Insight Into | The New York Marathon

“There Is Something In The New York Air That Makes Sleep Useless” 
Simone de Beauvoir

Running the New York Marathon has always been an aspiration of mine, but one that I never truly believed would be achieved. Having entered myself into the ballot for the last 4 years (even after having never run further than 10km), and always getting that pitiful ‘Sorry, not this time’ email –  I gave up hope on gaining a place. Sods Law, give up hope and a few days after having run the Paris Marathon I received the ‘Congratulations’ email — and the NYC planning began.

For a first-timer in the NYC marathon, the excitement was inevitable, as was the apprehension. Whilst I have never heard anyone regret entering the ‘largest marathon on earth’, there is a great deal of austerity surrounding the hours before the race begins, and the transport arrangements required the morning of the race. Due to the nature of the race starting on Staten Island, each entrant is required to choose a transportation option to the start, this is either bus or ferry. Having read mixed reviews on both options, I opted for the bus option (and think if I were to do it again I would make the same decision).

So there I was, alarm clock set for 4am, first breakfast consumed and off to the New York Public Library I ventured to catch the bus. Still pitch black a very sleepy NYC surrounded myself and the other 50,000 runners heading to the start line. Through security, and off onto the buses we went, like excited children heading to summer camp. About an hour later we crossed the Verrazano Bridge and arrived at the start ‘camp’. Which is organised into 3 sections based on your start times. In true USA style, they put on a spread — Bagels, coffee, energy bars, all you needed (other than perhaps a few more hours in bed). Arriving at the start line almost 3 hours before I was even due to begin the 42km haul was a little daunting, and I think had we not been so lucky with the weather (beautiful sunshine on what should’ve been a much crisper November morning), I think my mood may have been a little different as there is a lot of waiting around.

However, soon enough the call for the first wave of runners was upon us, and off I went. Running through all 5 NYC boroughs, with overwhelming crowds from start to finish, it really is a marathon to remember. One not to take for granted, and one I hope I will be able to do again! 3hrs30 later, the finish line was crossed. A truly incredible experience, and one I would recommend to anyone with any doubts in entering.

The Habit Hunter x