Oh boy, it’s taken me some time to finally write about this run, this event, this marathon. So much to take in that day. The start. The race. The grind. The finish. Everything was so amazing. If you like there is a version of a race review for you at BibRave.com. Check it out and other races I’ve reviewed should you have interest in trying them out! So, from here, let’s start from the beginning.
Saturday was my day to visit the expo and, wow, what a fun time that was! So many vendors to browse through. The excitement of picking up my bib. The great gear at the New Balance satellite store. And finding my name on the runner’s wall in the Bronx section! (Appropriate being a Yankees fan)
Sleeping that night was difficult but the night before a race is always tough for me. Too gigged up. I had all of my gear ready rock the next day, even my AfterShokz Trekz Air, although I wasn’t sure I would even use them. (I didn’t)
And then the morning came and quickly. I managed to wake up, eat and get dressed. I hustled down to catch the subway but just missed it. So I had to wait 16 minutes for the next one, which in turn made me miss my slotted Staten Island Ferry time. Good thing they weren’t being strict about that (which I had heard the day before they were not) and I was able to jump on one just as I got off the train when I did arrive at the ferry station. After the hour long ferry ride, there was another line to wait in; this time for the bus to be carted over to the start line village.
The starting line village was impressive. I wasn’t expecting all the amenities besides the usual bag check area and porto potty’s, which there were plenty of those! No, there was several tables set up with various services and sponsors. Bagels to fuel up as well as Gatorade gels lined up to eat then or grab for the race. Dunkin Donuts provided coffee. Another table had hot chocolate for people. And there were medical tents set up for any last minute wraps or creams, etc that may be needed for the runners. Really cool. After munching on a bagel and a small water, I made my way to my starting corral.
After some time to stretch and loosen up , we started to move our way to the start line. We then were revved up by the announcer as everyone was just all jazzed up to get moving across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. And, after a loud booming blast, we were off and running. I knew the bridge was going to be slow going for the start so I took it easy and snapped off a couple of pics just for the memory of the moment.
Once coming down from the bridge into Brooklyn, the race was on! I enjoyed every minute of it. Going through all those city streets with so many people screaming and shouting was so motivating. Each time you moved onto a new borough you had someone yelling out welcome to wherever (I distinctly recall a woman welcoming me to Queens and a DJ welcoming everyone into the Bronx.) The weather was nice and I had a good pace until mile 19 when I suffered some pain in my inner hamstring. That caused me to have to pause along the rest of the way (usually on inclines) and stretch out the area. That ended up costing me some time and ultimately the mental goal I had set for myself; not by much but I still missed it because of these stops.
And then the greatest part of the race (of any race, right?) was heading into Central Park and going for that finish line. What a moment! What a feeling! All those people again cheering wildly giving that extra push and motivation. Seeing friends and family along the route was a thrill and exciting and just so supportive. Crossing the finish line was a wonderful feeling and I certainly grabbed that right away.
I was exhausted. I left a little something on those streets, I can honestly say that. I lowered my head to accept a well-earned medal. Then it was a struggle stretching out some of those muscles as I walked along to pick up my post race bag of water, etc and then further down to get my personal bag since I used the bag check option. After that was when I started to cool down from the race. The sun was setting and that added to the chill. I had my heat wrap but that only does so much. I sat for a brief moment so I could give my back a stretch before heading out of the park. What a day, what a day.
If you are given the chance to run the New York City Marathon, do not pass it up. The only reason not to run would be because of injury. Otherwise, just for the experience, you owe it to do it if possible. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to run this race. Lifetime moment for sure, and when else am I going to get my name in the New York Times!