Yesterday was an exciting day with the release of Wave, Corral and Start Village assignments from the NYRR for the TCS NYC Marathon. (If you haven’t seen yours yet, you can log into your account at mynyrr.org to find it.)
I got a lot of questions about how the start works once you take the bus or the ferry to Fort Wadsworth, so I thought I’d spend a little time walking you through what it’s been like in past years. I can’t guarantee it will be the same this year, but it hasn’t changed in about six years, so there’s a good chance this will be correct.
Being the largest marathon in the world, the NYRR has developed a pretty sophisticated system for ensuring the course is as easy to maneuver as possible. There will be points during the race where it will seem clogged, but in the eight years I’ve been running, I’ve never had to slow my pace because of congestion on the course.
We’re all broken up by our anticipated race pace. I’m not sure which color is faster, but the general rule is the higher the number the slower the runner. This goes for wave assignments and corral assignments as well. So if you’re wave one, corral A, you’re going to be a pretty fast runner.
So how do you get where you need to go at the TCS NYC Marathon Start Village?
You were assigned either Green, Orange or Blue and a corral – colors and letters correspond to where you start as opposed to your wave which corresponds with your start time.
Here’s the chart of start times from the TCS NYC Marathon site:
Side note, if you’re wondering about getting to the start, check out this post.
So, after you get through security at the entrance to Fort Wadsworth, you follow the signs to your assigned color. Each of the colors/villages will have a baggage check area and plenty of snacks, fluids and porta-potties.
Here’s the map:
There are lots of porta-potties in the corrals, so no worries there. A few minutes before your start time, you’ll be led to the start at the base of the Verrazano Bridge where, after some fanfare, you’ll hear the cannon that signals the start.
Once folks start walking to the base of the bridge, jump into a porta-pottie to relieve yourself one last time, there won’t be any lines and you’ll thank yourself while you’re lined up on the bridge waiting for the cannon. Also, as you can see from the photo below, busses are used to section off the different start areas. If you’re close to one of the busses, make friends with the driver, chances are he or she will let you on to use the bathroom in an emergency.
Here’s the link to my course description so you can find out what you’re in for during the following 26.2 miles.
A question I get a lot is, what do I do if I want to run with someone who was assigned a different color, wave or corral?
If there’s someone that you want to run with and they were assigned a “slower” number – a higher number – you’re allowed to run with them without officially changing anything. All you need to do is make sure you go to the corral of the runner with the higher number. Let me say that again. You don’t need to contact the NYRR if you want to move back in the corral system. But, you do need to make sure you check your baggage in the color and number you were assigned or you won’t be able to get it at the end of the race (your bib is your claim check, so to speak).
As you can see from the picture above, the beginning of the race is a bit different for each color group, but we all meet up shortly in Brooklyn and run the same course from there.
More to come but for now, enjoy the long runs!