Well, it's over. I am at a loss for words to describe the enormity of the marathon. It is a running event, a social phenomenon, and a logistical masterpiece. I loved it and hope to get the chance to do it again. Even after talking to a bunch of people before the race that had done it, I was still blown away. I won't write forever, but here are a couple paragraphs on the various components to the race.
First, as a race, the course is great, but tough. I have always heard about it being a difficult one, but was surprised at how difficult. There are a bunch of hills, especially at the start of each bridge. Some of the downhills are a little taxing as well. I didn't have any issues with "the wall," but I did have a major problem with mile 23. It is all uphill. I was on pace for about 3:45, but after mile 23, I was broken. I will post my mile splits in the next post and you will see that 23 the time isn't too bad, but I was done then. Mile 24 was over 10 minutes. That is unheard of for me. All in all though, the racing was great. I loved the course.
Second, and probably the most engaging part of the marathon is the dynamics of the crowd and spectators and the energy that feeds through the city during the race. It is an awesome site and an amazing experience. Thousands of people cheering for you, bands, dancing, giving out supplies to the runners, hundreds and hundreds of signs, all for the runners than most people do not know. The energy feeds to the runners, it feeds off the runners to the spectators and the frenzy is indescribable. Here are a couple of my favorite signs people had:
1. You look so great! Keep it up random stranger!
2. After mile 22, all adult words are legal! Go for it!
3. worse parade ever!! (this would have been my favorite, if only she spelled worst correctly)
4. Your feet only hurt because you are kicking so much ass!!
I also, had the chance to high five at least 300-500 kids along the way. It is great running near the sides, hearing them scream your name because you were smart enough to right it on your shirt. The kids love connecting with the runners and vice versa. I have to say too, everyone that knows about the marathon has probably heard about the crowds of 1st ave and how they are six deep and screaming, etc. However, the runners on my bus and I all agreed that Brooklyn was insane! It was loud and proud. Thanks to all the 5 boroughs for the support I received all through the race.
Finally, in a race of around 50,000 people, the New York Road Runners should be commended and the best way to describe it is that it's a logistical masterpiece. From the start to the finish, there were volunteers everywhere. People helping runners, showing them where to go, answering questions, offering support, drinks at every mile marker, medical tents, and more I'm sure. At the finish, it was a well oiled machine funneling runners, checking for health issues, doctors and nurses, spotters walking the crowds and on lifeguard chairs looking for runners in need of help, giving out medals, food bags, ponchos. I am in awe of the whole process. Thank you to the NYRR for such a wonderfully run event.
I could say so much more, but I won't. I will provide my splits in a following post as well as my pics from the day. If anyone wants to know more, email me or leave a comment and I can fill you in.