Friday, December 3, 2010

NYC Race Report 11/7/10 Part Two

 So after playing tourist in NYC, walking around Central Park and 5th AVE, Times Square and lunch at Junior's, Born on the Run talk with Christopher McDougall and other barefoot running characters.

Saturday; a run in Central Park with Skinny Runner and Matt McCue (reading his book now).

Lunch at Patsy's with desert at Magnolia Bakery (Black Velvet cupcake).

For dinner, Laura's Mom and another Marathon Maniac (who's name escapes me right now) went to dinner at a cafe that was serving an all you can eat pasta dinner. Laura went to Justin Gimelstob's hotel room to meet up with his team and talk pacing plans. To bed early as we all needed to be up about 5am for our 9:40a and 10:10a starting times.
Race day: Sunday
I took the subway to downtown to catch the Staten Island Ferry. It was entertaining for all those runners to be on the subway at 5am, wide awake, and striking up typical runner talk but can sound very strange from afar I would imagine.
Staten Island Ferry terminal with my throwaway clothes.

Lots of people camped out waiting for the next ferry or just because they got there early.
I rode the ferry over to Staten Island and had cold but great views from the boat.
Brooklyn Bridge

Downtown/Financial District/Ground Zero

Statue of Liberty
Start staging area with Verrazano Bridge looming

Ferry packed with runners

So I hung out in the ferry terminal for a while on both sides to kill time, stay warm and to use flushing toilets. I eventually left to catch one of the buses they had lined up from the start. They would have 7-8 buses open their doors, fill up, then the whole line of them move forward together. Pretty efficient stuff. On Staten Island there were cops at each intersection so we went through each light regardless of the light being red or green. Staten Island looked like your typical American Suburb, yet everyone that lived in the area sort of mocked Staten Island as if it weren't "really" New York or something along those lines. Arriving at the start area we go by several security checkpoints where we had to show our race numbers to get in, which is a little challenging when it is cold out and you are wearing several layers of clothing. Wandered towards the green village but stopped to get coffee from Dunkin Donuts, a bagel, and gatorade in a pouch to get fueled up for the race, now only 1.5 hours from my start time. Sitting on the curb, the elite men walk by just on the other side of the fence to their starting area on the bridge, the Verrazano Bridge looming in the background.

Due to my lollygagging, I ended up having no time to ready my throwaway newspaper and magazines. I headed over to my starting corral that was within my color starting group, they have a total of 3 colors, with 3 starts 30 min apart, I was starting in the second wave at 10:10am. The gun was sounded and we were off! up the bridge. I kept my throw away clothes on, discarding them once we were on land again on the other side. The UPS trucks were for dropping off bags of your stuff at the start and it would be trucked to the finish at central park. The entire 2 miles on the bridge I never saw the end of this line of trucks, crazy!

The spectators began on the other side of the bridge, and for the next 24.2 miles I felt like a rockstar and that all those people were out cheering for me. Pretty amazing. Aid stations were great, the renegade aid stations were great too, got me a banana from one of those stations. I went into this run planning to run slow and take a million pictures, play tourist and take in the whole experience. But a weird thing happened, as the entrants are 50% foreign, I tried and failed on 3 occasions to strike up a conversation with the runner next to me. Nothing in response each time, weird. So I kept quiet and at the 16 mile mark I was feeling good and figured out that if I kept under 10 min/mile from there to the finish that I would break 4:20 which I have never done, my previous best was 4:24.

Mile 19 I come up on a group of slow runners in the middle of the road and get a little annoyed for a minute, but then I see a camera trained in on a runner and I pass by this guy while snapping a photo.

The Chilean Miner, walking, handlers on both sides with a camera crew in front of him filming his every move. While I missed seeing all the other celebrities on race day, I did get to see (and beat, come on this is a race!) at least one of them! At the end of the race we start to get funneled into a tighter space heading into Central Park combined with runners that are very fatigued and tired and sometimes walking, I had to do a lot of weaving in and out of people but figured out that if I hugged the crowd on the far right side that I could get through.
Finished! 4:17:54 and new PR by 7 minutes!
Certainly a must do for all marathon runners at least once!!!!!
Monday - More Playing Tourist
Didn't do too much today with the rain and the freezing rain falling from the sky, but better for this weather on a non-race day!

Today Show

View of Central Park from top of Rockafeller Center

On top of Rockafeller Center looking towards Empire State Building

Story Corps display at the Ground Zero Museum

The end.

Finished Matt McCue's book on the plane ride home from Seattle Turkey Day celebrations and it is a great running story! You can order direct from him or through Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry so behind on my blog catchup! Congrats and so glad you got to come up and stay with me :)