As we rounded the turn towards the Pulaski bridge, I remembered with vague horror the incline that awaited me. Oh wait, that was all the bridges. I digress. Exiting Brooklyn and having no one/nothing to look forward to in Queens while running up a decent incline wasn’t the most pleasant of experience. I began to compartmentalize the race in my head, only a half marathon left to go. The bridge seemed interminable despite its small size and tons of people were walking. It was then I realized that my initial goal for under 4:30 wouldn’t be possible. We had never escaped from a very crowded “pack”. We spent over 10 miles weaving in and out of runners (which, of course, is a horrendous race strategy). It was at this point I wanted to focus on taking it all in and just enjoying the race.
QUEENS: We entered Queens and almost as quickly as we got there, we left. It was a quick ~2 mile jaunt and Long Island city/Queens did a good job of cheering us on. I can’t lie, though I was dying to get into Manhattan. I know there was a possibility of seeing friends on First Avenue, and I could definitely use a friendly face(s) as a pick me up. So Queens remains rather blurry in my memory. I do, however, remember giant bales of hay somewhere in Queens and the smell of Tacos. Anyone?? Finally, it was time to hit the Queensboro and start ‘running towards home’. One of the best quotes I heard all day was from one of the fellow runners on my charity bus at 5:35 a.m. “Hey guys? I hate to break it to you, but this bus is going to drop you off. And then you’re going to have to run home.” Epic. Even though I live 60 blocks away from Tavern on the Green, I still continued to use the mantra of ‘running home’ as my feet continued to pound the asphalt.
Manhattan: FINALLY. The famed 1st Ave. “The crowd will carry you!” “You won’t even know you’re running!” Well, sort of. It’s kind of hard to “not know” you’re running after 16 miles. In my estimation. My legs knew I was running, but my heart and my head were definitely all over the place. All of a sudden in the 80’s I heard SHRIEKING and looked towards the west side of the street where some of my bets friends were jumping up and down yelling my name and generally
drunk freaking out. It was awesome. I must have be grinning ear to ear and I cruised up 1st on my way towards my parents/fiance/brother/brother’s gf/’other mother’ who were waiting on 110th. Unfortunately, however, I did miss the fabulous Dori (who I did get to see at the expo in her gorgeous orange t-shirt ;) ) who had this sign:
Boo for missing the sign, but I promised Dori I’ll get her back next year and I won’t rest until I find her!! Annnd finally I saw my
entourage family at 110th. My dad saw me first and had my younger brother (along with his sign) run to the rest of the crew to alert them I was coming. I was greeted with fanfare and epic signs (my brother’s girfriend’s appropriately had “toenails are for sissies” since she is well versed in my ‘faxu-nails’ I have had painted on two of my toes for months now during pedicures…) I smiled, waved and kept up trucking into Harlem. Despite Harlem being part of Manhattan, I’ll give it its own section…
EHa (East Harlem, obvi): I can’t tell a lie. I was ready for this race to be over. When I saw the Robinhood (my charity!) jumbotron, I waved for good measure but secretly wanted to be sprinting towards the finish in Central Park. Lulemon turned out and I got a big thumbs up from someone for my headband. I liked the tequila sign…
Bronx: Like everyone says, this is wildly uneventful and short. The turn out was fine, it didn’t feel empty (or maybe I just dont remember) but I was focused on just getting back into Manhattan and finishing this
beyotch marathon. True.
Manhattan/the end: TO BE CONTINUED :)