Underdone, poorly prepared with no long runs over 20ks, and loads of time spent working leading up to the event it was never going to be pretty, but its not everyday you get the chance to run in what is considered one of the biggest and best marathons in the world, so with that it was an easy decision to board that plane heading to New York.
Flew out on the Tuesday (arriving Tuesday evening) and it was full on from the Wednesday with clients, functions and of course the usual late night social drinks that was to prove the undoing come race day.
Race morning soon arrived on the Sunday that saw our scheduled bus pick up early at the hotel for the long trek south to Staten Island. Arrive with hours to spare but the mood is fun and time passes quickly before we are led to our start corals in an orderly fashion and before long we get the usual National Anthem and the sound of the cannon to let us get under way. I promised myself prior to the race it was more for the experience and that I was to take in the whole occasion and whatever the pace was then I'd be happy with but thought a 3.15 comfortable run was more than achievable? The start is just magical as you cross the impressive Verrazano Bridge that then takes you into Brooklyn and its not long before the first of the crowds starts to appear. Don't look at my watch for perhaps the first 5k or so but even doing it easy I sense I maybe a tad too quick so focus on the next 5 to aim for 4.10s as the crowds just kept getting bigger and the bands are a constant joy as I hear some fine tunes that almost has me practising my latest moves. If the bands were impressive then the home made signs were absolute quality. Mostly centred on the election and Donald Trump was mentioned in about 95% of them that kept a constant smile on the face. Still moving well in downtown Brooklyn before heading up through Williamsburg and into the next borough that is Queens. A couple of slight rises around Ks 17 & 18 sees the times dip slightly but unconcerned then when I get it back on the 19th and when the half way marker comes I pass through in 90 minutes bang on. A few quick calculations and figured even with a 10 minute positive split I'd be home well within the 3.15 suggested time frame. I had great crowd support at the 14 mile (23k ) spot that gave me a massive lift but it was soon after the wheels started to fall off. Just before the 25k point the Queensboro Bridge entered the game and absolutely mullered me. It was a long two Ks and I left it barely holding 5.30 pace. The only saving grace was once you turned off it and came onto First Ave you were hit with a massive sound of noise from what was undoubtedly the biggest crowds on the course. First Ave must be a 6k stretch - long and straight, and its here I start the first of my run /walks that was remain for the next 60 minutes or so.
Into the notorious Bronx section next about 32ks done and yet another highlight jumped out in front of me in the shape of two black female police officers, no bigger than Hoey (4foot) but were as wide as 'The Hudson River' itself shaking there booty at me in full voice yelling 'Go Timbo'. Certainly got me going again and it was over to 3rd Ave where I was now struggling to run at 5.20 pace and my hips were all but seized up and I could sense that the last 6ks were about to get a whole lot tougher.
38ks done and then the 'One flat lap of Centennial Park' talk was out as we entered Central Park in Manhattan for the final stages of the race, not before having the indignity of seeing a 6.35k buzz up on the watch ( I didn't think possible?). Despite being in the HURT box Central Park was seen at its best before you leave for a (not so quick) run up 59th St that saw the final drama unfold right in front of me when some guru's legs just buckled and fell flat that resulted in me (unsuccessfully) trying to get him to his feet on numerous occasions before the oncoming medics were able to assist. A final turn back into the famous park with 400m to go and the grandstands and music were on a different level as I crossed out in a time of 3.20:21
Absolutely cooked, and those last 15ks were anything but easy that I may have suggested post race. The time was never going to be relevant but I never thought I'd be hurting like that over the last 3rd of the run, but it just shows if you don't do the Ks then it doesn't matter what pace you are going its still a bloody long 42ks at the end of the day.
Looking back, would I have changed anything ..... certainly NOT I loved every minute of it, although I should have perhaps not had that last beer with the 'Love Doctors' on the Wednesday at 3.30am in the morning and should have avoided 'Fluffies' Diner Pizza at 4am on the Thursday but we were in New York after all.
The race itself was so well organized and hats off to the people of New York who really embrace the event and the whole day itself.
Managed to get my whole race splits and have broken them into 4 x 10 sections
4.19, 4.00, 3.47, 4.02, 4.03, 4.08, 4.08, 4.09, 4.05, 4.19
4.09, 4.12, 4.14, 4.19, 4.07, 4.15, 4.25, 4.26, 4.12, 4.26,
4.20, 4.30, 4.15, 4.19, 4.59, 5.03, 5.29, 5.03, 4.59, 4.57
5.00, 5.11, 5.11, 5.35, 5.10, 5.11, 5.50, 6.35, 5.37, 5.59
5.19, 5.28, 2.18
Love the whole experience and would certainly go back , Enjoyed the views from a Manhattan Roof top bar celebrating over a few Ales or two before then spending a few days exploring the great city and helping get my mate Donald Trump over the line in the election on the Tuesday evening.
Times Square was going ape when the results were coming through in the early hours.