New York | TCS NYC Marathon

After 3 years of entering the lottery, I was finally accepted into the New York City Marathon! Let me catch you up on the busy summer/fall of 2017 leading up to what has become my favorite marathon to date.   After Grandma’s Marathon I took a little time off running to try and get my body back together after a busy spring. In July, I turned 30 and decided that running 30 (ended up being 31) miles on my birthday would be a good idea. I filmed that adventure and you can check it out on my YouTube channel. In September, Kaela and I went on a Europe vacation which I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to run the Berlin Marathon. I’m not doing a full write up on that marathon (since not a new state) but it was an amazing experience running in another country and yet another world major. I had my GoPro with me and captured that race weekend in Berlin which is also on the channel.   Now to NYC…

Race: TCS NYC Marathon
Location: New York, NY
Date: November 5, 2017  

As I said earlier, I had been trying to get into the NYC marathon for a handful of years. When I was drawing up the “must do” marathons across the country, this was on the list for New York. I went through the motions of entering the lottery (the first year they didn’t charge for it) and then played the waiting game. My buddy John had previously ran NYC and told me that you will see the charge on the card before you get the confirmation email so to be checking that.  

On selection day, I was having a busy day at work as I was only working a half day before heading to Myrtle beach for the marathon in March. I arrived home, packed up the car, and headed on my way, when Kaela asked me if I had gotten in lottery as she knew it was selection day as well. I had completely forgot to check, so Kaela logged into credit card account and BOOM there it was! All $285 of NYRR saying I would be running through the 5 boroughs of New York City.  

Since I have family in Queens, Kaela and I decided that we would just stay there to save a little bit of money compared to a hotel. With the race starting late on Sunday, I decided to arrive in NYC on Friday and leave Monday morning. As the race date got closer, Kaela was unable to get coverage for work for Monday after the race so I was going to have to head to NY alone. I knew that John had family in Brooklyn, so I had asked him if he would like to tag along for the weekend, and just as he always does he came through in helping me out. I don’t like when Kaela is not around for races as she gives me that extra push when I see her, but I knew that she would be back home following along the entire race.  

It seemed almost instantly after we got back from Germany it was time for New York, even though it was 4 weeks later. Training between races was so-so, with me just trying to maintain the fitness from training for Berlin and not doing anything stupid to hurt myself. I felt like my legs were rested enough that I was planning for a great race. I only had one goal in this race, to beat Johns NYC marathon time of 4:29:25.  

Leading up to the race weekend, I knew that John had run his marathon PR at NY and that I wanted to beat his time. Once John said that he was coming with me, that goal was amplified! John kept bringing it up and trying to get in my head and get me to “try new things” before race to prevent me from achieving that goal. I knew it was all a playful game and he was cheering me to run a great race but it was fun to have a little smack talk leading into it.  

Friday morning of race weekend, John and I left Ohio around 5:30am. We wanted to get to NY early enough to hit up the expo and everything that evening so Saturday I could relax. We hit up Starbucks and got on the highway. I told John that I only stop for gas/food and we would get to NY in record time (driving the posted speed limit of course). Not even 2 hours in, my Chai Tea Latte had gone right through me and I felt like I was going to pee my pants. I felt ashamed as I told John we were going to have to stop at a rest area because I was a child.  

Back on the road, we were making great time and having even better conversations. We started quoting Ricky Bobby and had an idea that may or may not of actually happened. If only there was a way to download a movie to an iPhone from lets say Netflix and have the ability to run the sound through the car while the phone was resting in the center console for us to watch. What a great way to make a trip feel shorter. But of course that would be very dangerous to watch a movie, while driving. But of course…lol (plead the fifth)  

On the way in, we altered the weekend plans to what made the most sense. I originally was going to be staying with my grandparents Friday and Saturday in Queens and then after the race head to Brooklyn to stay with John’s family so it would make it easier to leave on Monday. The issue with that plan is that my luggage and car would be in Queens, so after running the race and our post race “activities” I would have to pick all that up and head to Brooklyn. John’s brother in law, Jeremy, runs the race almost every year, so we decided that I would just stay with them on Saturday and head to the start with him to prevent having to go back to Queens after the race. (that wasn’t confusing right?)  

Heading directly to Queens to drop off my luggage and car, we made it to grandma’s just before 3 with basically no traffic in city. I told John as we were arriving that my grandfather would be hanging out the window in a white tank and like clock work there he was! I guess somethings never change. I brought in my luggage and talked a little with my grandparents, before making our way to train station to go to expo. We grabbed John’s bags from the car as he was going to head to expo and then wait for Jeremy to get off work before heading to Brooklyn. From where my grandparents are in Queens, it’s 10-15 minute walk to a train station, which John was flabbergasted about and told me multiple times. We arrived to the 103rd St station and took the 7 train all the way to the end to arrive at the expo.  

The expo surprised me with how small it really was for a major marathon. After a quick security sweep, I went to go pick up bib and t-shirt. While picking up the bib, John asked a volunteer where the race day registration was, and the look on their face was priceless. After grabbing items, we made our way through the official merchandise area. I had noticed a few shirts that were pretty cool but nothing that caught my eye as a “have to have it”. We wrapped around to the main expo floor and again I was honestly taken back with how little they actually had. There were next to no exhibitors providing samples or having great sales on merchandise to purchase like you see at most.  

While finishing up walking through the aisles of the expo, John received a text that Jeremy was on the way so we just found a seat and talked passing the time until he arrived. I wanted to get back to Queens at decent hour to eat dinner with the family, so around 6pm I took the train back to grandmas to eat some delicious rice and beans with chicken, to get off my feet and then get some sleep.  

Saturday morning I woke up to get a little shake out run in to start the day. Ran to the Queens center and zig-zagged back for a nice 3 mile run. The weather was pretty cool but legs felt great through the run. I started my normal routine of carb loading while talking and catching up with my grandparents. A surprise to me was a cousin that I had not seen in 6 years (at my wedding) actually came in later in the night and stayed the night. So it was nice catching up with him and trying to invoke some “life knowledge” on his future plans.  

He had to go to an event, so I spent the alone time sitting on the bed with my feet up playing a little Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch (which by the way is probably the best item for me while traveling). A few hours later my grandma came in asking if I wanted a burger for lunch. Trying to explain my “diet” for the day to her, she advised me of some lasagna instead. It was great having real conversations with my grandparents. There haven’t been many times in my adult life that I have had an opportunity to have them and I am so thankful that this time was different (sorry for the personal sappy stuff).  

Shortly after lunch, I packed up my things and made my way over to Brooklyn to stay with John and his family, to make it an easier commuting situation on race day. Their apartment was just over 10 miles away from my grandparents, but in typical New York traffic, it took me just over an hour to get there. The sun was shining during the drive so I decided to drop the top on the convertible and at least soak it in while I crept along the highway.  

When I arrived at their building, I texted John to come let me in. At that time the OSU Buckeyes were playing and he rushed down and with a little frustration in voice tried to hurry me up. I knew that must have meant the came was not going well. The next couple hours I thoroughly enjoyed watching OSU give up TD after TD, which consequently caused John to get more and more aggravated. (bwaahhaahahahahaaa)  

As the evening went on, I started to wonder when we were going to actually eat dinner. I usually eat earlier night before race but since I was on other peoples time I went by their schedule. I also had to keep reminding myself that the NYC marathon had a super late start time so eating later was probably a helpful thing. I have been used to races starting between 6:00am – 7:30am, and not only was I not going to start until a little at 10am, it was also time change weekend so I was getting an extra hour of sleep.  

We left the apartment around 8pm and made the drive over to their pre-NYC marathon tradition restaurant, L&B Spumoni Gardens. John has talked this place up for years to me so I was excited to try it. As would be expected for a great restaurant on a Saturday night, there was a wait for a table. I called Kaela as she was getting ready for bed and just caught up with her about how my day had gone and a little bit of my concerns of eating later. She told me not to worry, as she always does, keeping me as level headed as I can be. At dinner, I put the ordering in the hands of the people that knew best and I ended up eating things I don’t typically eat before a race and even a few things I’ve never eaten at all (artichoke hearts!?!). You know what they say, always try to new things on race day! The initial worry went away just because of the great conversation that we had while eating. Telling stories of past races and looking forward to what tomorrow would bring on the road.  

We made it back to the apartment around 11, where I organized my items and prepared for race day. The plan was not to have a drop bag and just pack a small bag of a change of clothes that John would bring to the finish, so we could go out directly after the race. So first I made sure I had everything I needed in that bag and then I spent more focus on everything I would need for race morning. The marathon gives you a “starting line bag” for those not doing drop off, so I had packed that with all the essentials that I would not be wearing until race start, i.e. hat, sunglasses, handheld bottle, etc.  

After going through my list and checking it at least 5 times (as I do), it was finally time to lay down and get some sleep. Special thanks to John for allowing me to take the futon and not have to sleep on the couch.   It was weird not having to wake up at 3am as usual for races, and I’m not going to lie, I kind of liked it. Went through the typical routine of getting up, using the bathroom (at least 3 times), getting clothes on and preparing prerace food. Similar to Big Sur and arriving at the start line super early, I would be eating my breakfast on the ride to the start. I did the final prep of my items, which included swapping my SIM card to an old phone that I would be carrying with me during the run. I wasn’t planning on taking photos during race (or even playing Pokemon GO!) but I knew I would need it to help pass the time at the start and also for contact purposes after the race. All packed up and bags double checked, Jeremy and I headed out the door to catch the Lyft to take us to Manhattan.  

We went along with Jeremy’s planned schedule as he was starting in the wave just before me and needed to arrive a little sooner. Being the expert NYC marathoner as he is, he knew how to plan to get on the correct ferry that would prevent having to sit at the start for literally hours. As we arrived to the port, a ferry was about to start loading up, which was actually the one before the one we planned on taking. We decided to try and get on it and fell just short of getting on which meant us standing for 15-20 minutes until the next would arrive. I used that time to start eating breakfast and getting in those pre-race calories.   Next ferry arrived and we boarded pretty early, which gave us the opportunity to get a decent seat with a view. Usually people would opt for an outdoor section for better view but with the cool misty weather it made more sense to stay warm and dry as long as possible. It was the first time I ever remember taking the ferry in all the times I’ve been to NY. It was cool seeing the city from a different angle and getting a nice glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. Another great thing about the ferry was the ability to have access to another bathroom, knowing that the start area would be packed.  

Ferry arrived in Staten Island and then we had to go through the port terminal to make our way to a bus that would take us to the starting area. We arrived to a huge crowd of people  being funneled to get on the buses. Jeremy said that he had never seen it like this before and we thought perhaps it was due to heightened security due to the terrorist attack just a few days prior in Manhattan. Sure enough we were right, as we approached the end of the line we saw that the bottleneck in the process was people bringing items they were not allowed to have and security officials carefully looking at each person passing by. Getting on the bus was a breeze and we had a smooth ride all the way to the start. We arrived to yet another security checkpoint, this one a little more thorough with NYPD and wands checking for anything on our bodies.   Walking up to the starting areas, I could already feel the enormity of this race. I mean when you have 50,000 people running a race, you can feel a crazy amount of energy. Their were 3 corrals set up by colors (green, orange, and blue) and in those corrals  you were assigned a wave number and in those waves you had a corral letter. Two of the corrals would be running on top of the Verrazano bridge at the start and the other would be would be running the lower level. All three take a slightly different path for the first 5k or so and then start slowly joining in all together completely by mile 7ish.

I was in the orange group (Go Mets!) and Jeremy was in blue group. We wished each other good luck and he made his way over to drop off his bag and get ready to line up in his corral. I went towards my corral while listening to my pre race playlist and trying to get mentally focused. I finished up the rest of my pre-race food, while checking out all the starting area had to offer. It was pretty well stocked with D&D coffee, water, gatorade, little inflatables for people to rest on, and thousands of people!  

After a little moving around, it was time for my last trip to a porta-potty before completely getting ready. I must have gotten super lucky and picked a “fresh” one because it didn’t even seem like it had been used. After doing my business, I had to glide up and get my clothes all set for the race. Because of the trip on the way down I didn’t apply any body glide because I didn’t want it all to either rub off or get sticky in the few hours that I had during the race. So I did all of it in my little personal studio of the porta-potty at Ft. Wadsworth.  

Once I was all situated, I tried calling Kaela and kept dropping cell signal. I accounted it to being amongst tens of thousands of people, so I made my way back towards where the buses dropped us off to a little bit of a quieter location. We chatted a little bit and it calmed my nerves and helped me to get out of my own head. I told her how much I wished she was there as it’s not the same feeling when she is not there to cheer me on. She wished me good luck and said that she would be following along all morning.  

While we were talking I briefly heard some announcements and really didn’t process them as I was in tuned in our conversation. After she wished me good luck and we got off the phone, I happen to look down at my watch and realized that I may have missed an important announcement saying “Wave 2, get to your corrals”. I made my way to the information board and realized I had about 5 minutes to get to my area before they closed my wave and I would have to wait another 30 minutes to start.  

In a slight panic I picked up my walk to a slight jog trying to follow the signage to get me to my start. Come to find out that Orange had two starting areas entrances and I was actually closer to one when I was sitting talking to Kaela on the phone. I made it to the area with a minute to spare when I noticed that my group “A” line was crazy long to enter. I didn’t want to miss the cutoff because I was in line so I just hopped into corral B as they were all connected. I was only listed in corral A as I put my predicted time of 3:45 during registration but knowing darn well that that was not happening today, B sounded just fine as any to start.   Shortly after the corrals closed, we made the short walk around a few turns to the starting area. The layout of the start was quite interesting but I must say, for managing over 50,000 people, they do an amazing job! As we approached the start, the announcer said we had just 5 minutes until the start. I took my “get ready” gel and said a quick prayer. I just had to thank God for the entire year of running and knowing that any outcome of the race was not by my own strength. I then took a moment to check my body and access my goals for the race; the most important of which was beating John’s time.  

GO!!!!!  

And we were off starting the climb on the Verrazano Narrows bridge. Once I got some space I removed the last piece of throw away clothes as I didn’t want the extra weight for the start. I was told by many people to hold back even more than usual at the start since the first mile was completely uphill while on the bridge. People were flying by me, one because they were starting too fast due to excitement and two, because I was in a corral of people a hell of a lot faster than I was (lol).  

The weather was cool with a little bit of drizzle rain coming down. I tried to stay within packs of people and draft the best I could to limit the wind hitting me in the face. The weather limited some views of city skyline, but I was able to get a decent view of the Statue of Liberty. People were stopping and standing on the median to get a picture of all the runners heading up their way. I was more focused on not tripping over the multiple NYPD cars that were parked in the shoulder.  

As we hit the half way point of the bridge, it was downhill racing for the next mile. I let gravity have its way while trying to stay focus on stride length to make sure I wasn’t going to injury myself in the process. People weren’t taking the same advice I was giving myself and were just going as hard as they could on the backside of the bridge. Our corral stayed in the left lane and made our way up an entrance ramp into the first borough of the day.  

Brooklyn |  

Off the bridge, we turned down a few streets before making it over to 4th Avenue. We would stay on it for about 5 miles going through neighborhood to neighborhood in Brooklyn. It was so crazy to me the amount of people that were lined on both sides of the streets cheering us on. It was also so great seeing how each neighborhood had it’s own feel and made things feel brand new within only a few blocks between them. I remember just looking side to side just admiring and taking in everything around me.  

The miles were clicking off nicely and my body was feeling great. I was carrying a handheld bottle for my phone but relied mostly on the stations for my fluid intake. Around mile 4 I needed to use bathroom but every time I came up to some porta-potties, there was a longer than I would like line that made me just keep going forward. I would spot guys just finding a corner of a building to relieve themselves but decided against being rude to a community that was showing us such great support. Just before mile 8, I spotted no line as I passed by porta-potty and quickly hopped over tape barrier on the side of the course to take care of business. In the process I lost a glove that was wrapped around my race belt, but I was able to get in an out pretty quickly and back on the road.  

Brooklyn had so many different neighborhoods to see and it was great to just take it all in. We hit a few little rolling hills as we headed down Lafayette Ave towards Bedford Ave. Just after turning on Bedford Ave, I saw John on the side of the road with his sister-in-law and niece. They were cheering all of us on and John captured a pretty cool picture in the process. John had told me that when he saw me, he was upset about how fresh I had looked knowing that I was focused on his time.  

Off the bridge, we turned down a few streets before making it over to 4th Avenue. We would stay on it for about 5 miles going through neighborhood to neighborhood in Brooklyn. It was so crazy to me the amount of people that were lined on both sides of the streets cheering us on. It was also so great seeing how each neighborhood had it’s own feel and made things feel brand new within only a few blocks between them. I remember just looking side to side just admiring and taking in everything around me.  

The miles were clicking off nicely and my body was feeling great. I was carrying a handheld bottle for my phone but relied mostly on the stations for my fluid intake. Around mile 4 I needed to use bathroom but every time I came up to some porta-potties, there was a longer than I would like line that made me just keep going forward. I would spot guys just finding a corner of a building to relieve themselves but decided against being rude to a community that was showing us such great support. Just before mile 8, I spotted no line as I passed by porta-potty and quickly hopped over tape barrier on the side of the course to take care of business. In the process I lost a glove that was wrapped around my race belt, but I was able to get in an out pretty quickly and back on the road.   Brooklyn had so many different neighborhoods to see and it was great to just take it all in. We hit a few little rolling hills as we headed down Lafayette Ave towards Bedford Ave. Just after turning on Bedford Ave, I saw John on the side of the road with his sister-in-law and niece. They were cheering all of us on and John captured a pretty cool picture in the process. John had told me that when he saw me, he was upset about how fresh I had looked knowing that I was focused on his time.  

Brooklyn had so many different neighborhoods to see and it was great to just take it all in. We hit a few little rolling hills as we headed down Lafayette Ave towards Bedford Ave. Just after turning on Bedford Ave, I saw John on the side of the road with his sister-in-law and niece. They were cheering all of us on and John captured a pretty cool picture in the process. John had told me that when he saw me, he was upset about how fresh I had looked knowing that I was focused on his time.  

  Shortly after I started to see some signs stating “Caution Hipsters ahead” and they were not wrong. I felt among some people that I think I could be friends with and also a few “bro’s” that I wouldn’t want to. Yet another neighborhood that just had a completely different vibe than the previous. Crowds on the side of the road were 3-4 rows deep on both sides of the street. After a few more turns we were heading over the next bridge into Queens.  

Queens |  

Heading up and over the bridge, I shortened up my stride to push through the quick incline. The first thing that I see at the bottom on our first turn is a pair of signs being held by what I can assume to be a couple.   “Welcome to Queens” “Now get the fuck out!”   Literally made me laugh out loud as I passed by the two of them. Perhaps they were talking about the short amount of time you actually run in Queens or maybe they had another meaning (haha). Just as in Brooklyn the streets were packed on both sides as people cheered on all the runners. The weather started to transition to a more constant drizzle as we made a few turns in Queens.  

Around mile 15, we hit what many call the half way point of the race, the Queensboro Bridge. This is the long bridge that took us into Manhattan and really a test for how much you have in your legs to power through a constant incline, with no crowds. This was one of the view places on the course where spectators were not allowed, so the only noise around were the footsteps of the others around me. My legs were starting to feel heavy, so I backed off my pace a little during the climb to help reserve some energy. There were lots of people walking the climb. Some seemed to be doing it as a way to conserve their legs for last 10 miles of race, while others looked like they already hit their “wall” and it was going to be a long last 10 miles for them.  

As we passed over Roosevelt Island, I knew that we were coming to the downhill portion of the bridge and I let gravity do its work. I opened up my stride to loosen up legs and was able to cruise the second half of the bridge and around the on ramp heading onto 1st Ave in Manhattan.   Manhattan |   This first take in Manhattan we headed straight up 1st Avenue. The roar of the crowds seemed deafening from the silence we had on the bridge. The drizzle was getting even heavier but people were just embracing the weather to keep cheering us on. I remember taking a moment to look all around me and just take it all in of how lucky I am to not only be able to do something I love, in running, but that I was able to have opportunity to run this race specifically. But with a lot of race left, I had to get my mind in check and keep focus on the goal.  

It was a long 3.5 miles straight up 1st Ave, with rolling hills that seemed to go on forever. For as far as I could see, there were heads just bopping up and down with no end in sight. I started to take a little more of a recovery walk after the aid stations but tried to keep them short and back to running after taking in fluids. As we ventured further North, the crowds started to get lighter but with the number of runners still around me, I didn’t feel like it was getting awkwardly quiet. I kept my focus ahead of me as I hit yet another bridge, this time heading into the Bronx!

Bronx |  

The bridge heading into the Bronx was a little longer than heading into Queens. Or at least it felt that way with my heavy legs having run 19 miles already. With each step I could hear my mind telling me to stop to relieve the pain, but I kept moving forward at as consistent of a pace as I could muster. I started to do the #1 “no no” in racing, doing math. I was trying to gauge from the pace that I was clicking off how much wiggle room I had to the time goal. “Carry the one…” It’s just not a smart thing to do, but even so I realized I had banked a little bit of time as long as kept moving.   To be honest, I don’t remember much about the Bronx other than I knew it was on the tail end of the race. There were a handful of DJ’s that were bringing up the mood of a high number of people hitting “the wall” while in the Bronx. The winding turns left for lighter spectators than other portions of the course but the people that were out were letting us have it! Knowing that I was getting fatigued, I kept focused on my running and I started to give myself mini-goals, the first of which was making it back to Manhattan.  

Manhattan (take 2) |  

Over yet another bridge (thank goodness the last) I was back in Manhattan, this time on 5th Avenue. My legs really started to feel beat up with each step. Cramps started to creep in and I tried to offset with using some extra Honey Stinger gels that I had specifically for this situation. For the first race in a while my stomach was actually not killing me and I was able to take down nutrition very smoothly.

  We wrapped around a park and then hit a few mile stretch on 5th Avenue that would take us into Central Park. The crowds were dying down as the “excitement” of the race was done for those actually racing the race. Being that I started in the second wave, there were a lot of people already done with race. There was still at least a single row of people lining each side of the street, and the echo off the buildings help keep the energy level high.  

I continued with the math game and realized that I previously made some errors (as you always do while doing math during run) and was actually cutting it much closer than comfortable. John was set up around Mile 24 with a Hash group and as I approached him, I knew that he knew I was hurting. I don’t remember his exact words, but he gave me some back handed motivation that I better hurry up if I’m going to beat him. It gave me an extra little “umph” and I pushed on getting ready to make the turn into Central Park.  

Central Park |  

Growing up we used to visit family in NY a few times a year and every so often we would take a walk in Central Park. After all those visits as a kid, and even as an adult, I was not prepared for the last few miles of this race.  

OH MY GOODNESS THE HILLS  

I was excited heading into the park, knowing that I was just a few turns away from completing the race, but that excitement wore off faster than it came. We started with a nice downhill section that quickly turned to rolling hills. My legs were absolutely spent. Cramping really started to become an issue on both of my quads and I would try to use the  short climbs to walk it off. There were a set of volunteers handing out salt and I took some  but it was far too late for me to start playing catch up.   For each little climb, there was a longer descent to follow which just compounding the beating that I was taking on my legs. Thank goodness for the thousands of spectators that were lined on each side of the park cheering us in for the last few miles. Doing a little bit more math, it was going to be a close call if I didn’t get myself together and push through the pain.  

  Once I spotted 59th street, I knew I was only two turns away from the finish. I put it in gear and “ran” with a purpose. While on 59th, I got a real deep cramp in my quad that put me down to a walk. After punching my quad like a mad man (somehow thinking that would loosen it up) I was able to muster a little bit of strength to get back at it and make the final turn back into the park. After a few curves around bends, I saw the flags line up and the grandstands in the distance.  

It was at this point that I really missed the fact that Kaela was not there. It is always a great relief seeing her face close to the finish, cheering me on to push through the finish. I knew that even though she was not right there, that she was back home following along with the tracker cheering me into the finish. That thought of her put a smile on my face and made me kick it into hyper drive (well what that equated to 26 miles in) heading towards the roars of the crowds as I crossed the finish line.  

4:27:58

  Emotions at the finish line were unlike anything I had ever seen at a marathon. So many first time runners, joined by those running for themselves or charities and they completed the New York City Marathon!

  I stumbled over to receive my finishers medal and then started the long walk through finishers area. The rain had been consistent towards end of race and during the walk I really started to get the shivers and could not shake them (no pun intended). I had the idea of visiting the medical tent because of it and was also feeling lightheaded. They provided us with a food bag and I just decided to get some calories in and continue moving forward. It was like herding cattle as they moved us along the road.   I opted for the post race poncho so they routed us back towards Central Park West and it seemed to take forever to get there. During the walk I pulled out my phone to call Kaela. Apparently my phone turned on during the race and I had only 2% battery. I made a quick call to Kaela to let her know how I was and then had to get off the phone to text John to find out the meet up plans. Service wasn’t the best with tens of thousands of people in a single area, trying to do the same thing.

After getting my amazingly warm poncho, I pulled up map to see best way to get back to John around mile 24 on the course. I was planning on crossing over the park but they had all the roads closed and forced the “poncho crowd” to head all the way back down to the west side Columbus Circle. At this point I would have had to walk about 3 miles to head back to John, which on my dead legs was not happening. I headed down to the subway and took 3 trains to get me within 1/4 mile of the meet up spot. It was pretty funny seeing the people look at all the marathon runners struggle up and down stairs and probably wonder why we do these things to ourselves. By the time I arrived at the meet up, Jeremy was on a park bench waiting for me while John was walking up the street to see if maybe I misread where we were meeting.

    After the race we had some fun things planned, including a trip to the Parlour Irish bar to join Hash running group. This is where John purchased my celebratory shot for beating his time, even though it was by much. We then headed back to Brooklyn, we grabbed some delicious pizza, had a “container” of beer at a local dive bar (Farrell’s Bar) and some delicious mac & cheese and beer at the Double Windsor before calling it a night. We had shared some fun stories of the race from both of our sides and just spending some time just doing what we do. Fun side story, Kevin Hart was running his first marathon and John happened to take a picture of him at mile 24, and let’s just say the meme he created fit perfectly!  

  (That was a lot and no where close to all the details)   As I sit here and try to wrap up this entire experience, I am just overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions. You just read through so much so I won’t recap all that again but it was just an amazing race on an amazing weekend. I had been trying to get into this race for the past three years and I was able to not only had opportunity to run it but also hit the goals I had planned. Pushing through my pain and coming out on top had gave me motivation for future races that I can handle a little bit of the suck. The organization of the event and the tons of support from volunteers and spectators made this a race that is among my favorites. Also having the opportunity to head up with a good friend for the weekend and spending time with family in NY just added to all of the experience. It was a great wrap up to the ups and downs of running for 2017.   Looking forward to 2018, there is a busy year planned trying to take a good number of states off the list and hitting some uncharted distances and adventures. Thanks for checking out my recap of the TCS NYC marathon and stay tuned for a good handful of new adventures taking place in 2018.  

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