Saturday, 7 November 2009

The run-up to the NYC marathon

Sorry for the delay - had a pretty hectic week since returning to the UK. In this post, I'll cover the few days before the marathon. My girlfriend (Idoia) and I arrived in NY on Wednesday afternoon, with a rough plan which consisted of a few days shopping before the marathon, the marathon (Sunday), suffer like hell on Monday, before flying out on Monday night, suffering Deep Vein Thrombosis on the way home!

First day there we hit an outlet store about an hour outside of NYC - pretty disappointing, but still managed to pick up some stuff. Main problem as far as I was concerned was my legs felt a bit tired that evening, which didn't bode well for the sight-seeing we'd planned the following day!

On the Friday, we'd pre-booked tickets on the first ferry out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The trip down to the ferry was a good reconnaissance of the route I'd have to take the morning of the marathon. Statue of Liberty was pretty cool, if not a bit smaller than I'd imagined. Views back to Manhatten were probably the most impressive thing though. We actually skipped Ellis Island - I'm sure I've had family pass through there, but we'd a fair bit of sightseeing planned for the day and it got cut.

Arrived back at downtown Manhatten and checked out the financial district + Ground Zero. Walked up to Chinatown and grabbed some lunch there which was pretty tasty - absolutely huge portions as well! Rest of the afternoon we ambled up 5th \ 6th Avenues, checking out the different districts \ shops \ etc. on the way.

We finally ended up at the convention centre where I had to register - we'd initially planned on this being a quick in\out job but the place was absolutely massive! Idoia signed up for the International Friendship Run the following morning (I already had an automatic entry). Spent absolutely ages there and just went back to the hotel afterwards. Legs were pretty tired so made the decision to do as little as possible after the IFR in the morning.

The IFR is a 4km run held for international runners (and family, friends, etc.) on the day before the race. It goes from the UN to Central Park, mainly down 6th Avenue, which was pretty cool. Traffic was stopped (though it seemed like life went on as usual). Lots of fancy dress and generally a good atmosphere.

Runners were encouraged to run with their compatriots, but with Idoia running with me, it was always going to be a tough one whether to run with the Irish or the Spanish :P Either way, we just ran together, soaked up the atmosphere and the surroundings. The finish line in Central Park was under the 26 Mile banner.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in or around the hotel - Idoia went off to the MoMA and I just rested my legs and started to get nervous about the following morning.

More about that in the next post.

Prior to the


Andrew(ajh) said...

I have only run one marathon and was nervous for a week or so before it to the point of butterflies in the stomach, and that was in my own city on a course I knew well, so I can only imagine how it must feel to be in a strange city and country as well!

Andrew is getting fit said...

I'd love to run NY one day.