Running the NYC marathon – Five boroughs

Alright.  I really need to document my race before I forget some parts.

I’ll skip the whole visiting new york part.  In quick, we’ve been a visiting family in New York for a few days and we all enjoyed it.

I got up early and went to the meeting bus to have a ride to the Start Village.  We waited there in the “VIP Partners” tent.  It was just beside the “VIP” tent where I think there were stars like Alicia Keys and Ethan Hawkes.  It was kind of a pleasant thought.  In  the tent, it was warm and there was plenty of food. I was schedule on the 11h00 am 4th wave.  I relaxed and chatted with fellows from Abbott and other VIP partners. prepared, stretched, ate, drank, and when the time came, I went to my start gate.  We grouped up towards the start line, we were pepped up and we heard the National Anthem. A Cannon was heard and we all started running.

I was expecting the Verrazano Bridge to be harder but it passed pretty well.  It went up and down and I controled my pace. At the end of the bridge, we were received by the cheers from Brooklyn.  Their roars were intense.  I took many pictures and ran along with the crowd.  There were band playing and music and people everywhere cheering.  I ran quite a while and I was keeping an eye for the portable toilets.  I found a bunch after 8 miles (13km)  without any line-ups.  I went quickly and back on the street I was.

I crossed the bridge and ran in Queens.  The portion was short and I was on the quiet Queensboro bridge.  It was going up for a very long time.  The grade was easy but it was going up for a long time. It went down much quicker and we turned around and under the bridge itself in an alcove.  The sound of the roaring crowd resonating in my ears. Some call it the wall of sound for how loud it is.   I was expecting it louder but maybe the fact that I was expecting it made it less impressive than the unexpected first steps into Brooklyn. So I ran up the 1st avenue in Manhattan.  It is a quite long straight line slightly upward, I’m not sure but that’s how it felt.  The runners were given sponges at some point.  It appeared strange to me and I had no real clue to what to do with it.  I was often pouring some water on my head to cool it down but I whipped my forehead and trowed it away.  It was fun to run on them as they squishes under my steps.   After some Gatorade station, the road was sticky, that was different and fun too.  I crossed the bridge to the Bronx and the course when in then out on another bridge back to Manhattan.  At this point, the body is tired but the mind knows that the end is coming.  The sun was blazing in my eyes.  My dollar store shades broke right at the start-up line.  The sky was cloudy most of the race so it didn’t matter but the miles on 5th Avenue, I was lucky to have the sun shine its light on me.  The course entered central park and started to go up and down.   At this point, my legs were beyond exhaustion but I kept on going.  I had to walk once in a while. I knew from my watch that I had to take a Gu Gel, I didn’t feel like but my brain knew it had to be done.  At the south end of central park, I jogged on the street where all the horses and carriages are usually.  It stink quite badly.  Past Columbus Circle, I stopped to try to stretch as I knew the finish line was near but as soon as I was not moving, I felt the muscles started to cramp up and I had to just keep on running until the finish line.  The stands were half empty, I was a bit disappointed but anyway, there was no one to look for.

I was given a medal, and told to keep moving.  half rudely but that is probably for the best.  All the runners were handles a bag with food and drinks.  I walked toward the Poncho exit. Then talked with a random stranger woman form another state. In the streets of New York, with the poncho and the medal, every body is cheering you up, congratulating and given thumbs up.  A was proud and I still am.

Emotionally, it was a bit strange.  I was looking in the crowd to try to see familiar faces but I had no one there.  My family was supposed to be near the end.  They saw me some place in Harlem, but I missed them.  The cheering of random strangers were pleasant but at the same time a reminder that I was alone in this. I was kind of jealous of the one who happened to encounter some relatives and family and had a group hug. I think I would have liked that.  All the cheering and the roaring was getting on my nerves for the last quarter of the race.  I should have put some music on and get into my bubble for a while.  That would have been for the best on the emotional part.

But eh, you live, you learn