Race Report: 2014 New York City Marathon
As I write my race report for the 2014 New York City Marathon, I am contemplating throwing my name into the 2015 NYC lottery for the 5th time…to enter the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon Lottery Click Here.
On November 2, 2014, I was lucky enough to run my 2nd New York City Marathon in 2 years. I had run NYC in 2013 through guaranteed entry having been a lottery reject in 2010, 2011, 2012(New York City Marathon – Chemo Shemo). Never in a million years did I think my number would come up again and I would be given a do-over. Lucky for me, I would have tons of company in New York. Both of my running friends, Alison and Janice, were also running through their guaranteed entries – being rejected in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Because this my 2nd NYC Marathon, I knew what to expect and I was looking forward to savoring the experience. First up, the 1st rate New York City expo. Sadly, I was a little disappointed. Sure there was the humongous official merchandise store, but it seemed the 2013’s NYC expo had more vendors and they weren’t all crammed together in such tight quarters. Walking this year’s expo, the aisles made for tight, slow-moving and less-than-pleasant shopping. It was so bad, Alison had to remove her self from the crowded conditions.
I did get to visit with my some of my favorite runners and vendors Bart Yasso in the Runners World booth, Sweaty Bands, and runDisney. And most importantly to me, I got to order my 2nd Tiffany New York City Marathon apple charm.
As a member of NYRR the club 2014 entry fee was $216 plus a $11 processing fee. The non-member US fee was $255 plus a $11 processing fee. The non-US fee was $347. Note – for 2015 there will not be a fee increase. Yes, the New York City Marathon is an expensive marathon, here’s what you receive:
- Entry to the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon (including fluid/fueling stations, medical support, entertainment, baggage handling*, security, and more)
- Runner “goody bag”, including official ASICS technical shirt and official Marathon Program magazine.
- Official transportation to the start from Midtown Manhattan, Lower Manhattan, or the Meadowlands Sports Complex (New Jersey); Start festival, including breakfast and entertainment
- Finisher materials: medal, food, beverages, United Airlines/Foot Locker Heatsheet™, official results magazine
– From New York City Marathon. See more at: http://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/plan-your-race/getting-in#sthash.GFAb4tMG.dpuf
Since I had already been through the joy that is the NYC Marathon transportation ….I slept in an hour longer than my hotel roommates and got up in enough time to take the subway down to the Staten Island Ferry.
It seemed my subway and ferry rides were less congested than in 2013. Thankfully all rides were uneventful as I moved from the subway…..
to the Staten Island Ferry and onto a bus to reach Fort Wadsworth – AKA Marathon Village.
My good college friend, Steve, was volunteering in Marathon Village. He was stationed at the Poland Spring Water station (you don’t even want to know what time Marathon Village volunteers had to arrive). I stopped by to say hi and to try to find a place to escape the cold, strong winds. Runners were camped out and in any available shelter, including the Poland Spring Water truck.
After a potty stop and a hug, it was time to say good-bye to Steve, and make my way to my corral. Our marathon start was delayed and there was a back-up at the corrals. But soon, we were walking and making the turn behind the buses to the start line. For every wave start of the marathon, I believe they sing the Star Spangled Banner. I don’t remember that, but I do remember they played New York, New York as we crossed the start line and began our assent up the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
The marathoners were notified of high winds, cold temperatures and that the wheelchair athletes had started the race at mile 2 to avoid the bridge winds. However, I was not prepared to run headfirst into the 30 mph winds (for miles). And soon as we started the assent, you felt the winds pushing you back – hard. The wind did not stop the entire 26.2 miles.
My coach wanted me to start with 30/30, 20/20 or 15/15. Then at the halfway point, to see how I felt and move to 20/15 or 30/20 if I felt good. He then suggested at 20 miles to move to 60/30 or 40/20 or 30/15. But I didn’t take his advice – a former Olympian and finisher of over 150+ marathons – I didn’t listen. I felt good and I wanted to run 2/walk 30 from the start. Here were my mile splits:
- 11:51 I began cramping up on my side at mile 8 and then shortened my intervals.
- 14:12 By Mile 13 I was full walking and had totally run out of gas.
I think I was running while both dehydrated and under fueled. I kept drinking water at all the water stops. Then I stopped to use the port-a-potties at every mile. I walked until mile 25. It was ugly, I was dejected and I felt like it was a repeat of the Hartford Marathon. I just put my head down and tried to remain positive, but it was a hard race and my dreams of beating my time for 2013 were squashed.
In 2013, I ran NYC having received a chemotherapy treatment the Friday before Sunday’s race and finished with a 5:28 time. This year I expected to do better, but it was not meant to be. I finished in 6:20:11.
Here are some of facts of the 2014 NYC Marathon directly from Runners World:
- The start temperature in Staten Island at 9 am was 43-degrees
- The wind was blowing at a steady 31 miles per hour
- There were gusts of more than 40 miles per hour
- The wheelchair race was shortened to 23.2 miles due to winds on the Verrazano
- The race had 50,564 finishers breaking 2013’s record as the biggest marathon in history. (50,869 starters)
When you are out on course in the middle of 26.2 miles all you can think about is yourself and getting to the finish. Because I was wallowing in my own self-pity, I didn’t realize others might also be having a crappy day. It turns out my friends were all finished with the race, but were also all worn down. I saw my HMF Teammate Chris Trotta at the finish and picked up Janice and Alison at the medical tent. I have to admit I felt a little better hearing all my friends struggled too because as you know – misery loves company. Regardless of how we got to the finish, we did finish.
The following night, I was invited to a UCAN event at Yale University where I got the honor of meeting Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon and 4th place finisher of the 2014 NYC Marathon.
Is the New York City Marathon on your bucket list? Will you be entering the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon lottery?