Saturday I completed race 7 of 9 to qualify for the 2015 NYC Marathon. I would say this is one of the most memorable races I have done for a number of reasons. #1 It’s not often that you get to run down the middle of 42nd street #2 it was pouring down rain, #3 Having to walk a mile and a half to the start line, and then a mile after the race would make any race memorable, and #4 Getting to run through the finish of the NYC Marathon was awesome!
This race started on 47th and 1st avenue, and ended in Central Park, on the west side somewhere near 67th street; so different stop and start locations. I parked my car somewhere kind of midway on West 54th Street so that I wouldn’t have to walk 3 miles back to the start to get to my vehicle. The walk to the start was an interesting one. The first noticeable thing we passed was this HOPE statue. It looks an awfully like the LOVE statue in Philly so I figured let me take a pic in front of this. Next landmark was the Chrysler Building. Yes living in New York I’ve seen it a thousand times, but now I have a photo memory of it to last a lifetime.
So as we are walking I’m just thinking are we there yet? The rain coupled with the cold made this a not so fun trek to the start line. Eventually we started to see other runners heading in the same direction so I figured we must have been close. When we finally got to the start I couldn’t believe the number of runners that were there. According to NYRR there were 7,424 total finishers, but it just seemed like so many more people; possibly because we were cramped into such a small space. I’m guessing this race is pretty popular every year because it is the day before the marathon.
Walking to the start we passed by the United Nations. I tried to get a good selfie, but walking and trying to selfie make not for a great pic! Even walking to the start took forever. I have to say the logistics of this race were not great for the runners. I guess there was a lot of pre-walking because it was only a 5K? I’d love to know the thought process behind this.
Once the race got started we made a quick turn onto 42nd Street and it really hit me the shear number of people in this race. I mean there were bodies for miles! Seeing this made me think that doing the NYC Marathon must look something like this, but even more amplified. A lot of people who were doing the marathon the next day were in this race which was surprising since they should have been resting! There were lots of international runners and is was great to see them in such high spirits. It made the dreary day more bearable. There was though a lot of bobbing and weaving. I think a lot of people were in this one as a fun race and were taking their time with it. So I found my self running around a lot of people which I am sure added some time onto my finish.
My goal for this race was to better my pace with NYRR which was at 11:01 per mile….well mission accomplished! I’m not at 10:48 a mile…hey every second counts. Not a PR, but better than before. The finish on this one was epic! It was directly through the finish for the marathon, so I was able to get a small feeling of what it would be like for me next year. People were so excited and stopping to take pics before and after the finish….as was I! I would consider doing this one again next year, only if I haven’t completed my 9 races by then….cold weather running is not for me! 2 races to go!