I’m starting to see a lot of people for massage who are running the New York Marathon this year, and as I competed in it last year, I have lots of good info and tips to share to help prepare you for the day!
- Be prepared for the cold, long wait before you start – I left my apartment at 5.30am to get on the subway, a ferry and a bus to arrive at the starting village at about 7am. I was in wave 1 and started at 9.40am, so it is a very long time to be out in the elements on Staten Island! It was freezing and extremely windy, I had 7 layers of clothes on and a thermal first aid blanket!
- Take a cushion – Once on Staten Island, there is grass or concrete to sit on for your 3 hour wait. I went to Jack’s discount store the day before and bought a cushion for a few bucks!
- The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is long – The first bridge across to Manhattan is about 2.5k! It’s not as steep as the Gateway bridge but it’s definitely longer!
- Try and run down the middle of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge if you are on the lower level – The nice guys on the upper level decide they need a pee in the first kilometre of the race and kindly do it off the side of the bridge! If it is a little windy, as it was last year, you may get a face full!
- The race is not flat – I thought it would be but there are lots of sneaky inclines in there, even through central park at the end.
- Don’t go for baggage option – If you check a bag in you won’t get out of the place for about 90 mins after crossing the finish line! I didn’t take a bag and it still took about 40 mins to exit! If you don’t opt for a bag, they give you a plastic bag when you collect your number, to put your bits in that you might want for the wait like water and snacks. If you have a bag they assume you will have a jumper so when you cross the line you will be given a foil blanket. If you have no bag then they also wrap you up in a lovely, warm, stylish (?) poncho!
- When you cross the finish line, you have another 5k to walk! – You are so happy to cross the line, get your medal, get your photo taken and get your bag of snacks and drinks . . . then they make you walk for miles to exit central park at certain streets according to your name. You can’t stop or sit down or stretch, you just have to “keep going, you’re nearly there”!!! I thought I had finished the race but I was wrong!! In hindsight, moving and not just stopping after a marathon is good for the legs!!
- Enjoy the crowds and atmosphere – there really is nothing like it! The whole of the city come out to cheer you on, there is no part when you are out there alone. I usually run with an iPod in races for distraction, but I actually took it out of my ears to take in the experience, it’s pretty amazing! Enjoy!