November 24, 2015

New York City Marathon, why it was not a one and done

When I registered for the NYC Marathon last January 15th as a time qualifier, it was to check off a box on my bucket list of races.  To be specific, it was to check off a marathon major.  Now that I have spent the race weekend in New York City and run the marathon, my thoughts have changed entirely on the whole experience.  My prior opinion of NYC was just so so.  It was another large city, one where I had only spent small periods of time.  So this trip would be just another one of those long weekend adventures that included a little marathon race.


After arriving on Friday, we checked into our beautiful hotel on the upper west side of the city just a few blocks from Central Park.  It was absolutely gorgeous weather and our plan was to dump our suitcase and head to the race expo. Everything went like clockwork and we arrived at the Expo and quickly picked up bibs and enjoyed the whole experience other than the line to pay for official merchandise!

Saturday included a lovely shakeout run in Central Park and I have to say that while I knew there would be hills, it was more than expected and also a much bigger park than I remembered!  The views were spectacular and we enjoyed a lovely 3 miles to prepare for the big race the next day.  Plenty of other runners had the same idea and it is a great way to get out some of the nerves by seeing the finish line and parts of the course you would be running the next day.

Gorgeous views in Central Park

One of the things that made the trip and race such a wonderful experience was the support and enthusiasm of the locals who helped us in so many ways.  The waitresses who knew we were carb loading and offered suggestions of good meal choices, the elevator operator at Tiffany's who wished us a great race, and the list goes on and on.  My recollection of NYC was of a cold and unfriendly place.  Boy was my memory wrong!  There are so many things to do and see in New York which is another reason to love this race weekend. You can do as much or as little as you want depending on your race day goals.  While we did not attend a Broadway show, we knew runners who did. The parade of nations and fireworks display in Central Park on Friday night is another fun thing to do. We caught the fireworks and they were a first rate show with lots of oohing and ahhing from the crowd!  And of course NYC has a slew of wonderful museums and galleries to keep you occupied for hours.  The restaurants are plentiful and even without reservations, we had no trouble finding great places to eat within walking distance of our hotel.  Planning ahead can be helpful too, but Joanne and I enjoyed making choices while in the city and it all worked out fine.

.This race should be on the bucket list of everyone who runs marathons.  The experience of running with people of so many nationalities through all the boroughs of New York is very special.  In fact, so many of the girls in my running group are signing up for the lottery next year, that I just may have to try another NYC Marathon myself and join the fun.

My last visit to Central Park before heading to the airport

Have you run the NYC Marathon?  Was it a memorable experience for you?
(Pam)


33 comments:

  1. One day I'll run NYC. I want to so badly, having living there! Running a Marathon Major is unlike any other marathon experience not only because you get to run side by side with the elites but also because of the quality of the course, the volunteers and support, and also the crowds. It is just an addictive feeling!

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    1. Yes, you will love it Suzy, but beware that it is a tough course. However, it was run so well with 50,000 runners .

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  2. I ran NYC this year, as well. I am also a former New Yorker, so this race also very emotional for me. Seeing the City again, the great vibes, the energy, you name it. Yes, it's more than just a marathon. I think this one really stays with you and shapes your running. and changes your running. Even though I didn't meet my time goal, I wouldn't want to miss it for anything :) Love NYC!

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    1. Oh I can imagine it would mean alot more to someone who was from New York. But honestly, I am also a big fan of NYC now

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  3. I'd love to run NYCM. I don't know if it will happen, but it's on my wish list!

    Have you run Chicago?

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    1. Wendy, I have not run Chicago, but hope to run it next fall. It's on my wish list for 2016

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  4. I unfortunately think I have too strong a prejudice (not even sure if that's the right word…) against New York to ever appreciate this race. I'm tempted to try it again one day to see if I have a different/ better experience, but I think I really need to get past my intense dislike for New York first, then we'll see.

    I'm so glad you had such a great time, it's so interesting to read about how much people love this race, maybe one day I'll see that side of it!

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    1. I totally understand your feelings Danielle. If I had not been with Joanne who knew the city so well, I may not have enjoyed the experience near as much. But she made me comfortable and staying on the upper west side was pleasant due to all the families etc.

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  5. This sounds like such a wonderful race! I'm not sure if I'll ever run it but I'd love to at least get up there and cheer on the marathoners :)

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    1. Spending the weekend in NYC for this race weekend would be great whether you are running or not. I absolutely loved it!

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  6. I ran the New York marathon last year and it was unlike anything I've ever experienced. I'd do anything to do it again.

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    1. Hope you have the opportunity Jen. Good luck with the lottery.

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  7. So glad to hear that you had such a wonderful race weekend experience. It sounds like the city really comes together to support all runners. I especially appreciate hearing that wait staff at restaurants went out of their way to make carb loading suggestions for you.

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    1. Yes, I was really surprised at how nice the staff were at every restaurant, hotel, store that we visited. I expected the people to be cold and unfriendly but that was not the case at all.

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  8. What a nice recap, Pam. Sounds like you had a lot of fun. That's the only way to do it if you ask me!

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    1. Thanks Diane. The fun is good, but I am also competitive and had goals for the race, which thankfully I met!

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  9. I think you should come back too.

    The 5k is great too if you can't run 26.2 miles or as a shake out run the day before.

    I love NYC.

    I keep finding new exciting to do that I never knew about.

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    1. Oh I plan to Darlene. Just what year is yet to be determined!

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  10. Sounds like an incredible experience Pam! I just want to visit New York City one day! I've never been!

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    1. Well you need to include a race when you go Mindy, that would be the natural thing to do!

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  11. I'm so glad you enjoyed your time here! I was watching from Brooklyn and am looking forward to running this race next year. :) :)

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    1. Yay, you will love the race Nicole and thanks for being out there cheering!

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  12. I'm glad you had such a good time! I just spent a day in NYC and squeezed in a run in CP. It was lovely!

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    1. I loved your post about your recent visit to NYC. Central Park is a perfect place for a run!

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  13. i'm hoping to get into chicago next year. but if i don't, i might try for NYC :)

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    1. I have Chicago on my wish list for next year too! Let's hope we both get in Courtney!

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  14. I am so glad you gave NYC another chance and that you really enjoyed it! I love going into NYC and I love Central Park! Going in for the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular is always a favorite! I have no desire to run that particular race but I wouldn't mind running one through central park. Lacey did one there a few years ago! -M

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    1. The Rockette's Christmas Spectacular is so such a fantastic show. I saw it about 30 years ago and would love to go to NYC for a weekend in December. We just never seem to fit it in. Are you going to the show this year?

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  15. I ran this year and really did fall in love! My first World Marathon and the atmosphere was electric. My goal is to now run them all (and my boyfriend's goal is to come and spectate them all! haha) I won't be back for a few years at least as there are other races I want to run but I have nothing but amazing things to say about it. I think I am shooting for the NYC Half lottery in 2017 (next year I have a half that weekend already) as you start in central park, run through time square and finish in Battery Park which are some of my fav parts of NYC.

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    1. Wow, the course for the NYC half sounds fabulous. I may have to add that to my list too.

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  16. I loved the NYC Marathon because it felt like running through home. NYC is my favorite city in the world and my father's side of the family lives there. We didn't run through the only part I hate--Times Square--so that made it 10x better. I'm going to shoot for Chicago next year but I'll be back in NYC whenever I gain lottery entry again.

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    1. I thinks that is hilarious you hate Times Square. We actually were close to at one point while walking around but definitely did not make a point to visit there. Good luck with Chicago. I hope to run that one next year as well.

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  17. I absolutely agree! Hope to run NYCM again in my lifetime :)

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