Everyone has their own opinion (heres mine) of the ING New York City Marathon. If you have ran it, chances are we share both similar opinions but also differ in other parts. Here are brief tips that I have created:
- It’s not an easy marathon course. If this course was not the most spectated race course, it would be the most miserable. To prepare you should run every bridge you can find. Twice. The bridges aren’t what took their tolls on my body but the gradual uphills. It may seem like running through the boroughs is your break. After all there are thousands of people lined the street and it seems flat. In reality most of that stretch are long gradual uphills.
- Don’t worry about being on pace the first mile. It is uphill and crowded. It is completely unnecessary to make it 1.1 miles because of weaving. It will thin out. As everyone told me make it your slowest mile…Since my marathon was pretty regressive that didn’t happen. I didn’t weave though and didn’t take it out hard.
- Be prepared for the Queensboro Bridge. Mile 15 will hurt. Coming down into mile 16 is the most exciting part besides finishing the race. The people at mile 16 know how painful that bridge is and the roar of the crowds is beat by none.
- They don’t check your ferry time slot. I signed up for the 5:45 ferry and took the 6. As long as you have your race number, board whichever you would like. That being said, the later ones became far more crowded. I had my own row on the 6 am ferry.
- If your friends or family is coming to watch let them know what side of the road you are running. If you are running on the right and they are standing on the left…you don’t see them.
- My best advice is have your friends and family stand somewhere around mile 8 and then again in Central Park. Nothing beat the moment I saw my friends and family in Central Park. (except when I could finally sit down after the race roughly 4 hours later).
- Be prepared for the two mile walk out of Central Park. I did not check a bag and if I do the race, I probably won’t if I have someone with me. I would rather get out of there as soon as possible versus standing in line. Granted I was in rougher shape than most, I still recommend not checking a bag.
- The alphabetical family reunion places are perfect. Despite the amount of people, I easily located my family. It goes backwords from Z-A. Since we met at H it was a much longer walk for me but I had no problems finding my family and friends. I would probably tell them to meet at Z next time.
Here is a lump of things I was not expecting for my first marathon either. I love reading other people’s race recaps but for anyone thinking of running a marathon here you go.
- When I carb loaded I held 9 pounds of water weight. I felt bloated on the race day. You should feel like this.
- You probably will have to stop to pee or use the restroom. Don’t worry about that extra minute because you will probably make it up.
- Your quads will burn. I never expected my quads to burn as much as they did.
- I never felt enlightened or that the marathon distance was the way to be. I never had a running high and I didn’t immediately finish and think to myself…my I want to sign up for 5 more marathons. You don’t have to finish loving the marathon.
- You must fuel. I can 100% say if I did not take Gatorade at close to every mile and did not take 3 gels I would not have finished. (This is coming from someone who took 1 gel on a 20 mile run and no Gatorade). In fact next time I might take more.
**Incase you wondered, yes I would do the marathon again.
Questions for you:
Did you or have you run NYC? Do you have any advice?
What did you learn the hard way from your first marathon?