Last Sunday, I queued up with 50,000 some odd other runners on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge and at precisely 10:15AM (I was second wave this year) took the first of 46,112 that would take me from Staten Island to Brooklyn, to Queens, into Manhattan, The Bronx, back into Manhattan and then to the finish line in Central Park.
The 2016 TCS NYC Marathon was no less the festival I expected it to be. It’s a 26.2 mile party with you, the runner as the guest of honor.
At no other time does the entire city come together and cheer on perfect strangers. On no other day of the year is it okay to look at other New Yorkers directly in the eye and scream their name. And on no other day would you ever willingly take a peeled banana, cup of water or 1/4 orange from a perfect stranger standing on the side of the road jumping up and down screaming.
But on this day, all of than is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged.
The TCS NYC Marathon brings out the best of the city I’m proud to call my home.
I’ve completed this course nine times now and there’s a new challenge every time. For me, it’s usually The Bronx and the upper part of 5th Avenue. Surprisingly, I was able to stay out of my head for almost the entire race this year. Considering that my training was only about eight weeks this year, I didn’t have extravagant goals.
I ran a smart race this year, I started off about a minute and a half slower than my normal marathon pace and tried to stay there for the whole race. I was feeling great until about mile 23 (on 5th Avenue). At that point, I slowed a little more and by the time I hit 25 I was nauseated. I don’t know if it was dehydration (it was hotter than I expected that day) or what, but I needed to walk a little in the park and then again on Central Park South. After stopping for a sec at the medical tent for some electrolytes, I was able to trot the rest of the way and cross the finish line feeling a little better.
Am I happy with my performance? I’m happy and grateful I was able to participate this year. My main goal was to go out there and have fun. And folks, it’s REALLY hard to not have a good time during this race.
I dare you to try.
- High fiving the kids on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn
- The drum corps on Bedford Avenue
- The church choir on Layfayette Avenue
- Photobombing WABC reporter Anthony Johnson on 1st Avenue
- High fiving friends on 1st Avenue
- Missing one friend because my music was so loud, I couldn’t hear him. Which resulted in the text below.
- Hearing people yell the name of my blog when I took my headphones off on Central Park South.
- And finally crossing the finish line for the 9th time and knowing that I would be back for more.
If you have the chance, you MUST run this race.