RUNNING THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!
I had a great time in New York! I’d recommend it to anyone, maybe not for a PR effort though. Although not like the hills around Austin, the bridges were a factor to anyone worried about their pace. This day, I decided to stick with my best friend. He had talked me into going to NY and also comped me a room off of his airline miles at the Sheraton. So, I ended up running slower than I usually run. His goal was 4:15, but he (we) missed it by 40 minutes. He had a hip issue that I think was related to his IT band, and walked a little after every water stop.
At least the pace allowed me to enjoy the city! What a great crowd. Really supportive and noisy! And the bands were fabulous! A real encouragement to runners and to the crowds.
This race was different for me in many ways. For one, I did not have dehydration issues. (The weather was perfect. Low 40s to low 50s). In fact, I had to stop FIVE times to do my business! Maybe because I knew I could eventually catch back up to my friend. First stop – at mile 8 – a construction area bordered by a chain link fence. I saw other male runners doing their business so did the same. Unfortunately, in wanting to get as close to the fence as possible, I got my shoe lace tangled up in the chain link! I was hopping on one foot while trying to extricate my other foot. Ended up having to retie my right shoe with slippery gloves, all the while imagining my friend fading into the distance. I caught back up, but it took me most of a mile.
Second memorable event; about mile 18, just as we were passing the water stop, I heard a “pop” and was immediately pasted on the face with most of a packet of banana GU energy gel! Thoughts of the movie “There’s something about Mary” went through my mind. Apparently, a volunteer had stepped on someone’s dropped GU packet, and it shot out, hit me in the face, some going into my open mouth, and the rest dripping down my shoulder and leg. Yuch! So, although it didn’t affect my pace, it did score high on the gross factor!
Best, and I mean best ever memory; seeing the Achilles Track Club throw down. A runner with a neuro-muscular disease, who sat backwards on his racing wheel chair and pushed himself along with one leg. A runner without legs, who gave a mighty effort with artificial legs and canes. My God, the best of the human spirit was there, right in front of me! I was grateful to just witness such a gutsy effort. The next time I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself, I’ll just think about Achilles.
Prettiest scenery; coming off of the last bridge onto Manhattan. Also the noisiest part of the course. The cheering crowds hit like a rush of adrenaline! And it stayed loud all the way to the finish.
Only problem - finding a seat at any Irish bar anywhere near the race course! Found one, had a Guinness and a couple of slices of REAL pizza. A great end to a good day!
Okay, this wasn’t a standard race report. But it was one of my most memorable races!
What's next? Hmmm... I hear Dublin has a marathon!