Wow I can’t believe the last time I posted was in September- yikes!
So let’s see not much to tell except I did the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!!!
If you only do one marathon- it should be NY. What a great experience.
My time was not the best but the experience was awesome.
These folks know how to put on a show. With over 56000 (yes 56000) people running it you can just imagine the organization it takes.
They ferry or bus everyone over to Staten Island where they have set up 3 different villages/compounds for the 3 waves. Runners are assigned to Blue, Green or Orange waves based on expected finish times and such. So each wave has its own compound at the start line with its own bag check, bathrooms, booths supplying pre-race nutrition/hydration and coffee while you wait.
Waves start in 20 minute intervals – about 20,000 peeps per group and the waves are broken down further into corrals. I was in the Orange Wave, 51st corral. I was surprised how many first –timers were running. Wow what race to do as your first!
So they announce you and you head off to your corral where once in your numbered corral they frog-march you on to the bridge where the run starts. This bridge is 6 lanes wide and 2 levels. My Wave was on the top level and had the 3 lanes on the right side. Blue was beside us with Green below.
They had an opera singer sing America the beautiful and then the starting cannons – yes 2 cannons – went off shooting = red. White and blue confetti in the air. They did this for each wave. After which they played New York, New York being sung by Frank Sinatra – super cool.
I bought a disposable camera so I could take pictures along the course. I will say one thing you can never get lonely on this course. You are always surrounded by people and will the crowds are the best ever. I kid you not they yelled and cheered the whole route it was great. Coming off the Queesnborough into Manhattan was like riding up Yellow Lake in Ironman – you could not even hear yourself think for all the screaming and yelling – not to mention the funneling of the runners as people were reaching out to high five you- it took my breath away.
I had one really bleak moment – I was having a pretty good race and really just soaking up the sights and the atmosphere – I quickly realized that a PB was going to be very hard to do on the course as it is a tough course and just due to the crowds and such. However I was able to keep a good pace going around 6:15 – 6:30 a km until around 18 miles or so and then I am not sure what bridge we were on – but around 19 miles my hamstrings and right knee really started to hurt – to the point where I actually stopped and had to take in some really deep breaths as it hurt so much. That is when my angel stopped by. A lady from Washington stopped and asked me if I was okay – I was like yes just in a wee bit of pain. She asked if I wanted her to get help and I was like NO – it is just tight I needed it to ease up. She then said can you walk – walk with me – so we started walking and talking a bit – turns out she was a little tired she had just run a marathon the week before! She noticed my Ironman tattoo and asked if I had done one and I said yes. Turns out she had just registered for her first Ironman for next year – Coeur De Leone (sp?).
We chatted about that for a bit and then she said do you want to try running – sure lets go. So she started running, I started hobbling and off we went – she quickly moved on but it was just the thing to get me going again. From that point on I would run to each mile marker and then shuffle for a minute and then make myself run again. It was slow going but at least I was moving forward.
Thank goodness for all the spectators because they sure helped so the I could dig a little deeper and keep running to each mile marker. I was super happy to see the finish that is for sure. Time 5:28….. – NY completed – check mark.
Recovery was a little slower than normal – my legs were a little stiff but my Right IT and Knee made it be known for the next few days that they were less than impressed. The rest of the trip was great we got to see 2 Broadway shows – WICKED and ELF and got on the Letterman Show and actually on TV – thanks to the lady wearing the Canadian Flag from Ottawa right in front of us.
Did some shopping, all the requisite tourist things, visited some museums and had some amazing meals. Overall I really like NY – could I live there I don’t know – I missed the natural beauty and green space of Vancouver but as we all know when you live somewhere you adjust to it and then it becomes home.
I would recommend this race to anyone – it really is a great experience. Now I am trying to decide where to next – Athens keeps popping in my mind. I would love to go to Greece and well how cool to run the original marathon… Just have to convince the boy.