On Sunday November 6, I joined nearly 60,000 runners to run the New York City Marathon. I posted an earlier blog on the expo. I am going to recap the race from beginning to end.
Trip to Stanten Island
The race starts in Staten Island. Prior to coming to NY, the race officials give you the option to take the ferry or bus to the starting line. I originally chose the 7 am ferry. A few weeks before the race, the Atlanta Track Club chartered space on a shared bus and I was able to take the bus instead. The advantage of taking the bus was that we could stay on the warm bus and there was a bathroom on board. Since the race times range from 9:30-11 am, there is a lot of time spent outside in the elements. Thankfully race day was not very cold (50s), but having to sit at the temperature for 3 hours would have been uncomfortable. The trip from Manhattan to Staten Island took around 45 minutes.
The race has three waves with three different color corrals: blue, green, and orange. Each corral was open for a designed time and the village for the colors had food and porta potties for the runners as they waited to get started. I was in Wave 3 in the blue corral. Two of the colors ran on the top level of the Verrazano Bridge and the third color ran on the bottom level. After the corral closed, runners had to move to a later corral.
I entered my corral around 10:15 am to eat my last-minute snacks and to use the bathroom. I also met one of my Instagram friends. At 11 am we started heading to the start line. Once they lead us to the bridge we were off to race to the finish line. The first two miles from Staten Island to Brooklyn was on the Verrazano Bridge. The views from the bridge were spectacular. If I hadn't been so concerned about my phone battery dying I would have taken pictures throughout the first two miles. After the exiting the bridge we were on our way to Brooklyn.
As we entered each borough, we were greeted by a sign and amazing crowds welcoming us to the borough. We spent majority of the race in Brooklyn and it was well worth it. There was so much crowd support that the mile markers seem to come so fast. We exited Brooklyn at the half marathon point and headed to Queens.
Queens had great crowds and our time in that borough was short. We ran from Queens to Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge. The bridge wasn't as nice as the Verrazano Bridge, but I was glad when we reached Manhattan to hit mile 16. While I was delighted to run in Manhattan, I remembered that we still had another borough to go before we crossed the finish line.
The race terrain up to this point had been gentle rolling hills, when we reached Manhattan the hills decide to start competing to outdo each other. The hills were long inclines which are tough to run at higher mileage due to lack of energy. We ran up a nice incline as we headed toward the Bronx.
The time in the Bronx was the shortest of them all. It felt like we crossed on bridge to enter the borough and immediately exited the last bridge to head back to Manhattan. The time in the Bronx was a small hill break, but we were back to the inclines once we headed toward the finish.
My soul leaped when ran through Harlem and the grand finale in Central Park. Miles 23 and 25 were the last major inclines and I was so grateful once I saw the finish line. After we received our medals, we were directed to the location of the ponchos. Runners were given the option to check in their items or they could receive a poncho. I opted for the poncho.
Overall it was great race. While my time wasn't my fastest or slowest, it was the first marathon in which I didn't hit the wall at mile 20. I was able to maintain my intervals (2:1) until mile 23 when my watch ran out of intervals. At that point I switched to 1:1 intervals since the math was easy to do with a timer. I can mark NYC off my 50 states journey and I completed one World Marathon Major Race (5 more to go).