One week ago Sunday I was in NYC running the NYC marathon. It was my first time running this event and it won’t be my last! I have a lot of memories to share about this race and will do so in a series of posts throughout the week.
Today I want to share with you my highlights and thoughts that have occurred since the race.
Enjoy ALL of it. From visiting the pavilion and the finish line area prior to the race, to the energy in the city, the expo, the pasta party, and the meet ups with friends.
I chose to take a train down to the city on Friday to visit the Pavilion and see the finish line. I wasn’t aware of the pavilion until people in the Facebook group I was a part of started sharing what goes on there. Then I checked the days it was open. Since it was closed for Saturday, I knew I had to make a special trip for it. It was my first time running the NYC Marathon so I wanted to soak in as much of it as I could. When I heard that The Pavilion was the place where your name is on the wall, I wanted to to see it there for myself.
The Finish Line
You really should visit the finish line area before you run the race. The reason why I say this is because on race day, depending on the time of day you expect to finish, it could be dark, it will be crowded, and you have to move through it quickly after you complete the race. I enjoyed being at the finish line and visualizing what my finish line experience will feel like. But nothing compares to the actual event. I enjoyed just being there, taking it all in and actually seeing the New York City Marathon, a “major” marathon’s finish line. That was pretty freaking awesome for me.
When I went down to NYC on Saturday for the Expo I arrived at Grand Central Station, checked into the hotel, and left my bag with the concierge. I was staying at the Grand Hyatt New York. This was a perfect location because it is connected to Grand Central Station so for race morning and to get to the expo I just had to hop onto a subway.
The Expo was at the Javitts Convention Center. When I arrived I picked up my bib, tried on a shirt for size, picked up my official shirt and then went to the New Balance store where the official race merchandise was being sold. I did well and didn’t purchase everything I wanted at the expo; but I did buy a nice jacket, a glass and a new running belt which was large enough and comfortable enough to carry all of my fuel, battery chargers, phone, ipod and folded up rain poncho.
After I left the New Balance store I went to the main expo floor and checked out the vendors there. I stopped for an autograph from Joan Benoit Samuelson, had Bart Yasso sign my bib, and visited the Achilles booth. Coincidentally, I bumped into Jeff Amell from the Achilles team as well while walking the corridors of the expo hall. We keep running into each other at our races, it’s great! With the weather being questionable, I felt I needed to find a long sleeve shirt just in case it was going to be colder. I found one at a small vendor booth for $20 and picked it up just in case.
I had some fun with the photo booths and props at some of the vendors and spent about an hour touring the expo floor before leaving to go meet up with my friend Linda Ambard for dinner.
Having been to several marathons, this was by far, the largest I had been to. However, in comparison to Disney I would say the expo at the NYC marathon is double the size.
Linda and I met up at the Olive Garden for the perfect dinner of spaghetti and meatballs with salad and bread sticks. Then Joe Pardo and his wife were meeting us after their dinner and before their show. So we chatted with them on the sidewalks of New York in Times Square on a whim! He didn’t even know the race was going on this weekend and saw my post on Facebook that I was in the city!
After chatting Linda and I ventured downtown to see the 9/11 Memorial while it was dark out and the lights were on in the fountains. It took us a while to get here and eventually we had to take and Uber because the subway train wasn’t coming. So I had my first Uber experience in NYC and Linda and I enjoyed the time together talking and catching up. It was really wonderful to finally sit down and share a meal with her and talk after all these years since we met at the Disney World Marathon in 2014.
If the NYC is going to be your first marathon in the category of majors or even just your first marathon, take it all in. Enjoy the events that take place throughout the entire week leading up to the race and even on Marathon Monday when people visit the Pavilion and wear their NYC Marathon gear and medals around the city. I loved every minute of this event. Even every single mile of those 26.2 miles. I was prepared, I had my cheer squad waiting for me, and the city was one big party despite the weather! I’ll have a great race recap and video for you coming soon!