TCS NY Marathon 2015, would feature 50,000 elite marathoners, para-athletes, seasoned amateurs and determined first-timers from around the world, all of whom will test their mettle on a scenic 26.2-mile course that winds its way through the five boroughs. Along the route, runners will be cheered on by an estimated 2 million spectators, with some 130 live bands, DJs, innumerable portable stereos blasting and raucous house parties adding to the cacophony.
The TCS New York City Marathon course is a 26.2-mile block party through the world’s most diverse city, and it’s a model for big-city marathons around the world.
When I registered this marathon, I had a high hope where I was planing to reach a PR. And if I was lucky, I hoped I could make a BQ. But 2015 had not been good for me, from injury almost every month to having a bike accident 2 weeks prior to the marathon. Broken nose, minor concussion, fracture teeth, cut up face, and some minor contusion on many joints were actually not that bad for the run. I just got tired easily, a little breath problem, and some shoulder issue.
The morning was pretty chilly. To be honest NY marathon was my least favorite race so far. Other than it was a road race, the starting line and finish line was such a wasting time and energy. Yet those long procedures were a necessary, and it was pretty organized, I gave them that. But the process was just pain in the buttock. It took me an hour from my apartment in Astoria to the starting area. From subway, bus, and walking line. Then, I had to wait like another couple of hours doing nothing till I could be usher to the shoot. Then it took another like 30-40 minutes till the gun off. I guessed I just missed my mountain races, where we just come and run.
When I crossed the starting line, it was an astounding how much people slow down and made a bottle-neck on the Verrazano bridge. I started with the pretty fast wave, although I knew I would not able to run with my normal pace. But these people ran as fast as over 9 min pace. I ended up running on the side of the road on and off.
The first 9 miles were amazing. The crowds, the band, and the energy were non-stop in every turn. At that time my right shoulder from the accident started to bother me from swinging, plus holding a handheld bottle was not helping either. After an hour, the temperature was getting warmer, I felt over-dress and started to feel overheated. But I guess there was nothing that I could do other than just sucked it up.
Right before I crossed the Pulaski bridge, entering the Long Island City – Queens, I took a bladder break. I started to feel nausea, I think I might had electrolyte issue. When I got out, I vomited on the road side before I continued my journey. After the bridge, the band and the crowds made me forget my trouble, and I could run a little bit more. Then when I got into Queensbridge, the shit show started again, so I ended up doing my hike and run.
Before the race, I knew I would not make it my PR goal. But I was hoping that I could have 3:30 or sub 4 for the least. In the exhibition, the Asics supported us with a bracelet pace plan and I created my 3:30 plan. So I had kept my eyes close to my pace schedule since mile 10. From half of the marathon point, I could not run 8 min pace anymore, but I was trying my best to match the pace plan schedule.
I could only keep it up to mile 18, and from there till Central Park was a long blur. I knew I did a combination of walking and running since I was vomiting every a mile. At one point, I remember I saw Russ, my PT who had been resurrecting me from injuries the whole years, he was kept running back and forth along the course to greet his friends/teammates in the crowds. Pretty bad ass view. Also after I crossed the bridge from Harlem to Manhattan, I saw an older lady who had a bad cramped, she was barely walking and it seemed that she could fall on her face anytime soon. It was kinda surprising me that no body stopped and helped her, she just like a ghost to the others.
So I ended up ran back and asked her if she needed help. I think she said she was ok, so I gave her my salt stick to help her with the cramped. When I got into the next aid station I mentioned it to the EMT people. Then my nausea and vomiting saga continued, I think by that time I had electrolyte deficiency and dehydration issue. When I got into the Central Park, I just realized that I had only 2 miles to and I started to push my pace a little bit, and tried not to have a bile-stop.
The crowd on the 59th street was pretty intense. For that last mile, I did not even feel that sick anymore, and tried to get my pace as close as my preference pace. Right after the sharp right turn at the Columbus Circle, I was a few hundreds meters away from the finish-line. I saw there was a line of flags from different countries along the finishing shoot. I kept looking and looking until I found the Indonesian flag. I stopped and kissed the flag and finishing what I started this morning.
I finished over 4 hours, I felt a little disappointed. But finally I could check off NY Marathon from my bucket list. As much as I loved the course, seeing my friends on the course, aid station, and at the crowds, but the hectic and complicated process before and after the race just gave me a bad taste. Nevertheless, I glad I did it, I would recommend it to everyone to do it at least at once. And now it was time for me to hibernate till my 2016 season started.