United Airlines NYC Half Marathon ’17

Welcome to spring!

We hope everyone really enjoyed their weekend. This past weekend saw me travel to New York City for the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon while Jen stayed home with the kids.

After 10 straight days of work, I was ready to get on the road Thursday afternoon after working all night. The trip down took longer than it should have following Winter Storm Stella as many areas were still clearing roads properly. After arriving I went out for a late dinner with my friend and enjoyed some of the First Round of March Madness.

On Friday, we decided to take our time in the morning and ran a few errands before boarding the commuter train into the city. Once we arrived we headed straight to the NYRR Run Hub to pick up my race bib. Unlike the TCS NYC Marathon, this was quite a subdued affair with very little to do, see, or spend money on. There was a race gear section, a few photo opportunities along with guest speakers – that was it.

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Sporting my TCS Marathon shirt — classy!!

We spent the rest of St. Patrick’s Day doing our best to avoid the crowds of inebriated individuals with little success. We hunkered down and played some old school video games, like NBA Jam and Ninja Turtles while catching more March Madness along the way.

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Saturday was a relaxed day, with more arcade games at Dave and Buster’s and a nice home cooked meal. I was worried about the weather on Saturday as they were calling for 2-4 inches of snow in the afternoon through race morning. Luckily, that did not materialize although is did snow lightly.

The biggest difference between this event and the two NYC marathons I’ve run was transportation. Due to a lack of buses or trains and the early race start, my friend was forced to drive me into the city from New Jersey. Thankfully, traffic was minimal and hassle-free.

Once I arrived, I proceeded to get myself ready for the race, check my bag, use the restroom and proceed to my corral. Along the way, I picked up someone’s discarded heat sheet thinking I would be nice and place it in the trash or recycling. I quickly learned my good deed would help keep me warm in the cool weather and 18 mph winds.Their loss, my gain!

Although cold and windy, the morning view from Central Park was stunning. The heat sheet only protected me from the elements for so long and by the time the national anthem was over, I was shivering. When the gun sounded and I started running, it took three miles before I could feel my feet.

The first 10k of the race is almost entirely in Central Park, except a small section along the north end of the park, and is quite hilly. I knew this prior to the race but was somehow still surprised by these hills. As always, I ran to fast at the beginning. I really should learn from my mistakes once in a while! Truth be told I was hoping to just find a pace and maintain it, but that didn’t work. I was all over the p(l)ace!

The course through the park and on the streets of New York was beautiful. There are only two times the whole year the city shuts down Times Square – New Years Eve and this race – so it’s an awesome perspective to be in such a busy city and have the streets all to yourself (with 20,000 other runners of course). As the race unfolded, we moved west on 42nd Ave and then south on 11th Ave. As we approached the southern tip of Manhattan, I looked out over the river and could see the Statue of Liberty. With Lady Liberty standing tall in the harbor, we concluded the event by running through the Battery Park Tunnel and finishing at the intersection of Water and Wall streets in the Financial District.

Although the race didn’t go my way, New York Road Runners put on an excellent event. I hope to one day be able to have redemption at this event, but only time will tell if my lottery luck will continue!

I hope you enjoyed and we both are looking forward to the Syracuse Half Marathon this weekend. Stay tuned here for all the happenings.

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