Sunday, November 01, 2009

New York City Marathon 2009 Race Report

New York City, 9:45am
Temperature: 54°F, 49% humidity, wind 5 mph variable




Background:

Last year I had to sit out of NYCM with a sfx. It was nice spectating but as I saw others running I could not help but feel sorry for myself.

I could defer my entry so I was in for this year. Two years of entry fees would make this marathon cost me $340 odd in entry fees... A bonus was that this was the 40th anniversary of the NYCM. I was going to run even if I had to crawl!

Goals:

My goals for the run were modest. I wanted to finish and I did not want a new PW (3:45)...

Race day:

My alarm clock did not factor in DST so I was up at 2am and my sis dropped me the train station at 4am. The first train was at 5am. So I waited at the Valhalla station as it rained outside. My assigned shuttle bus was from the Public library (and I was assigned a time of 5:30am - there was no way I would make that). Thankfully, all they checked to get runners on the bus was the bib number... The organization was pretty spot on. I did not have to wait for a bus and the ride was comfortable. The bus got us to Brooklyn at 8am...

I killed time at the Verrazano bridge... Victor got in around 8:30am. After several texts/calls we finally managed to hook up. The drama was compounded by the fact that my new cell phone was defective.

Race:

The start was quite a melee with people jumping barriers etc... Running through the Verrazano Bridge was awesome. I stopped to take several pictures. I had intended to take pictures all through and soak in the experience that is the New York City marathon!

mile 1: 9:07
mile 2: 8:21

It was here that the cheering crowds got to me and I abandoned my original plan of a 3:45 finish... I started wasting lesser time picture-taking and started working towards a sub-3:30 marathon... If I could go back in time for sure I would not have done this :)

mile 3: 7:58
mile 4: 7:54
mile 5: 8:03
mile 6: 7:42
mile 7: 7:47
mile 8: 7:59
mile 9: 7:56
mile 10: 7:35
mile 11: 7:59
mile 12: 7:50
mile 13: 8:05

I hit the half on track for a 3:30 but that was that...

mile 14: 8:07
mile 15: 8:34

I've often heard people talk about their experience going through the Queensboro Bridge. The quiet of the bridge broken by the deafening roar in Manhattan! This is a place where a lot of people also start struggling. Unfortunately, my struggling began here too...

mile 16: 9:30
mile 17: 8:36

As I ran on First Ave, I heard someone call my name. It was an old running buddy from CRC (Daniel). He breezed by me :)

mile 18: 8:56
mile 19: 9:01
mile 20: 9:39

My quads were just tired (perhaps not recovered sufficiently from St. George) and basically I did not really have the will to suffer. There was not much at stake except for the PW which clearly was not motivation enough. I walked quite a bit and ran some in-between. When I ran I was moving at a decent pace so a little more motivation would have gotten me to keep running all the way through :) The last 10k after all is a mind game.

mile 21: 10:00
mile 22: 9:51
mile 23: 10:06
mile 24: 10:19
mile 25: 9:11
mile 26: 8:16
mile .22: 2:56

Time: 3:47:21

OA: 10028/43660
Male: 8314/28485
Div: 1338/3973
Bib #: 11060
10k: 00:50:42
15k: 01:15:14
20k: 01:39:41
25k: 02:06:13
30k: 02:33:43
35k: 03:04:12
40k: 03:35:09
Pace: 08:41

The death march to pick up your bag post race is one of the toughest things I've had to do. It was surely tougher than running the marathon :) I found Victor post-race. Unfortunately, he had a bad day too and did not come close to his BQ. I met up with my sis, bil, neice and nephew for Ethiopian food (they had come to cheer me but as expected did not get to see me).

I was pretty satisfied to get my NYCM finish! I needed to run this once and cross this off my list. I don't think I'll be back at least for another 10 years :)

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