scheme. Here, I had to be strong and concentrate more so while running.”

In the Alley Pond Challenge, he could not go out too fast, because if he did he would have burned himself. Usually, he goes out at a 6:01 pace, but instead he turned in a slow 6:50 one, because the course was very challenging, and very hilly from the first mile on.

“Running like this helped me a lot and made me a better runner,” he went on. “But I ran on a good course in my first ever race here.”

Lynch is working hard on his speed and runs about 25 miles a week in Forest Park, Queens, two miles from his house.

He came to the United States in 1984 at the age of 21 years and one year later took up cross country running.

“I’ve (run) in a lot of marathons and run in ultra marathons,” he added. “But now I am concentrating on shorter distance events. I’ve done a lot of races in Long Island and in Central Park.”