Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Subway, A Ferry, A Bus, A Marathon and 2 Mile Walk

In 2012 Detour (Gail)  and I got "Sandy'd" out of the NYC Marathon. Two hours after we arrived the race was cancelled. So we ran one of the best Marathons of our life in Central Park on our own. 26.2 miles with 10,000 plus other runners from around the world. It was an amazing experience.

We had to decide if we wanted to come back and run in 2013. The Race said if you want your money back that is fine. But you can't come back next year without going into the lottery. If you want to run in 2013 you can but you give up your entry fee for 2012 and have to pay full fare for 2013. Which imo sucked but they hold all the cards. So back we came. We had been trying to get in the race for years and I finally played the sad big eyed Race Director card with a phone call to the NYC RD. Hey it worked for 2012.

So off to NYC went again. Got the same hotel. Ate mostly the same places as last year, traveled on the same flights. But this year we got run. Both Gail and I are fighting long term injuries. We are an hour or so slower than a year or so ago. So we run marathons now not race them. It is pretty fun to run the entire race wth your spouse. Not many folks can or choose to do that. I think its a blast. We don't do it all the time of course but it is so much fun when we do.

So on race day we head out to catch the subway at 6:15 am or so. Take a jam packed, can't move, no one else will ever get in train to the Ferry docks. There we wait 20 minutes in line then get on the Ferry for a 30 minute trip to Staten Island where we sit for 2 hours then take another 30 minute bus ride to the start, hang for another hour then get ready to run. How they do this I do not know. Logistics are great, the crowds are too much for me.

So we are in wave 3 of 4. The gun goes off and we strip our warm clothes and head up over the Veranazo Bridge. It is very windy at 20 to 25 mph with temps in the mid 40's. So chilly but still doable. Once we get into Brooklyn it is pretty much crowds of fans everywhere. I feel good til mile 7 or so then my legs start to feel tired. I don't say anything to Gail as I don't want to whine and complain and upset her running day. I am a tad more quiet than usual I think. As we get to the Jewish section of Brooklyn I am fascinated  by what I see. Sunday is a work day for them so I enjoy seeing the culture as we pass by.

Around mile 15 I mention that my legs are tired but they felt bad at mile 8 too. Gail agrees and says she felt the same way. As we head up another bridge into Manhattan everyone gets real quiet. I can feel the pain starting to set in the runners. Gail and I think its a nice gradual up, not that tough for sure but others are suffering. As we come off the bridge back into "the city" the crowds are huge. Up to 8 deep in places and the sound is amazing. (I actually liked the quiet at times as the noise was so constant) We head up First Avenue on a gradual climb. Soon we head into The Bronx and cross mile 20. I had been doing some math and I wanted us to break 5 hours. We haven't done that much lately as we are just happy we can run at all.

As we come into Harlem then back in the big "M" I tell Gail I think we got 5 hours licked, as long as we keep up the same pace as all day. She kind of takes off around mile 23, I struggle to keep up but it was great to have her do this. My knee talks to me now and then but over all has been great most all day. Soon we hit Central Park where we ran our own Marathon last year. Gail keep us going. I force us to run the Tangents of the corners not follow the other sheep. One thing I noticed was with this group around 5 hours you usually see a bunch of folks walking after they have bonked. This race I didn't see that. Not sure why? Maybe after $250 entry fee walking doesn't taste so good. Well we press on. We cross the finish line in 4:53 hand in hand again, just like Portland last month. So fun to do that!

We get your medals which to me are not very good compared to whats out there these days. I really don't care about most medals as many just go in a drawer, but such a big event should have a "special" medal.

Well now they make us walk for I would guess close to a mile. Cold winds blowing and mid 40's many folks are starting to drop to the ground. They have great first aid folks anytime someone looks bad or sits down they are right on top of it.Good for them! Well finally after freezing we get this very cool, bright orange poncho that has a hood and warm liner. Oh man that was the best thing of the race. But now we continue following the sheep to the get out of this place. We think we will hail a cab but they are all taken. We don't get cold but we are tired. Gail suggests we just walk the 20 blocks back to our room. I shrug, but agree. She is so strong to just press on after this 10 hour plus day we just had. We grab some food finally at a store and get back to our room nearly 2 hours after the race finish in the dark. Wow what a day.

I am very glad to have done the NYC Marathon but I probably won't be back. 50,000 runners is too huge for me. was a bucket list item and I have no regrets in completing it.