The Great Cow Harbor 10K is my favorite race that I completely ignored for 18 years.
I first ran the race in 1999 at the tender age of 25. I was a casual but dedicated runner, having run a handful of 5Ks, a copy of Runner’s World in my mailbox each month (yes, the print edition), and boasting a solidly middle-of-the-pack racing career. My 5K times were in the 8:45-9:45 pace range from what I recall, and I had never run a 10K before. Hell I don’t even know if I had run 6 miles. Maybe I had. If I had, it was my “long run.”
Cow Harbor is the nickname of my hometown of Northport, Long Island. Similar to calling New York City “The Big Apple,” it’s a fun moniker that no one actually uses in conversation. The backstory is that Northport used to be called Great Cow Harbor until I guess someone decided it was less of a mouthful to simply name the town for what it was: a village with a port on the north shore of Long Island.