Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts, Training

I did it! – My NYC Marathon Race Report

Apologies for the delayed race report. It’s been a whirlwind of a week with all the craziness that’s been happening the last few days (NYC marathon, traveling, and elections).

Anyway, onto the topic of the day…

MY FIRST MARATHON! 

The entire experience was amazing and I honestly could not have asked for a better one. Here’s my report of my experience.

Health and Wellness Expo: I arrived in NYC Saturday morning, got my butt to the Health and Wellness Expo, and grabbed my bib. Since I got to the expo kind of late in the day, I didn’t have as much time to explore. The expo was super overwhelming , but my friend told me to embrace it all. So I did. I quickly went to see all the vendors, tried their samples, and even scored this fancy schmancy jacket at 50% off the original price.

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I’ve been finding any excuse to wear it ever since I got it. 🙂

I also bought some hand warmers while I was there because it was supposed to be hovering around 45 degrees F and I’m a California girl. Me + 45 degree weather = no bueno. So after buying some last minute items, I left the expo and made the trek back to my hotel on the upper west side. Once there, I laid out all of my running gear and made sure I had everything ready for the next morning.

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5 Hammer Gels, my racing bib, flip-belt, sparkly soul headband, clothes and Honey Stinger honey waffles all ready to go

I had a quick dinner at a Thai Market and then headed off to bed soon after. Thankfully, it was daylight savings time the next day so I got an extra hour of ZzzZzzzZs. Perfect for race day.

Morning of the race: Getting to the marathon start line was a marathon in itself. I left my hotel at 7 am and got on the metro to arrive at the Staten Island Ferry WhiteHall Terminal. I then ferried over to Staten Island where I waited to get onto a shuttle that then took me to the start corrals.

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The 1 took about 50 minutes to get to WhiteHall Terminal
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At WhiteHall Terminal waiting to get onto the ferry

I got to my corral just in time for my wave to be released at 11 am. Whoo! If that wasn’t good timing, I don’t know what was. In all honesty, getting to the marathon wasn’t too bad. Yes, it did take a few hours to get there, but I was surrounded by fellow runners and everyone was so friendly. 🙂 I met a few other solo runners and we just chit chatted about nerves, training, and our overall experience with running. Before I knew it, it was race time!

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This is Rebecca, a Brooklyn native that I chatted with while making my way to the starting corral.

Race time: I don’t know what it was (maybe it was the music, the weather, the other runners, or just the overall energy of the race), but I knew from the start line that it was going to be a great race. The DJ was blasting Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York,” at the start line and I just soaked it all in.

We first started off on the The Verrazano Narrows Bridge,  which is about a 2 mile long stretch. The bridge gives you an amazing view of the city and I’ll admit, I slowed down a bit on the bridge so I could just take in more of the scenery. (I also didn’t want to burn out too quickly since I had 26 miles to go).

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Heading up the hill on the bridge
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I wish my picture could have captured the beauty of the city.

After the bridge, we immediately entered Brooklyn, which was full of energy. (Thank goodness, too because 12 miles of this race was in Brooklyn).

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Fans are there waiting for you almost immediately after the bridge.

The fans lined the streets of Brooklyn to cheer us on with signs and high fives.

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It was refreshing to see something other than “You’re almost there.” 🙂
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One of many hills we ran up. Aren’t the trees pretty?

It was definitely an amazing feeling to have people root for me even though they didn’t know me. I high fived so many children, I lost count and I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much during a race, let alone a 26.2 mile race.

After Brooklyn, we entered Williamsburg, which has a huge Hasidic Jewish community. Many of them were headed to work and so I saw a few of them dart across the streets in order to get there. I also got a few stares here and there since they’re not used to athletic wear. There were less spectators at this point, but I was still having a blast running around and looking at all the differences of each neighborhood.

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The Pulaski Bridge – Most runners walked up the bridges

Next bridge up was the Pulaski Bridge. This bridge took us into Queens. It also has a great view of the city.

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The sky was so blue that day. It was so hard to NOT smile.

Queensborough Bridge, which was the third bridge we crossed was probably the hardest bridge. It’s in between mile 15 and 16 and is all uphill. Many of the runners walked up this bridge and I saw a lot of people stop to stretch their calves. I even saw a guy being tended to by a medic. :-/

Luckily, I trained for hills and was prepared for this. I just leaned towards the ground and pumped my arms and within 10 minutes, I was off that bridge and in Manhattan, where more crowds of people were waiting.

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Running up 1st Ave with all the other runners

Running up 1st Ave was pretty tiring (miles 16 – 19), but the crowds pulled through for me. Their cheers got me through Manhattan, into the Bronx, and back into Manhattan again.

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The Willis Ave Bridge
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And the Madison Ave Bridge

Once I got to Central Park at mile 23, I knew I had it in the bag. My boyfriend was waiting for me at mile 25 and my brother was at mile 26. I knew I had to get to them. Plus, Central Park is amazing. As a Californian, I don’t get to see the leaves change color so Central Park was such an amazing place to run through.

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Hello Finish Line!

Crossing that finish line felt AMAZING.

20 weeks of training. 65 training runs. 2 pairs of running shoes. And 26.2 miles later, I had achieved my marathoner status.

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I did it guys. I’m a marathoner!
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Kissing my hard earned medal

And you know what? I’d do it again in a heartbeat. All the sweat, tears, and countless hours of training I put in made me a stronger person, both mentally and physically, and I’m happier because of that.

So, did you run the NYC marathon this past weekend? If so, how was it? 

 

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Author:

My name is Mai and I am a recent PhD graduate. :) When not hard at work, I can be found training for a race, traveling the world, or talking about Disneyland. Come join me on my journey and help me navigate this world. :)

11 thoughts on “I did it! – My NYC Marathon Race Report

  1. SO AWESOME! Congratulations and welcome to the 26.2 club!! Sounds like you had a great day – NYC sounds amazing. I have several friends who have run it and say there’s nothing like it.

    Liked by 1 person

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