This year the New York City Marathon was the largest marathon field in the sport's history - 43,741 runners and 43,475 finishers (a 99.4% completion rate). And I am proud to say that I was one of the 43,475 finishers. Running New York is like No other race. The big apple puts on a mega marathon event, with the largest crowd support bar none. If this race wasn't a day's drive away and the amount of money spent for the race and hotel I would love to run it again. But, it sure was worth the experience.
The race organizers and volunteers did an exceptional job in transporting us runners from the Ferry on Manhattan Island to Staten Island to be bused to the runners village where we waited around for a few hours before they called us to line up in our starting corrals.
Running with so many people reminded me of my rock concert days at the stadium where we were packed against a pushing crowd, except the runners gave you more room to run. The start was an up hill over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. I hardly noticed it was an uphill because the excitement of all the runners took me up and over the bridge. The cheering crowds carried me through 15 miles at around a 6:40 pace but then all my little problems began to wear me down. I think traveling to a race and the logistics of getting to the start line played a big toll on my performance. I was told from other NYC marathon finishers not expect a personal best. I tried to ignore that and wanted a PB anyway. But then another little problem I've been nursing during my marathon training, my plantar fasciitis, began to complain. And no matter how much the crowds were cheering us runners on my focus was on finishing the race with what strength I had left and in 3:22:48 I was happy to be done. If I were to run New York again I might not have high hopes of running a fast race but I would try to just have all the fun I can get from the cheering crowds.
I'm not giving up that sub 3 hour marathon goal just yet but I look forward to turning 50 in a few months and giving the marathon another go.