Running the NYC Marathon

Brian Johnson (MM8807, DA707, HF7287)-

  • Marathon Distance or Longer 40
  • State 23 (and holding)
  • New York City Marathon (November 6)

Running the New Your City Marathon again for me was a goal that I had for a while. I originally ran it in 2017. Back then it was such a whirlwind, I wanted to experience it again.

I couldn’t get in through the lottery, so I ended up charity fundraising for my entry.

One of the first highlights of the trip was getting to meet people from the Marathon Maniacs Running community. I had seen many of their online posts, but to get to meet them in person was a lot of fun!

During my time in New York City, I was with a few people from our local Columbus Ohio run group, MiT (Marathoners in Training).

The trip to the start line can be an adventure. The ferry time that we had ranged between 5:30 and 8:30. So we opted to be down there about 7:30.

We left the hotel near the Ed Sullivan Theatre in midtown and started the long journey to the start.

On the Platform heading toward Staten Island

The Ferry terminal

It took a good 15 minutes worth of waiting before we boarded the ferry.

The views from the Ferry are great. Coach Lisa and I went below deck so we could try to get a few really good pictures on the trip to Staten Island.

The Bus.

The buses to the start was the most annoying part of the trip to the start line. Imagine 4000 people waiting for shuttle busses that keep coming through 10 at a time.

The busses couldn’t keep up with the waves of people as they were coming in. It took almost an hour just to get onto a bus. Then it was another 20 minutes to the runners village.

When we got to the runners village and through security, that’s when Coach Lisa and I went our separate ways. She was in a different corral/color from me.

The corrals and the runners village were kind of cool. They had therapy dogs. They had all sorts of food and water. There was also a lot of people watching. There are 50000 people doing this race. People are in from all over the world.

Once we finally got into the corrals and got toward the start, it was almost 11:30. That was also the time the 5th wave started.

The weather was not great. It was 75 degrees and almost 80% humidity. I knew that I wasn’t going to be setting any PR’s today.

The first 2 miles are exciting. you cross the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn. The bridge is almost a mile long hill.

The one thing people told me was to stop somewhere on the bridge and turn around and take a photo. So I did.

I knew the day was going to be interesting when I felt my heart rate take off early while we were on the bridge. I immediately started to slow down and tried to maintain the 2:1 run/walk pace. That worked for a while.

Pickle juice. I carry pickle juice shots with me to help avoid cramping due to a lack of electrolytes. I normally try to save this for different points. Usually at the start, near the half, and a random third point. Today I had them all gone before the 13th mile.

When you get to Brooklyn, it’s just a great big party. Everyone comes out to watch the race. There is also a lot of entertainment along the course.

Brooklyn Entertainment

More Brooklyn Entertainment

At a large race, if you are a back of the pack person, running a water stop can be an impossibility. The ground is wet and littered with cups.

More Music in Brooklyn

Yes. I can’t work the camera correctly

Random pictures going through Brooklyn. Brooklyn seems to take forever! You don’t actually leave it until Mile 13.

Water Stops. The biggest issue of the day was that the water stops ran out of cups. Thank God I carried a water bottle with me or it could have been a bad day. There were people taking whole jugs from the water table so they could drink. It was interesting to hear a cheer go up when a biker rode up with more cups.

This was before mile 13.

Heading into Queens. The bridges can be a pain. If you haven’t trained for hills, or like this day, where the humidity is a pain, the bridges can be a chore.

The views are beautiful. Stop and take a moment to enjoy them.

As the race went on, I kept taking video snippets of the entertainment. I eventually started to take videos of the crow. as we worked our way through Queens, the crowds got more rowdy and fun.

More Entertainment through Queens

The Music and race course

Yet More Music

November Project on the race course!

More music

The drummers were really good!

The crowds were everywhere!

It’s an all day party!

More of the crowd

Random course photos again

Somewhere in mile 17, I was offered a glass of wine from someone. I took a bit. She then said it was all mine. So, I downed the glass and ran on. The crowd cheered as I did it.

A little while later, someone offered me a beer. I have no idea what kind. It was just a draft beer. I said, “Here. Watch this.” I heard one of the guys say, “is he going to do a magic trick or something?” I downed the beer again, threw the cup on the ground and ran on, to cheers from the crowd.

I also paid for those choices. Drinking that much will leave you waterlogged. I had to walk all the way into the Bronx (about 2.5 miles). I didn’t care. It was a chance to enjoy everything.

the crowd and water stop.

More crowd.


More Music

Even more Music

There was endless amounts of experiences and things to see. By the time I left the Bronx, It was getting dark. The time change had happened the previous evening. The sun went down around 5:20 (or so it seemed).

It was about 5:30ish by the time I got back into Manhattan and entered Harlem and started the long journey to the end.

I will say this, the distance along the east side of Central park to where you enter the park seems to be the longest hill ever!

Once I finally got into the park, I knew the say was won. It was just a question of how fast was I going to get there?

I did finally get over the finish line, about a half hour slower than I had hoped.

The Elevation table for the race. There are some interesting climbs and drops.

They are right. It will move you. It will transform you. It will humble you. But at the end of the day, it is all worth it.

Photo and Post Credit Brian Johnson and JC Santa Teresa and Robert Manon

Published by Maniacs Fanatics Madness

This is the blog site for the Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics and Ultra Madness running clubs

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