Yesterday I participated in the famous New York City Marathon. Due to injury, my finish time was less than stellar and I struggled most, if not all, of the race. However, my opinion of the marathon did not get swayed by the pain of my body. Rather, I hold this race in the highest esteem. Here are a few reasons to participate:
1. Running through all five boroughs. How often do you travel outside of the standard touristy areas when visiting the Big Apple? Most visitors head to Broadway and Ellis Island, and perhaps Ground Zero and the Empire State Building. But the 26.2-mile course offers sweeping views of the New York City skyline and traverses through untapped areas such as the Bronx and Harlem by tourists. You’ll have a much more complete New York City experience.
2. The music is unparalleled to any other marathon course. A gospel choir on the steps of a cathedral, neighbors serenading runners as they stand on the edge of their walk-ups, bands and drummers…all can be heard just in Brooklyn alone.
3. The crowds run three-feet deep. As runners turn into Manhattan along 1st Avenue, cheerleaders line the streets screaming and shouting for marathoners. Brooklyn also offers plenty of racing fans. Children hold out their hands asking for “high fives” and New Yorkers step out with candy, fruit and paper towels for runners, just out of the goodness of their hearts and love for what the marathoners try to accomplish.
4. Ending in Central Park. As the race falls in the autumn, you run under the colored leaves and watch them float around in the wind. This makes for endless picturesque photo moments.
5. Plenty of medical tents, aid stations and anything a runner needs is readily available. Coming from European marathons in which you receive water maybe every 5K, the NYC Marathon offered water at least every mile, often more.
It took me three years to get in, so if the NYC Marathon is on your bucket list, start signing up now to win the lottery.