I left Manila October 31, stopped over Seattle before heading to New York. I arrived with fairly good weather and excitement for Sunday’s race. I have everything planned out – rest on Day 1, claim my race kit on Day 2, and have a great time on Day 3 (race day).
ING New York City Marathon Health And Fitness Expo
I arrived Saturday morning at the Jacob Javits Convention Center to claim my race bib. This is probably the biggest expo I’ve been venue wise and number of people. Getting my race bib was a breeze. In just 10 minutes I was done and I found myself heading over to the expo. I bought a souvenir Asics tech shirt, a pair of Thorlo’s socks and a race belt. What caught my attention was limited edition Asics Gel-Kayano 20 NYC but left the expo disappointed. I have no budget for it.
Getting To The Starting Line
I was staying at my friend’s apartment in Queens and left around 6AM. I arrived at the South Ferry Terminal at around 7AM. It was overcast, windy and cold! I decided to wait it out (it was warmer inside the terminal) and catch the 8:30AM ferry which is the last ferry. While waiting for the ferry, I met a couple of Filipinos and one of them is Anna – based in Oregon and has been running for a long time now. It was not her first NYC Marathon so she was giving me tips and what to expect while waiting for the ferry. Upon reaching Staten Island, lines of buses were waiting for runners to take them to the starting line.
Let’s Do This
I was part of Orange Corral – Wave 4. Walking towards the starting line felt like I was doing my first marathon. This is it! At 10:55AM, the sound of a canon followed by the song “New York, New York” signaled the start for all Wave 4 runners (and yep I sang along). The music faded as we cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and all you can hear were shoes pounding on the bridge as we leave Staten Island for Brooklyn.
New York Spectators Are the Best
As we navigate through the 5 boroughs, all you can see on either side of the road are thousands of New Yorkers with their signs and cheering on each and every runner. Bands and choirs were out on the street adding. I got “Go Philippines” cheers whenever they recognize my RUPM singlet. New Yorkers sure know how to make their visitors feel welcomed in their city.
I was feeling good half-way through until I felt my legs cramping at mile 14. I tried to walk it off. It went away but came back again when I was crossing the Queensborough Bridge to Manhattan. From then on, it was really a struggle. I was alternating walking and slow jog from mile 18 until mile 23.
I was only a few meters from the I heard some shouting my name. It was a bit odd as my name wasn’t pinned in my singlet. Then as I got closer, I saw Jez – my friend from Accenture and choir mate. She was in NYC visiting her friends and commented on a picture from the expo I posted that she will be cheering for me but I never thought the she would actually be near the finish line.
NYC Marathoner Finisher
I finished the New York Marathon 2013 with a time of 5:50. Not what I was targeting for but still happy that I finished. Running in New York really gave me a whole new perspective of the city. I (now) love NYC!!! I’ll definitely see you again.