For those that know me really well, it is no surprise that I love New York City. I have often said that if I did not live in Chicago, I would live in NYC. I used to live in NJ when I was younger so I definitely have a connection to the city. As I have gotten older, it has grown and I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time there to visit friends.
But one thing I have never done in all of my trips to NYC is run.
When I heard that two of my very good friends, Eric and Chris, would be running the Marathon, I wanted to tag along as an excuse to visit. It took me a while to make the decision official but in all reality, it was official as soon as I heard they were both running and wouldn’t mind my tagging along. I also discovered a 5K that had the same finish line as the marathon. Running through the streets of NYC and Central Park and finish where the marathon finished. Yep! Perfect!
Chris took the train in from NJ so we could all head to the expo together. As soon as we got there we saw a HUGE line outside. We suspected it was the line to get into the expo but weren’t positive but it did not take long for our suspicions to be confirmed…
Really?!?!?!?! You know full and damn well that there will be over 50,000 people going to this expo and there is a LINE TO GET IN?!?!?!?!
Yea… Chicago does this part better.
Luckily, once inside, it did not take any of us long to get our packets.
Fast forward to race day. Eric and I decided we didn’t want to mess with gear check. The race is a point to point course so the start and finish lines are in different locations. The start line wasn’t too far from the hotel but the finish line was in Central Park. We didn’t want to head to Central Park to drop off bags and then have to back track.
I had packed a lightweight wind breaker/rain jacket to run in at the last minute but Eric did not. We knew we would be chilly after the race but oh well. The most unfortunate thing… it was raining. It wasn’t pouring, which was good, but definitely a steady rain. I was less than thrilled but since I wasn’t using the race as a goal race I could deal with it.
We made it to the start line and didn’t have too long to wait before we were off and running. Eric was using the run as a shakeout run so would be running at my pace. Since I wasn’t running for time, I opted to just run at a very comfortable pace.
We made the first turn onto 42nd and welcome to NYC… We were making a steady climb up a hill. My Chicago legs are hardly used to this. WE ran past Grand Central station and Bryant Park which was fun. We then made a turn onto 6th Ave to head to Central Park.
I was really enjoying running through the streets and was just taking it all in.
Once we entered Central Park, I knew there would be more hills. I had never run through Central Park but I had walked through there plenty of times.
We saw the sign for Mile 25 of the Marathon and then the sign for Mile 26 which was exciting… even though I wasn’t running the marathon.
When we got closer to the finish line, I took off for a last final kick. I crossed the finish line at 32:27 for a pace of 10:28 (although my watch showed 3.25 miles for a 10:00 pace…)
After we grabbed our goody bag of post-race snacks we started looking for a place for food. Luckily, I remembered a diner that was a near a hotel I had stayed at previously and it wasn’t too far from where we were.
It was an awesome race and I am really glad I was able to participate… even if it was raining… Would definitely love to do another race in NYC at some point!