The Running Pianist is now back in full force with the New York City Marathon on November 6th!
6am, up with the sun, bus to the ferry where thousands of us boarded the boat to take us to Staten Island to cram in lines for over an hour to get on a bus to get to security to get to the start village to get to our corral to get to...the start line. Over 4 hours to get to the start!
I won't go into the details of all of that, but here are some thoughts about the race itself:
Hearing Sinatra's "New York, New York" over the start-line was worth more than I had thought it would be.
It was 20 degrees at the start and rose to mid-twenties during the race. I knew in the first mile it was going to be a hard day and slowed right down.
I was not prepared for the crowds! Except for a few blessed quiet sections, the crowds were non-stop, sometimes 7 or 8 deep. I like a good cheering crowd, but I was getting overwhelmed and found it draining after a time.
I had my name on my shirt and must have heard my named cheered hundreds of times.
The humidity was eating people up. I consumed way more water and other drinks than I had at any point in my training.
I gave probably 100 high-fives to kids and adults alike (and a dog!).
Having family waiting for me saved me at a couple of crucial points in the race. My wife, daughter and brother- & sister-in-law met me at two points, and I was able to stop to say hi for a much-needed morale-boost.
Some of the things people were handing out along the way: pastries, donuts, beer, candy, bags of ice, and any number of other snacks.
In some ways this was the most difficult of the 4 marathons I have run. It wasn't the hottest, but it was the longest time to the start-line, the latest start-time, and the loudest (by far). These factors mixed with the heat, and it was a tough slog at points. I was encouraged in a strange way to read many people having experienced the same difficulties.
Running in Central Park near the end was a joy. I felt revitalized and it was one of the highlights for me.
The support of the crowd was incredible and was not about time or ability. Everyone was being cheered on if they were sprinting or jogging or walking or crawling. That was a really beautiful part of the experience.
A dear old friend who now lives in NYC found me during the race, cheered me on, and handed me a much-needed bottle of water:
After all was said and done, I finished! Of that I am very proud, and I wore my medal around the city for the next 2 days.
There really is nothing quite like the New York City Marathon.
If you know someone who might like The Running Pianist, please pass this along and share freely! I will be checking in with updates on this through my newsletter as well. New readers can subscribe here: https://www.edwardenman.com/therunningpianist
Thanks for reading!