- 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
The NYC Half was tough, but such a great experience. Surprisingly, I had a harder time on the flat section along the West Side Highway than the hills through Central Park, but the finish through the tunnel and then out to the last stretch at the end was energizing. To think that we ran through the streets of New York City is just amazing!
We took the train to NYC the day before and went straight to the expo. Packet pick-up was easy, and they encouraged you to try on a race shirt before settling on a size -- good thing because at least the women's shirts ran small. There was a New Balance shop where you could buy different styles of race gear, photo opportunities, and a huge map of the race course with volunteers answering questions.
I stayed at a hotel near Central Park, so the morning logistics were easy. I grabbed a coffee at Starbucks and headed through security shortly after it opened. It was cold before we started, but I could tell it was going to be a great day for racing -- low/mid 30s and blue skies!
The race started a few minutes late due to cuing with the local television station, but otherwise went off smoothly. The course starts in Central park, and then exits the park at the north end for a few out-and-back segments in Harlem where things got crowded. Once back in the park we had to face the big hill, and then a few more rolling hills until we were out of the park heading to and through Times Square -- which is just as amazing as they say it is!
From there, we turned on 42nd St to head to the West Side Highway, where it was a straight and flat shot almost to the finish. We could see the World Trade Center almost the whole way, and it was a great, inspiring landmark.
At about mile 12, we entered the tunnel for a fast downhill following by a cruel climb out, but then we were just a few hundred meters from the finish. The crowd support was terrific as we crossed the finish line.
Runners have to walk a long way to exit - picking up a heat sheet, finisher medal and snack box along the way. Since the weather was fantastic, we didn't mind the walk -- plus once again we had a great view of the World Trade Center.
All in all, the race was extremely well run. I had several questions that were answered by email right away, and everyone at the expo and the race was super nice!