Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New York City Marathon 2010

Crossing the Finish Line
November 7, 2010, a glorious day to see New York as I ran through the streets of the city on the marathon course.  As my corral moves to the starting line, I am shivering with excitement and cold.  The temps were around 40-50 during the race; perfect temp to run in, but cold and windy at the start and finish.  As I write this, I am watching the race on tv.  It brings back all the memories of the weekend.  My day began at 5:15 with a wake up call (I was afraid my iphone would not update with the time change from the night before- like I didn't have enough to worry about).  After getting all my gear together & a sleepy picture, I walked the few blocks to met the Team Autism Speaks bus for the ride to the start with my teammates.  Once at the start, I followed the maze to find my corral.  We looked like a parade of homeless people shuffling along with our goodwill  clothes to donate as we shed our layers.  I claimed a piece of grass to relax in for an hour or so till my start time. It felt really nice in the sun, but throughout the day, the shade would be chilly and windy.  I found myself seeking the sun to run in during the race.
Finally, my start time has arrived, after waiting in the corral holding area for 30 minutes, we start walking to the start.  Several people started running as we headed up the ramp to the Verrazano-Narrows bridge BEFORE we reached the starting line. Not me, I waited till I stepped on the mat to put forth any effort.  That first mile was one of the toughest, the wind was brutal, the bridge was steep, and there were no spectators allowed on the bridge.  Where were the 2.5 million people that lined the course? After I crossed the bridge, it all changed.  People were everywhere....everywhere.  New Yorkers are AMAZING.  Welcome to Brooklyn was what I heard as I came off the bridge.  People yelling & screaming constantly. It was like a finish line for 26.2 miles...really.  It was so loud at times my head was hurting a little.  Another bridge at mile 13 that took us into Queens for 3 miles.  I had to stop a couple times to use the porta potty.  My stomach was a little unsettled due to travel, dehydration, lack of sleep, etc...all the things that I should not be doing before a marathon, but I could not resist because I was in the greatest city in the world!   After crossing the Queensboro bridge, we entered Manhattan for the first time for miles 17-19.  We ran 3 miles along 1st avenue which was packed with spectators and the energy was amazing- even with that, it felt like it was about 10 miles long to me.  Mile 20 we entered the Bronx and then Harlem.  Mile 21 brought us back into Manhattan and at 22.5 I was in Central Park for the first time in my life.  I was in awe of my surroundings.As I crossed the finish line 4:36 hours after I started, I was elated!
Thank you to all the people who supported me through Team Autism Speaks to get me there!

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