1. This is a tough race to get into! I was denied lottery entry 3 consecutive times prior to getting guaranteed entry.
2. I'm sure there are other great races in the state of New York, but this had to be mine.
3. Despite the insane crowd, the expo was really well organized- it took less than 5 minutes to pick up my bib:
4. My handsome Husband accompanied me on this trip:
7. My friend Jen ran, too! We stayed at the same hotel, enjoyed a pre-race dinner together, and spent most of race morning with one another
8. I'm a very social runner and have made insta-friends in similar situations, but having a friend who was also running made the experience more enjoyable.
9. We had an especially chilly day this year- 35 degrees with 25 mph winds at the start
10. It's important to pack lots of throwaway clothes for the race day wait- transit to the ferry, bus, and hanging in athletes village.
11. As such, you will look homeless in all of your pre-race pictures:
13. From Staten Island, we started onto the Verazzano bridge:
14. There were wall to wall people, as seen above, the entire time! I was shocked that I actually saw my Aunt at mile 6:
15. Even cold gusts of wind couldn't damper the experience of running on the bridges
16. Other runners warned me the bridges would be challenging.
17. I didn't mind them. When you regularly push 40 pounds of stroller up Haymount hill during training, a bit of incline from a bridge isn't so bad.
18. Speaking of training, my longest long run was 9 miles.
19. This is the second marathon in a row I've opted for stroller running, CrossFit, and no double digit runs and met my time goal (sub 4 hours).
20. Could I be more aggressive with my time goal if I were willing to do long runs? Sure...but it's not worth the quality of life trade as a recreational runner.
21. I'd rather tack 10 or so minutes on my time and look back at the last 3 months of Saturdays and know I spent them with my family. Period.
22. See what I mean about wall to wall runners?
24. They lined the streets, packed balconies, and even offered Kleenex (cold, wind = runny noses!)
25. Cheer squads, bands, FDNY lined up in front of stations
26. If you do this race, leave your headphones at home. There is so much to look at and listen to. It's worth soaking up each moment!
27. Write your name on your shirt. You may not get as lucky as I did when I found someone else named "Suzy" who had.
28. We ran together for the better part of the last 10K and both said "thank you!" when we heard our name
29. I had been to Manhattan before but not Staten Island, Brooklyn, Harlem, or the Bronx.
30. This race is the best way to see the city
31. The steady stream of wall to wall runners made for a lot of bottlenecks at turns and water stops...so, basically every few minutes.
32. I ran a very steady race, despite this:
34. It's a long walk through Central Park after you cross the finish line:
36. Not a good argument for people who call runners "cult members":
37. Asking Trey to bring my Uggs to the finish line: best decision ever.
38. My FitBit was happy:
39. My name was in the New York Times on Monday Morning: