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NYC Marathon Reviews, Pros, Cons, Tips, and More!

October 6, 2009 Leave a comment

People ask me a lot of questions about the NYC Marathon, and marathoning in general.  I wanted to provide an easy to read list of good and bad things about the NY Marathon from the runners perspective.

Here are the sites I used

Yelp Reviews of NYC Marathon

Marathon Guide.com Reviews of NYC Marathon

Here is the gist…

PROS:

Great Crowds, History, Fun, Exciting, Amazing, “Thing to do before you Die”, Well organized, unbeatable scenery, best crowd in the world

and I have to agree.  I feel spoiled that I live here and got in simply by running 9 races.  Others have to do the lottery.  I also feel spoiled that my 1st marathon was NYC, that’s going to be a tough experience to beat, I think.

The view from the Verrazano Bridge is breath-taking.

CONS:

1.  Most people complain about the start.  Since NY is a point to point race (meaning you don’t finish where you start) all runners must be transported to Staten Island via Ferry, Bus.  The main problem is the bridge closes to traffic at 5am, so you can’t drive yourself or have a friend drive you after that time.  So all runners are assigned a ferry to catch like this

You have been assigned to : Staten Island Ferry – 5:30 AM…Great, and my Wave starts at 9:40 AM, thats about 3 hours to kill once you get to the starting camp.  Be sure to bring a paper, WARM clothes, and things to eat.

Also…VERY IMPORTANT…I had no problem with the start, but I’ve read some horror stories about not being able to get the right corral, getting lost in the start area, people dropping their bags on the ground for fear of being late for the corral.  BE PREPARED to STAND AT THE START FOR 45 MINUTES.  Sad but true…Since this is the case, don’t do a whole bunch of warm up.  Maybe 1 mile and stretch out.  Use the first 2-3 miles of the race to finish getting warmed up.  Get everything done early.  Eat, drink, vaseline, check bag…EARLY and then go wait in your corral.  There are port-o-pottys at each corral.

2.  The Finish–after you cross the line.  The Parade of parked UPS trucks with everyones baggage seems to stretch for miles (really its about 1 mile)  but it is a tough mile after running 26.2!  The UPS trucks are arranged by bib number.  I remember last year seeing the first UPS truck with a sign that read 38,000-35,999, then a sight of UPS trucks as far as the eye could see, and I was wearing number 4620…:(  If you  have friends and family that want to meet up with you after you finish, arrange to meet in the designated area for your number, in the Race booklet

3.  Expo.  I thought the expo was cool, sufficient. Nothing special, but I guess for the money you pay to get into the NY marathon, you expect to be “Wow’d”  I went to the expo early on the first day it opened on Thursday.  Awesome, no crowd, easy to get around. Bought a few things I needed, like $2 gloves, and a $10 warmup suit, both to be tossed once the marathon started. This being said it was the largest expo I’ve been to and I’ve been to some big ones.  Philadelphia marathon, Broad Street Run, Crim 10 mile, Nike Half Marathon.  It is a runners paradise, its like the internet at your fingertips. (So I guess, I wouldn’t consider the Expo a CON…)

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