New York City Marathon

I_Love_New_York_svgYesterday 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.

Good luck!

New York City Marathon

I tried for three years to win that special lottery for the New York City Marathon. I failed. From 2010-2012, I waited on the day of the announcement hoping to receive the email notifying me that I’m an official participant. I crossed my fingers, felt butterflies in my stomach and clicked refresh on my inbox page.


The first year, 2010, I just automatically assumed I would get in. Silly me. I had numerous friends get in on their first try, some even lived in New York City. I heard that those who lived in New York had a much harder time winning the lottery. But my friends got in. Naturally, I figured this would happen for me, too. I woke up that morning three years ago humming “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z. I was shocked–shocked–I didn’t get in. How could this happen? How could I be the only one of my friends that didn’t get in on my first try? I’m not someone with good luck, obviously.

In 2011, I thought for sure it’ll happen this year. How could I miss out on one year and again the next? My luck isn’t THAT bad. Apparently it is.

By 2012, I had my doubts. But I really wanted in. Every runner I knew had registered for the lottery and we said if we get in, we’ll all go together. They all got in except me and one other person. At least I had someone to commiserate with in my annoyance. But as Mother Nature would have it, the marathon was canceled because of Hurricane Sandy.

According to the New York City Marathon rules, if you don’t get in three years in a row, then you automatically get in for your fourth year. After the cancellation of the marathon last year, I figured it wouldn’t matter that it was my fourth time. All those people who couldn’t run last year would get in for 2013, thus rendering it impossible to make enough open slots for those who’d receive automatic entry.

I was wrong. I got in. It’s a very expensive race. I think my credit card hates me right now as I just registered, spending literally hundreds of dollars. It’ll hate me even more when I charge up a hotel room and flight. But I get to run through the burroughs of one of the greatest cities in the world.

Happy Running!