A couple days ago I came back from New York and I’m still buzzing with energy!
I remember again how amazing this marathon is, the crowd, the parties, the energy, … but I also remember how hard this course is.
Here’s my race recap!
At 8AM on Sunday morning we (Cat and I) arrived at the Staten Island Ferry. We got on the ferry pretty quickly and made it to Staten Island. Arriving there we had to wait another 45 minutes to get on a bus that would bring us to the start village (you can do better New York Road Runners!). By the time we got there our bag check had closed and we had to give our bags to late baggage. Our corral was about to close and we just made it to the wave 3 start. A quick bathroom stop in the corral and we immediately had to take off.
We started walking towards the start and the Verrazano Bridge. ‘New York New York’ by Frank Sinatra was blasting through the speakers and I felt the first tears coming. I felt so lucky to be there, so blessed.
‘If I can make it there
I’m gonna make it anywhere
It’s up to you, New York
Time to start running. The temperatures were perfect and even on the bridge there was not too much wind. We quickly found our pace and started running uphill towards Brooklyn. The views on the bridge are amazing and so many people stop here to take pictures. It was crowded but we were able to run our pace.
Once you cross the bridge, you enter Brooklyn and immediately get welcomed by amazing crowds. People are holding signs and screaming ‘Welcome to Brooklyn’. The whole first half of the marathon runs through the streets of Brooklyn. People are screaming my name, saying: ‘Laura, you are a warrior’, ‘Laura you got this’, ‘Laura looking good’, … This gives me so much energy. After 8km we stop for a bathroom stop and off we go again. Cat started feeling sick the night before, so I quickly realized this was going to be a hard one for her. But we had planned on doing this together and so I kept motivating her.
In Brooklyn I saw people I knew for the first time, José and her kids were out there cheering us on!
I was also fighting back tears at several points while running in Brooklyn. I felt so lucky to be able to run, to not feel any pain, to have all these people there on the sidelines, …
After 21 kilometers we start running over the Pulawski Bridge between Brooklyn and Queens and we pass the half way mark. Time on the clock: 02:18:44. I started to realize that with the way Cat was feeling (on the verge of literally being sick) we would not be able to run 4:30:00. But my legs still felt great so I really wanted to keep up this pace.
Not easy on this course, since there’s almost never a flat stretch (only uphill).
At the 25 kilometer point we arrived at the hardest point of the course, the Queensboro Bridge. Time at the 25km point: 02:44:53.
The Queensboro Bridge is the most dreaded part because the uphill part of this bridge is over 1 kilometer long. We slowed down a bit and on the short decline that sends us to Manhattan we pick up our pace again. I knew Melanie, Josée and the kids would be standing on 1st Avenue to cheer me on!
I still felt great and after the long stretch on 1st Avenue we crossed to fourth bridge on the course to enter the Bronx. The visit to the Bronx is very short and last only from kilometer 31 to kilometer 34. We cross the last bridge and enter Manhattan again for the final push towards the finish.
By kilometer 37 we’re running on 5th Avenue. This is again a hard uphill part that goes on for what seems like forever. At this point I started feeling tired and very very grateful for the audience who told me I still looked amazing and that I was killing it. I had a hard time even smiling at this point and just gave everyone a thumbs up.
Finally, time to enter Central Park! As soon as we enter the park I see Melanie, Melody, Damien and Katy standing there. This gives me the last boost of energy I needed.
When we see the finish line I feel tears coming again… I grab Cat’s hand and we run together to the finish. Arms in the air, we did it! Time: 04:41:19. Now we both feel very emotional and give in to the tears. We both have blisters and are cold, but we did it!
The volunteers hand us our medal, heating blankets and a recovery bag.
Time to celebrate now! Big thank you to everyone who was there, who tracked me, who made a cheer card, who wished me good luck, who supported me during training, my physical therapist, my coach Benny, … I could not have done it without you all!
New York, I love you!