The NYC Marathon is a World Major Marathon and an iconic race. If you are running, you are in for an unforgettable experience. In this episode, I discuss five things I wish I knew about the race before running.
There are five things that I wish I had known before I ran the New York City Marathon, and I want to share them with you.
First, pay attention to the start of the race because you can ruin your whole race if you’re not careful. You start the race on Staten Island. You take the ferry or the bus over there. When you start the race, the first thing you do is that you have to get from Staten Island over to Brooklyn. You do that by going up the Verrazano Bridge. Now, you will be so excited about this race because it’s the New York City Marathon. They will be playing music. They’re going to be playing “New York, New York.” They’re going to have the mayor out there. You’re going to want to go, really, really fast.
The problem is the first half-mile of the New York City Marathon is up this bridge, and it’s a decent incline, it’s probably 3% to 4% at some, but you won’t notice it because you’re so excited. You’re going to be running faster than marathon pace up a 4% incline. That can affect you later in the race.
Second, at mile 15, you cross from Brooklyn over to Manhattan on the Queensboro Bridge. There’s this eerie feeling because there are no fans on the bridge. It’s tranquil. When you exit the bridge, you turn onto First Avenue, where the crowds are packed and loud. You’re going to get amped again. First Avenue is a fast mile because it is downhill, and you are excited by the crowd. Be careful! If you go too fast on this mile, you will pay in the next few miles when you enter the rolling hills of the Bronx. Stay relaxed and on pace.
Third, the hardest part of the race is Mile 23 right before entering the park on Fifth Avenue. This mile is hilly, and it comes at a point in the race where you are exhausted. Be prepared! Know this mile will be hard. Prepare for this mile. Once you get through it, the remaining miles through Central Park are comparatively more straightforward.
Fourth, you’re probably going to wait a long time at Fort Wadsworth before starting the race. The NYC Marathon is so large that it takes time to transport people from Manhattan to Staten Island and queue them for the race. Be prepared! Bring clothes to stay warm. Bring food and drink to keep nourished and hydrated. Bring something to read. Have a plan to keep your legs loose and not cramped from sitting around.
Lastly, and most importantly, DON’T PEE OFF THE BRIDGE before the start of the race. It’s nasty. It’s a horrible tradition. Don’t continue it!
Best wishes to everyone chasing their running goals!