(Sorry for the lateness of this post. I had technical difficulties. Damn you technology!) This is going to be a long one so now is the time to go get a drink or take a bathroom break. There is no intermission.
It’s been a little over two weeks since the main event! The 40th TCS NYC Marathon was Sunday, November 6th and all I can say to explain it is wow. I’ve never seen anything like it. Everything I’ve read and heard about is nothing compared to what it actually is. So here is my experience in a not so brief nutshell….
Alarm went off at 4am so I had enough time to pack a few last minute things and head down to the Meadowlands to catch the shuttle bus to Staten Island. It was pretty cold and windy but I knew it would warm up by the time my wave started (which was at 11:00am.) My race nerves started a couple days before hand so they were in full force now! By the time I got to the Meadowlands my internal organs reminded me how nervous I was and luckily there were porta potties everywhere. (Nothing like being the first one to use it…it’s like a gift from the running heavens) I boarded the bus and off me and about 60 others were to Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island. The bus was quiet; I wonder if anyone else was nervous. I got off the bus and went to the Runners’ Village which had vendors, samples of energy bars and gels and coffee….genius! Got me a cup o’ joe and headed for the hospitality tent to shelter from the cold, dark, cold darkness. I stayed huddled in a ball for the next three hours. I may have fallen asleep, I might have gotten stepped on and I definitely tripped a few people. The sun was finally coming up so I made my way out to a warm spot and start eating…damn straight it was Snickers!
Fast forward a couple hours and it’s almost start time. There are people everywhere. Just when you thought the crowd was thinning out another wave of people came through. Talk about your quality people watching. I got rid of my sweatpants (little did I know this was going to be a mistake) and get lined up in the corral to walk over to the base of the Verrazano Bridge. The sun is out in full force, time to ditch the sweatshirt. 11:00 hits and we are lead over to the start. It is GO TIME! After a great rendition of our National Anthem by a girl actually running the marathon the cannons go off and so are we. OMG! I thought I would be emotional but I think I was just excited. Who gets excited to run 26 miles? I was on the upper level of the bridge and the view was amazing. Because of the crowd it was difficult to start off at a decent speed so I think my first mile was around 12 minutes but it was worth it. There were runners stopping all over for the infamous selfie and the crowd shots coming up the bridge. Dodging people and abandoned clothing for the first two miles, I get over the bridge and into Brooklyn. I am finally getting into a groove though I’m running a little faster than I had planned and I can’t seem to slow my pace. It’s hard with all the energy. It’s electric. The sun is really starting to beat down and I am getting warm. I wasn’t expecting to be this hot in NYC. Getting nervous about the temperature I try to slow down but that lasted for about half a mile. Here I decide that if I feel this good now run a great first half of the race and not worry about the second, I will muscle through. Engage cruise control.
The spectators were awesome! You really felt like they were all out there for you. Live music at almost every corner there is so much to look at and listen to. Every mile had their own personality. You really get an in depth perspective of the different cultures in New York.
I am going to stop right here and keep you hanging for a bit while I write up the rest. There is so much to describe and you look like you need a break. Besides I need a snack.