If you follow me on any type of social media you have probably seen by now that yes, I did finish the NYC Marathon. And in under 5 hours as I hoped. 4 hours 46 minutes and 46 seconds to be exact. And raised $6,181.21 for cancer research thanks to the generous support of over 100 friends and family members. I’m still kind of in shock by that and just overwhelmed by the generosity of people in my life- both virtually and in real life!
The marathon itself was more than I could have ever dreamed. I am still not sure I can really put the experience into words. And my pictures do not really do it justice.
I am so glad I decided to do NY for my first marathon. Starting in Staten Island and running into NYC, you see views of the city that I don’t think I’ll ever see in the same way. And then Brooklyn just blew me away. You’re in that borough for half of the race and it is so cool to see all of the different neighborhoods, from families when you first cross into Brooklyn to the Orthodox of South Williamsburg (who barely pay you any mind) and to the hipsters of Greenpoint, it really is a very unique experience. I probably didn’t really appreciate the miles in Queens because at that point I was so ready to hit Manhattan and the folks cheering at Mile 17 for Fred’s Team, including my family and friends.
The Queensboro bridge is long and dark. I had been warned of this. So I tried to keep my enthusiasm up and be positive. And it really is amazing turning the corner as you approach Manhattan and 1st Ave and all of the cheering, slightly drunk, spectators. And to hear everyone cheering your name (written largely on my shirt by my sister) is just the push you need at that point.
Sadly, I missed my family and friends at Mile 17 as there was some confusion on the side that Fred’s Team would be on. But I just want to say how very much I appreciate their commitment and enthusiasm for looking for me and then the speed in which they got to Mile 25 to ensure they didn’t miss me there. Mom and Dad, Dave and Rye, Tim, Kristen, Sue (and Nicole in spirit from CT)- you guys are incredible. Thank you.
I’m not going not going to say that the final 7 miles were easy. Because they definitely weren’t. But they were still part of the experience. I had told it could get quiet as you went up North towards the Bronx. I did not find this to be the case. I was welcome with cheers and music, right when I needed it. Including one of my favorite signs that read “26.2 miles, because 26.3 would be crazy” and another that read “You are the 1%”
And then you’re in Harlem. And you see signs of “No more bridges!” and you know that the homestretch is near. You just need to go over some rolling hills in Central Park. No biggie. And as the sun came down and started to be in my eyes and I was wondering if I would finish without stopping and/or walking, at Mile 25 I saw my friends and family. Wow. That was an unforgettable moment. They were just screaming and going crazy and I was just so happy to see them. As you can see with that big grin I’ve got on in the video my friend Sue captured of the moment. Seeing their faces at that mile really pushed me through the last 1.2 miles; and believe me, that’s important at that stage! And then there were only 200 yards left and I found myself sprinting towards the finish line. It was awesome. I had my arms up high the whole time. Unforgettable.
And then it’s over. Just like that. You get your medal. Your picture. You pick up your bag of warm clothes from the Cherry Hill Tent. And you try to find your way out of Central Park. After running for almost 5 hours. Yup. Not so fun. And when you finally find your way out (after walking in the wrong direction for 15 minutes thanks to some oh so not helpful officers), you are amongst the other hundreds of runners and family and friends trying to get back to where they started from. I had to keep reminding myself that it was silly to break down at this point, not after all I had gone through. And after 45 minutes of just putting my head down and pushing through the crowds, I made it back to my hotel. And to my family and friends. And to hugs and smiles and congratulations and a nice cold drink (Jack and ginger if you’re curious). I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.