Rachel Nobel Fields Earns Her "Crazylegs" Status This Year at the Mini
Together We Run: Stories of the NYRR New York Mini 10K
The 47th NYRR New York Mini 10K, set for June 9, empowers women of all ages and fitness levels to be active and feel great on the run. The world’s original women-only road race, the Mini has had nearly 200,000 finishers since its first running in 1972, representing a diverse range of ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Over the weeks leading up to race day we’ll get to know a handful of entrants in this year’s race.
Rachel Nobel Fields is about to record her 15th finish at the NYRR New York Mini 10K, which would earn her a place on the list of "Crazylegs" runners—runners who have completed the race 15 or more times. It is an impressive group of dedicated women that Rachel is joining, and a feat that is over a decade in the making.
Now living in Forest Hills, Queens, Rachel has been running this race every year since she was in college in 2004. At the time, it was her first road race ever, and was a way for her to prepare for a marathon.
“The Mini has become a special tradition in my life," she says, adding "I still remember the feeling of seeing the race’s pioneering runners at my first Mini, and I still remember the feeling of discovering this large, vibrant community of women runners."
On what's kept her coming back each of the past 15 years, she says, "I love the history of the race, and I love the vibe and the camaraderie. It’s a race where you see women who have brought along other women who are supporting each other.”
NYRR caught up with Rachel in 2016, prior to her 13th consecutive finish at the Mini, and now on the verge of earning her official status as a Crazylegs runner, she could not be more excited: “It'll be one of the highlights of my running life!"
Thinking of her 15 years of experience with the race, she reflects, "The Mini was the very start of my life as a runner and it has been an incredible journey. I've always said that while I may not be the fastest runner, I'm consistent and I know how to pace myself, and this certainly feels like an accomplishment I can celebrate even though my PR days may be behind me."
As she prepares to add her name to the list of Crazylegs runners—a list that spans the 47-year history of the race—she comments, "The idea that I have something in common with all these running pioneers who paved the way for me is really special.”
Nothing has kept Rachel from this race, even when she was pregnant with her son. That was five years ago, and now her son runs NYRR races, too. Running has been more than just part of her identity; it has become a way for Rachel to connect with her son.
“When my son was born, I felt like I was struggling to connect with him. I was at home all day with this baby and I felt like I had no idea what to do with him or how to take care of him," she recalls.
"When we bought our jogging stroller, it was like, 'Finally, here's something I know I can do right,' and we started running together," she says, adding, "I'd time it so he would take at least one nap in the stroller, and it was like, 'Finally, I got this!'"
Having built a relationship with her son both at home and on the roads, she says, "When you become a mother, it's always a challenge to figure out what your identity is outside motherhood, and it was always important to me that my son recognized that I had this whole other running life," later adding, "The fact that it became something that the two of us shared was especially sweet.”
As she added more miles pushing the stroller, she remembers, "There was nothing that made me feel quite like a super-mom than flying through the park with him." Even early on, it was clear that running had made an impression on him: "When he started walking and talking, one of the first 'sentences' he said was to climb up into the jogging stroller and say expectantly, 'Ready? Be runner?'"
Rachel’s son and her husband will be cheering her on this year, and she is hoping there will be something special after the race, because this year the NYRR New York Mini 10K falls on her birthday!
“I am going to be spending the day with my family—hopefully outdoors if the weather is nice—and hoping my husband will take me out to a nice grown-up dinner!”
Want to run with Rachel and thousands of other women at the 47th NYRR New York Mini 10K? Register today and make yourself a part of women's running history. You might even start a Crazylegs streak of your own!