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2011-09-05 9:45 AM

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Subject: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

Hello - 1st NYC for me, 10th standalone marathon.  Anyone else out there done this before?  Would be great to hear some firsthand accounts of the course and what to expect.  Of course, any newbies are welcome to get in on the chat action.



2011-09-06 8:46 AM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
NYC was my first marathon back in 2007.  I've run another 4 since.  Unfortunately the year I did NYC there was a lot of construction at the start and confusion. Depsite the fact I was in the 3:30 pace group, 2/3rds of the field got sent out before our corral so we ended up running in wall-to-wall runners, and it never opened up till Mile 20 on 1st Ave in Manhattan.  So my advice would be, make sure to seed up front as far as possible.  

Having Run other marathons now, I realize that NYC is totally a 'destination race'.  This is not a fast course, it's crowded, lots of pot holes, manhole covers, and jut generally beat-up NYC roads to traverse so you have to pay attention.  There will also be lots of people walking, stopping to take pictures, it's a tourist marathon for sure.  Soak in the scenery.  Don't worry about your times.  The bridges also take a lot more out of the legs than I anticipated.  The Queensboro bridge was a lot tougher than I thought it would be, and the short bridge in and out of the Bronx hurts!  They put a spongey mat over the metal grating, but it still hurt really bad at 20+ miles in.  

The coolest part I remember was running through a Jewish community in Brooklyn.  All of a sudden all the cheering stops and you just here the pitter-patter of feet on the pavement.  The women smile and the children wave, but no one says a word.  

Another highlight is coming down the bridge into Manhattan and hearing the roar of the crowd on 1st Avenue!!  You'll get a wicked adrenaline rush.  Running down the back stretch of Manhattan into Central Park is also super-awesome.  

What is not-so-awesome is the death march after you finish.  They block all the exits and force to walk for about 1.5 miles.  It's brutal.  You just want out of the park and it's all blocked off.  Make sure you look on the athlete guide and find out where the nearest exit is and make sure your partner or family are waiting for you nearby at a fixed location, or you'll end up wandering Manhattan.  Been there, done that, not fun.      
2011-09-06 9:47 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

Another NYC newbie here.  

Dream Chaser - you didn't give me the most warm and fuzzy feeling there about the race.  I'm really looking forward to it, but I hope I have a better experience than you.  I'm hoping for a fast time and the chance to experience everything along the way.  This is my 2nd marathon - my first being Chicago 2010.  So, I'm ready for the crowds, I'll get as ready as I can for the bridges, not so sure about having to dodge the marathoning tourists.  Anyone else have better experiences?

2011-09-06 10:35 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

Thanks for the input.  I've heard both good and bad about the race.  I'm sure the logistics are a pain, considering the location and how many people are racing (not to mention the temperature).  I've run Boston the past 3 years and it's by far the best race I've ever done.  Some people I've talked to have said that the crowd support at NYC is better.  I'm traveling from San Diego, but I'm staying with family on Long Island.  Somehow, they've agreed to shuttle me around - to the expo, start and back home from the finish.  I can't remember if I used my half or full as my qualifier, but since I'm over 40, there will be a lot of qualifiers that had to have much faster times.  I could be behind a few waves of runners - I don't know how they seed the corrals.

2011-09-07 8:47 AM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

Dream Chaser is spot on!   I think it is just a great race... but not fast for reasons DC said.  I totally love the Jewish neighborhood part too!  I ran the race as a guide for a wheel chair athlete and we took off 30 minutes before the official start.  When I ran through Brooklyn some little kids were screaming at me, "Look there is the first girl!!!"... yeah, in my dreams! Was awesome

Have fun!!

2011-09-07 12:09 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
Truth is, most of my friends had a much better experience then I did.  One friend got a charity spot through a friend of the mayor and had to start at the VERY back and run through 35,000 people.  I figured I ran through about 20,000.  If you can seed yourself up front, and you are lucky enough to get out ahead of the crowds; you'll surely have a better experience than I did. 

Another thing, prepare for a lonnng morning.  From when I left my Manhattan hotel room to when I actually started running was roughly 5 hours! 

The logistics of getting to the race: I took a cab from hotel to the ferry in south Manhattan.  Waited for the ferry.  Took a packed ferry to a bus station.  Get on a packed bus that drove us to the Athlete Village.  Waited around the Athlete Village.  The ground was wet and damp with no spot to sit. Finally time to get to the corrals and stood/waited for the line to start moving -- the entire experience just getting to the damn start was tiring.   If you are prepared for this mentally it may make the whole thing much easier.  If you can find a bus or transportation right to Wadsworth, that would be ideal. 

And again, be careful on the roads.  Haille Gebrselassie tweaked his knee on the Queensboro Bridge and he almost retired from Running because of it.  The roads are pitted, rough, and gnarly in spots.  

I've run the Philly Marathon and you wouldn't think there is a big difference between 20,000 people at Philly and 40,000 at NYC ; but the difference was NIGHT AND DAY.  At Philly you just walk a few blocks from your hotel 15 mins before the start.  We walked right up front to our corral.  BOOM!! Gun goes off and your running.  It was amazing, and the crowd support was superb.  I also ran the Steamown Marathon twice with a field of around 2,000 and that was a stellar marathon experience as well.  Check out my Race Reports for more details.  

NYC is well run, but prepare for a LONG WAIT to Run.  Be prepared to be surrounded by 40,000 of your closest friends, and be prepared for a long walk through Central Park afterwards.  Having said all that, I do agree everyone should run New York City at least once.  And I'll emphasize ONCE!  

Edited by Dream Chaser 2011-09-07 12:13 PM


2011-09-07 12:47 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

I think I'm in the first wave, with other runners who have qualified, so hopefully I will be seeded correctly - at least everyone will have to use their actual race time.  I've heard the bridges are what make this course tough and DC you're the second person that has mentioned the eternal walk through the finishing area.  I'm hoping that having a ride to the starting area in Staten Island will ease some of the hassle in the morning, but there will still be a long wait to start in cold conditions.  I'll be bringing throwaways for sure!

How is the porta-potty situation in the morning?

2011-09-07 1:16 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
fullironmike - 2011-09-07 1:47 PM

I think I'm in the first wave, with other runners who have qualified, so hopefully I will be seeded correctly - at least everyone will have to use their actual race time.  I've heard the bridges are what make this course tough and DC you're the second person that has mentioned the eternal walk through the finishing area.  I'm hoping that having a ride to the starting area in Staten Island will ease some of the hassle in the morning, but there will still be a long wait to start in cold conditions.  I'll be bringing throwaways for sure!

How is the porta-potty situation in the morning?



Plenty of them  

Seeing as you qualified, I'm sure you won't run into all the course clutter like I did.  My cousin ran a 2:50 at NYC and had a great time and solid race.  My neighbor and friend also ran a 3:10 and enjoyed his NYC marathon experience.  I guess with such a HUGE event there is the tendency for a lot of people to get lost in chaos of it all, and unfortunately I was one of them.  Hopefully you will not.  The last 10k of the race was the best part of the whole day for me.  Running through the streets of Manhattan is very cool, and the last mile they have signs counting down every few hundred yards which made it dramatic. 
2011-09-07 1:39 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
I ran into some course clutter in my first Boston.  I qualified with a 3:15, but then my training pointed towards a 3:00 race.  I got caught up in traffic for the first 10k or so and just decided to roll with it instead of wasting energy, trying to bob & weave through the crowd.  I think it actually helped me with pacing, forcing me to slow down at the beginning.  I missed my 3-hour goal, but felt pretty good up and over Heartbreak and ran the last 10k about as fast as the first, finishing in 3:03.  It sounds like the slow pace kept you feeling good since your last 10k was the best - but then 20 miles is a long time to be caught up in gridlock.  Thanks again for the info!
2011-09-07 10:02 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
Am I the only one that's contemplating running to the start??
2011-09-14 5:43 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

Hi folks, this my first post.  I'm a long time (slow) runner, but a beginner triathlete.  I've run the NYC Marathon 5 times over 6 years.  My finish times have ranged from 3:59 to 5:07.  From personal experience:

GETTING THERE:
SI Ferry is the best bet.  I especially like the ferry because the bathroom at the terminals on both the Manhattan and SI side are my "last chance" flushing toilets.

THE START:
- On my FIFTH time in the start area (Nov 2010), I accidentally stumbled into a heated tent.  It was for regular runners (not just pros).  Were they there in previous years, and will there be there again in the future? I don't know.   I also don't know how to find my way back there again. 
- Corral assignments are printed on your bib, and very strictly enforced.  Volunteers will not allow you to enter a faster one.   Fences and barricades prevent sneaking in.

THE COURSE:
- It was crowded for all 26.2 miles of it, every year that I ran it.  When I ran Chicago in 2010, it got less crowded after mile 20.  In NYC, it never opens up.  Towards the end of the course, the runners thin out but the spectators push in. At one point limit the usable road was limited to about 10 runners wide. 
- Aid stations are plentiful, clearly labeled, and very well run.  Gatorade is in Gatorade cups, water in Poland Spring cups.  Absolutely nothing to fault here.

THE FINISH:
- Yes, there is a death march.  The earlier you start, the further you have to walk, because the baggage trucks are lined up by corral, with the earliest ones furthest away from the finish line.
- There is no finish festival like in Chicago.  They usually close Central Park West for family re-union, but there is no entertainment and just a few hot dog carts selling food.   The finisher's bag doesn't have the likes of stale bagel, apple, maybe a bag of nuts.



2011-09-14 5:54 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
Thanks for the info.  Got my bib number and corral last night.  I'm in #4 - looks like wave #1, blue.
2011-10-06 1:25 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
How did you get your bib number and corral?
2011-10-06 4:13 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
Login to your account and click on the Registration Form button.  This is kinda misleading, but when you hover over it, you will see it's to Get Registration Card (I swear it used to say this on the button).  Anyway, it's a link to download a PDF.  Based on your bib number (1st digit is corral), look up the color from the About the Start link, then Corral Chart (on left).
2011-10-11 11:08 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
So is anyone "risking" it and not taking official race transportation?!
2011-10-12 9:05 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
I'm staying with family and they're going to drive me to the start.  We're gonna leave way early.  Worst case I'll be adding some warmup miles to get to the start village.


2011-10-14 11:25 AM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

Hey all.  I will be out there, too.  Wave #1, corral 6.  Its my first.  Kind of glad I found this thread, until I started reading DC's posts.  However, I love the honesty and it will definitely help me (and all of us) prepare.  It should be a blast!

2011-10-28 3:36 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

Everyone's so quiet on this thread! How are all your taper weeks going? I decided to use mine to come down with bronchitis. Haven't run in 8 days, but for some weird reason, I'm totally chill about it. Obviously there's something wrong with me.

Anyone got any goals they want to throw down?

Is everyone pumped? I sure am!

2011-10-28 5:04 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
I was orginally going for a BQ, but then decided ... oh wait.  This is the NYC thread.  I'm running Philly.  My bad   Carry on...
2011-10-30 5:49 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
I'm still in.  Not sure what to expect for time.  I'd like to go 3:15 or better, but if not, no worries.  I'm just hoping to get a good tour of the 5 boroughs. 
2011-10-30 7:59 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

I'm thinking somewhere between 3:15-3:30. 

Out of the entire thing, I think I'm most nervous about trying to get to the start in time. haha. 



2011-10-31 11:25 AM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
My first NYC Marathon! Had some ups and downs with my run training the last 3 months, so the current plan is to finish, have fun and enjoy the experience. It will be a good training run for the Goofy Challenge in January. Blue wave 2, corral #28.

Good luck everyone.
2011-10-31 2:18 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread
Getting Excited.  Training has been pretty good.  My first NYC as well.  Hoping for my first sub 3 hour.  I am in Blue wave#1 corral #4.  Good luck everyone!
2011-10-31 2:26 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

markdills38 - 2011-10-31 12:18 PM Getting Excited.  Training has been pretty good.  My first NYC as well.  Hoping for my first sub 3 hour.  I am in Blue wave#1 corral #4.  Good luck everyone!

markdills - I am in the same corral.  Will be wearing some sort of Odwalla garb.  If you see me, say hey before you leave me in your dust.

2011-10-31 2:41 PM
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Subject: RE: ING New York City Marathon : Official Thread

Mark - although my logs are not up to date, we have similar times/goals.  My 1/2 mary was 1:27, on a windy day and I negative split.  Am thinking 3:03-3:05, but if the legs feel good, will go for a sub 3.  Wish the course was a little flatter.

Is anyone staying for a couple days after?  we are out there until Wednesday!

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