This weekend I learned what it is like to watch a marathon after running one. In high school I went down to watch the Boston Marathon numerous times, and even the Olympic women’s trials, but this was all before I even knew I was capable of running the 26.2 strenuous miles. I use to watch the marathon runners and thing two things: 1.) Yikes those people are insane 2.) I’ll never be able to do that. While I still strongly believe in thought #1, I now know that I am 100% capable of being one of those crazy people.
To sum up the NYC marathon, inspirational is the best way to describe it. With over 50,000 finishers this year, it has been the largest marathon in the world to date. One of my favorite things about this marathon, is a majority of the participants are selected through a random drawing. You then end up with it being someone’s first race… or their 15th. Even with such a variety of people in the race, they all share one common goal: to finish.
Of course I had very mixed feelings about being there. They first started off as extremely grateful I wasn’t running when we sloshed along to the expo Saturday in the rain. After a day of walking around the city and being cold the last thing I would have wanted to do was run a marathon. Then of course at the actual expo I was jealous of everyone picking up their numbers and shirts. I may be guilty of saying “Thank you!” when someone told me “Good luck tomorrow!” I could pretend… right? I then went back to not being sad about running when I realized how early I would have had to have been at the starting line… followed by immediate jealousy again the next morning when watching the race.
So, of course, the NYC Marathon is now on my bucket list of things to do.
We stayed outside the city in Newark and had to take the train in which led us right to Madison Square Garden. From there, it was about a 15 minute walk to the expo center.
When we got there, it was only an hour after it opened, so it wasn’t too crowded and we got right in with no lines. There were plenty of people posing with their numbers looking a little on the nervous side. Then I got overwhelmed with joy with all the vendors.
There were so. many. vendors. I wanted everything, but knew I had a day of walking around the city ahead of me so I controlled myself. I got a Nathan Sprint Plus Handheld Bottle Carrier since they were 20% off. I normally carry a small water bottle, but this sits in your hand so you aren’t gripping onto it. It’s going to seem like a luxury compared to what I’m use to. I also stocked up on Honey Stinger Gels since they were only $1 each! These are my favorite and I normally have a hard time finding them. I regret not buying a whole case, what was I thinking? Lastly, I got a Sweaty Band that was on clearance for only $10. It has little sail boats and octopus’ (is that even the plural of octopus?) on it.
The next morning, on race day, we first wen to mile 16. With better planning, I would have loved to have gone to more spots to watch. Between it being a busy weekend in the city and me having no idea where I was going, that made it a bit hard. I wasn’t expecting it to be that hard to get a front row view but boy was I wrong. It was amazing how many supporters were there. I’m pretty sure the people next to us knew over 20 runners. It was a chilly and windy day but everyone was very encouraging to the runners as they flew past. This is where I got to see the huge variety in runners. Personal favorites included Wonder Woman and an Aztec. This spot also seemed to be a popular spot for runners to take pictures of themselves running… and chat on the phone.
We then went over to Central Park. Note to self: If (I mean when) I run the NYC Marathon, I need to have my family hold a cardboard cutout of myself. I have no idea how else I’ll be able to see them cheering me on. There were even bands set up along this road. If I wasn’t already convinced I need to run this marathon, this confirmed all thoughts.
And here’s the best video every summarizing what it’s like after running a marathon: