Hi there!! Guess who’s blogging for the first time this week!! Yep meeeee.
So summing up 4 crazy days into one bloggy post? Doing a little copy/paste behavior from a post I wrote elsewhere…with some editing to suit my blog’s own unique personality, of course 😉
So without further ado, I give you memories and more of the New York City Marathon 2010 weekend:
Listening to an inspirational speech by Matt Long at the Flyers’ party at Sambuca. And as our Mr. President said, it was a blessing in disguise that our original speaker, Olympian Blake Russell had to withdraw from NYC due to injury and therefore would not be speaking at our pasta dinner. You don’t have to be an Olympian to captivate a room like Matt did. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house afterwards.
Inspiration over, the food and company were great, as usual. This is the 5th year in a row we’ve had our pasta party at Sambuca and it’s always worth it. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that Tony’s in Times Square raised their prices too much a few years back 🙂
Oh and of course I had to partake in a couple glasses of “antioxidents” (aka red wine.) would you expect anything less? 🙂
Hit up the expo. It was smaller than it had been in previous years (and definitely smaller than Chicago!) but still I felt like a kid in a candy store while there 🙂 I did get that Nike NYC shirt that I mentioned previously, then I hit up the Sugoi booth to say hi to the UA peeps I knew who were working and also to pick up a mostly white pair of compression socks since I can’t wear the pink ones with the orange Kinvaras 😛 Funny thing was that when I was paying for them there was surprise that I wasn’t buying anything pink 🙂 (Blue-like the color of my blog-is actually my favorite color! But somehow pink keeps following me this year…)
Decided to run in the park to see the park all done up and soak up the marathon atmosphere. I brought my camera with me to take some pictures of the mile markers and the finish line. It brought back memories of my race in 2008. (And I even wore my race shirt from 2008!)
The big day! I watched the start on TV, then headed uptown to the PowerGel station…yep, once again the Flyers were running the show here. And as always, is the best seat in the house when you’re not running the thing! 🙂 I was sorta indifferent as to what flavor to give out, so I was assigned to Raspberry Cream and given a hot pink shirt. Is anyone surprised that the color seems to keep following me? 😛
While waiting for the elites to pass by, I tried unsuccessfully to track a couple of my friends that were running. As it turned out, the Athlete Tracker, once again, would be overloaded. Couldn’t believe that they were charging for text messaging tracking this year!! And as I heard from others, didn’t work (hope people got their money back!) I thought I was beating the system by utilizing the free race day tracker, and was even more excited that this year there was a mobile-friendly version. Not the case!!
It was getting to be about that time!! The headlights. The female elites. Shalane Flanagan was in the thick of the lead pack, and as it turned out she would go on to finish second in her debut marathon!! (but I’m glad she didn’t beat Kara’s debut marathon record 🙂 )
Then the male elites sped by. Meb and Ritz were a little off the lead pack. But no Haile? Thanks to Flyer SH having the NYCM iPhone app (which looked to be the only thing that worked!) first it appeared that Haile was a mile behind the lead pack. But then as the “miles to go” were not updating for him, it appeared that he had dropped out at mile 16, and as we’d find out later, would announce his retirement from the sport as well. Wow, now that was a shocker! (I will say-I never thought it was a done deal that he was gonna win this. Especially with a stacked field and a tough course like NYC.)
Not too long after, teammates and friends passed by the PowerBar Gel zone. First Flyer I saw was SJ, who would go to break 3 hours in is first marathon by the absolute skin of his teeth-and I thought Lam cut it close in Chicago! Speaking of Lam, he passed by not once, but twice to hi-five peeps!! I was able to see Bridges Runner run by and was she passed she shouted to me “wave 2″…I kinda suspected that when I wasn’t seeing any 5K splits for her (when the tracker was actually working) that may have been the case-as I heard the same thing happened to a lot of peeps last year. Another teammate of mine and her husband ran by-they had actually gotten married in the NYCM 10 years ago and they were renewing their vows this year–complete with a “runaway bride” dress 🙂 Unfortunately I missed seeing Crazy Bandanahead run by while dressed up as Gumby!! 🙂 Yeah, I had to leave the PowerGel station a little earlier than normal, as I was gonna be helping another teammate out!!
I would be experiencing a part of the course in a way I never had before. When my teammate BK passed by mile 18, I jumped in with her…she was hoping to break 4 hours and I was determined to help her break 4 hours. She was hard at work, but we had some fun too, shouting at Flyer PD as we saw him playing the bagpipes on the new, improved Willis Ave Bridge, singing along to whatever music was being played, mugging for the Brightroom cameras. I did find that part of the course-especially 5th avenue to be super-crowded, moreso than I ever experienced. If BK didn’t get under 4, it would have been no fault of her own, as she was running very strong, but the crowds, oh the crowds…especially on 5th avenue when the spectators significantly narrowed the running lane (time for some more crowd control there?) We entered the park…hmmm that 5th avenue hill didn’t feel so bad. Maybe because I didn’t run 20+ miles beforehand. 😛 I ran with BK up until the turn onto Central Park South, and told her to GO GET IT! She PR’ed with a 4:01, and I’m positive she would have been under 4 had the course not been so crowded. Felt very good to help out a teammate like that!
I watched the action at the bottom of the park for a while before meeting up with my good friend TB, who was making a rare appearance from CT. We hung out at my pad for a bit to watch some of the TV coverage and just to warm up a little-once we stopped running (TB was running with a friend as well) it was damn cold! Great for the runners, not so much for the spectators. (Especially since I had to figure out what to wear, as whatever I wore would have to go from spectating to running.) We met up with another friend who ran NYC and had a drink with him, then we headed to the Flyers’ post-party at The Parlour. And was it a good time? I’ll let the pictures tell that story!
It was definitely a great weekend (was still recovering on Monday, hehe!) Despite choosing Chicago for my fall marathon this year, I actually didn’t feel much sadness at not having run New York (though I will admit being somewhat jealous of the great weather you guys had while I struggled through the inferno on 10-10-10.) I guess that’s because even if you’re not running it, you’re still part of the party — the whole city is, really. It’s a celebration of all things running!
And I hate to be traitorous to NYC…but I am not sure I want to run NYCM again. I’ll most likely have guaranteed entry for 2011, but not sure if I’m taking advantage of it. It’s just gotten way too crowded to run a decent time, and from what I heard about the start logistics, not exactly the best way to get your day off to a good start if you’re running for time. Yeah I know plenty of you say I can just “run it for fun” but you all know I have no clue how to do that 😛 While NYCM will always hold a special place in my heart, I do believe that Chicago was a better race experience for me-despite the “code red” weather and climbing a fence into my corral 🙂 Never once did I feel the course was too crowded, the start/finish logistics were pretty simple, and there was beer at the end 😛
But thats all a discussion for another day. For today, I say congrats to everyone who ran on Sunday, and to the fans/friends/family/supporters who were there for the runners! 🙂