Monday, November 05, 2007

Before the Marathon

Before running the race there are a lot of annoying things about running the NYC Marathon. First and foremost is getting there. I got up at 4:45 to get there on time - for a 10:10 race!

I took care of my morning routine, and had a coffee with some oatmeal. (I felt like I had just finished the pasta from the night before.) I ended up leaving my house a little before 6.

The information provided by the MTA for runners was completely wrong. It suggested I take the 5 all the way down. Which would have been nice, if the 5 was running that early in the morning. And so instead, it was the shuttle to the 2, and then to the 4, to the ferry. While I was in the Bronx, there wasn't a single other runner on the train. I had jeans on, but I was carrying the big marathon bag. A few people looked at me funny, but I think they mostly had no idea.

As I made it to lower Manhattan, a few more runners got on the train. Most of them seemed to be tourists who were probably staying in Manhattan hotels. It starts to get exciting when you see all the other runners.

I got to the Staten Island Ferry about 7:40, and it left about 7:55. By 8:15 we were in Staten Island, and then we had to wait for the buses. As I suspected, it was too much of a zoo to check who had bought a ticket. My suspicion is that half the people didn't buy a ticket. And so my 20$ was subsidizing all those people. If I do this next year, someone else can subsidize me!

It took a while for the buses. About a half hour. Not that I was in a rush, but even if only 5,000 people bought tickets, that's $100,000 to spend on buses. For a ten minute ride they could have had enough buses so that we weren't waiting.

I finally got to the starting area around 9. It had taken me three hours to get there from the Bronx by bus. (Interestingly, it took me about three hours to get back to the Bronx. By foot!!)

I had hoped to see David and Susan before the race, but it was kind of on the late side, and I didn't want to wander too far to another color start area. I hung out for a bit, and used the bathroom about 5 times. Maybe I was nervous, but every time I went there was something in my bladder. I decided to stop drinking at this point!

Although I had carried a throwaway sweat suit with me, it ended up being warm enough to go without it. I had modified a heavy duty garbage bag into a new type of fashion statement, and I wore that. I had also bought a cheap sweater last week, and I cut off the arms to wear as sleeves. (Got that idea from the elites!) After being nervous about the morning cold, I was pretty comfortable in my getup.

(I checked my bag at this point, and so that was it for my taking pictures.)

While waiting for the race to start, I went over to stage area to listen to the band. There was a band called "Blues BBQ" playing, and they were pretty good. A couple of runners started dancing. I admired their enthusiasm to be swing dancing moments before running a marathon!

Eventually, I headed over to the starting area. There was a lot of construction on the Verrazano this year, and so the green start was done in waves. Which meant that they let about a thousand people start, and then they held up the rest for a minute or so. Then they let another thousand go at a time. What that meant was that the cannon went off and everyone clapped. Then nothing happened. We were all just standing there for 15 minutes. (Actually, a bunch of people went off to the fences for their first pee break!) Eventually we walked up towards the starting area, and by the time we started, the race was over 20 minutes old.

More to come in the next post...


Blogger David H. said...

Ah! Just a tease! Can't wait to read the rest. Congrats on the time. Hope you're happy with it!

Monday, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Brooklyn said...

Maybe next year, you and I can go volunteer on S.I. together. Free bus...easy timeframe... early and continuous access to munchies and coffee....tents to stand under if it rains... then when the time comes, shed clothes, put bags on truck, and get to running!

Monday, November 05, 2007  
Blogger RedheadFangirl said...

Yea Dan! So fast and strong! Run on Doc!

Monday, November 05, 2007  
Blogger Rae! said...

Hi I saw you from london jogger,I'm Rae. Congrats on your time and your first Marathon???

I just did my first 13k at Disney.
Congratulations again!!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Cassandra said...

Nice photos! And congratulations on your time! What a fun (sounding) race! I'd love to run it sometime.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I actually started in the 27th corral (right behind the 4:30 pace group). My race started 35 mins. after the cannon went off. It seemed like everyone took off and left us behind and I ran playing catch up the rest of the day. Finished in 4:43. Not a race to race -- just enjoy. Congrats on a great finish, Danny! I enjoyed reading another's perspective.

Saturday, November 17, 2007  

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