This marks my first spectator report, and let me tell you…the New York City Marathon is a GREAT race to start! While I was sad that I wasn’t out there running, I had a blast cheering for everyone. Trust me, I’m a huge running nerd so it was soooo exciting to watch everyone out there running. I love it!
Let’s rewind to Saturday! Saturday was full of meeting lots of internet running buddies, as the Twitter/Daily Mile Brunch was on Saturday morning. Both familiar faces and new twitter buddies were made over a delicious brunch, with a menu just for us:
Pretty cool, huh? I wonder if the restaurant people thought we were weird. :) It was also funny to see so many people take out their phones/cameras and snap pictures of the menu and each other. We’re a funny bunch! It was definitely a good time spent swapping running stories and meeting new friends. I never would have met any of them if it wasn’t for twitter/the internet running world, so I’m grateful for technology.
After I filled myself up with a yummy omelet, I went for a run through Central Park to check out the sites of the marathon one more time. Since it was mid-afternoon, fewer people were out running, but there were TONS of people near the finish line snapping pictures. A bit harder to dodge them, but I had a good run overall. Still feeling the energy in the air!
Saturday, November 6
8.26 miles in 1:00:56, avg pace of 7:23
Saturday night? Another blogger meet-up! Yasi was in town for her FIRST MARATHON, so naturally we had to meet up! We first met for yoga in Princeton about a year ago, but despite attempts to meet up for froyo in Princeton…it never happened. So we met up for froyo in NYC so we could discuss life and I could pass on my marathoning tips. We headed to 16 Handles in the East Village, which was delicious and highly recommended. We chatted about all things running and then parted way early so she could get a good night’s sleep before her first marathon! (Which she rocked in 4:02!!)
Saturday night was low key, as I watched my DVR’d version of the Fred Lebow movie, “Run for Your Life.” It was definitely awesome to get some background on the NYC marathon and Fred Lebow, and it got me extra excited to spectate on Sunday! I’ll definitely be watching it again before I run NYC next year.
You’re probably thinking…get on with it already!! So here we are, marathon Sunday! I got to sleep in a bit later than everyone who had to board the ferries/buses to Staten Island! After (probably too) much debate between heading to the finish line or going out to mile 14 with Speedy Sasquatch, I decided that mile 14 would be fabulous to catch people and provide a little mid-race cheer. Plus, mile 14 was in Queens, and I’d never actually been there on purpose, so mile 14 it was. We also met up with Robin, who ended up being my cheer buddy for the day!
We hung out just before mile 14 and waited for the elites to show up! I kept checking twitter, and posts were saying that the women were moving “slow” (yeah, that’s my “slow” pace too), but they eventually got to us and we could cheer for ten seconds before playing the waiting game for the elite men.
Next up came the elite men, who were also going “slow,” per reports. I guess 5:30 is slow for them, but it’s faster than I’ve ever ran a mile, sooooo take that for what you will.
Little did we know that this was one of the last miles that Haile would be running, as he dropped out (and then announced his retirement from running!) about two miles later. Crazy. We’ll see if he’s done for good…
After the elite men rolled through, it was time for the real fun to begin! While I definitely enjoyed seeing the elites fly by (because you only see them for about fifteen seconds!), it was sooooo much fun to cheer for everyone when the masses started coming through! I apparently know tons of fast people, as the first guy I knew came through around 1:20-ish (yikes!) and then they just kept rolling through. Some of them yelled at me because I didn’t see them (I always spot my parents before they spot me, so that makes sense), but I saw Lam, Josh, David, Eissa, and Elyssa. (Sorry if I’m forgetting anyone!) Actually, I think they all spotted me first…oops! They were all super far in front of the thousands of people behind them, which made it easier to see them…and they were rocking!
We were on the look out for Sharon, as Robin was supposed to run with her for ten miles, but we never ended up finding her! Spectator fail…runner tracker didn’t help either, as it lied to us multiple times and/or gave us late splits. However, Robin and I are superb cheerers otherwise, as we were often in sync and just started yelling all the names we saw on the front of people’s shirts. Seriously runners, put your name on your shirt!! I had soooo much fun yelling for everyone, and I loved when runners give a nod, smile, wink, wave, “thanks!” or anything to acknowledge the cheers. (I usually try to do this when people cheer for me.) Some high fives were given, and everyone was looking awesome as they came through mile 14.
It’s really funny when the runners point you out…I was checking my phone, and a man ran by and said, “Now there’s a Boston runner!!” I was wearing my Boston jacket…so that was quite funny. Also, when the 3:40 pace group ran by, I screamed, “You’re going to Boston!!” Only 12 miles to hang on…they had it! (Okay, easier said than done.)
Definitely loved yelling for people (especially Waldo and Mario!), but after wayyyyy too long, we realized we had probably missed Sharon and decided to head over to Manhattan. Our spectating plan left a bit to be desired, but we took the E back to Manhattan then had a little run of our own up Fifth Avenue, stopping at mile 23, where we stationed ourselves to start yelling again. The man next to us got really into cheering too, which was funny.
It was fun to see some of the same races from mile 14, but they certainly looked a little more tired at this point! People were walking, others were fighting up the incline that is Fifth Avenue. It was great to be able to yell things like “You got this!!” and “You’re looking AWESOME!” (but never “You’re almost there!”…I hate when people yell that.). My voice was hurting a bit, but nothing compared to running 26.2 miles, so no complaints from me.
Our next stop (we had no clue what we were doing…) was a little walk through Central Park, where we spotted runners inside the park:
That was pretty much the anticlimactic end to our spectating adventure. We ended up over by the finish area, where runners had their medals and space blankets attempting to find their stuff and families/friends. Definitely had the post-marathon walk going on.
Overall, I had an AMAZING time cheering for everyone, and soooooo many people ran crazy good times, and I’m so proud of all of you. Many goals were met (from PRs to “have fun!” to completing a FIRST marathon), and it was great to be out there supporting everyone. That being said, I can’t wait to run next year!