Marathon Week Has Arrived and My NYCM Tips

by ashleyd on November 1, 2011

It’s officially marathon week! Suddenly all the training, sweat, and preparation is culminating in an awesome week of excitement! Each day I find myself more and more excited for Sunday.

Today I had the opportunity to kick off the week with Jocelyn, Erica, and a few other local bloggers who were also selected to serve as New York Road Runner’s Social Media Reporter team for the marathon this week.

Since I’ve decided not to actively tweet or take pictures during this year’s marathon, my duties will include covering pre-marathon events such as the NYRR Five Borough Bash and the Expo.

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We met uptown at the NYRR headquarters with the NYRR Social Media team this afternoon brain storming ideas and finding out more about our roles and responsibilities.  I’m looking forward to this collaboration and hope you’ll follow us on our Twitter and Facebook. NYRR is passionate about making the 2011 marathon more accessible for everyone; both athletes and spectators alike. They have some pretty amazing surprises up their sleeves for finishers too!

If you see a pony tailed girl sporting this cute shirt and smelling like Tiger Balm, there is a good chance it’s me! Please come and say hello and let me know how you’re journey is going thus far! I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people this week.

IMG_5196 (640x478) A few of the ways that the Social Media Reporter team will contribute are as follows:

  • We will be tweeting and linking to the official marathon hash tags (#nycm and #ingnycm) all week sharing information about events for runners and the public.
  • For runners, following the hash tag may help them find out the best time to attend the expo based on crowds or last minute tips.
  • On marathon day, following these hash tags will help spectators figure out the best place to watch, how to reach a certain mile spot, or see any alerts.

If there are certain topics or information you’d like the team to share, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll share it with NYRR.

When I walked through the door tonight, the week became even more real when I was greeted by this amazing good luck bouquet! My parents unfortunately can’t make the trek up from Savannah for my marathon but they are already cheering me on from afar! This was the best Halloween treat ever!

IMG_5195 (640x478)While I was shopping for my marathon fuel this evening, a fellow shopper inspired me to share a few of my “20×20 hindsight” tips for any readers who are reading the New York City Marathon. She was a bundles of nerves and had tons of questions which were second nature for me now that this is my second time running NYC. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an expert and nor do I proclaim to be one, but having a year of experience certainly helps the pre-race nerves.

  1. As tempted as you’ll be to buy every piece of cool race clothing this week, do not change anything for marathon day. Wear an outfit you’ve completed a long run in, use the same fuel, and don’t buy new shoes! Trust me, the NYCM branded gear is really cool- after the marathon!
  2. Be sure to purchase your regular fuel early in the week, before the expo if possible. Last year I couldn’t find my favorite shot-blocks at my normal stores in the city OR at the expo. They run out of many items early in the week. Also, be careful about testing out fuel with caffeine if you haven’t used caffeinated fuel during training. This can affect some people’s stomachs.
  3. The expo lines can get very long, especially after work and on Saturday. If there is anyway you can go during the week the lines will be far shorter. Following #nycm or #ingnycm for line updates throughout the week. If you HAVE to go on Saturday then do your best to get there right when the expo opens.
  4. You are not guaranteed a NYCM race shirt in your requested size. Therefore, see my above tip in order to avoid lines and get your preferred size. The earlier in the week you go, the better chance you have of getting your perfect size.
  5. Be sure to bring your driver’s license or passport to the expo. Last year they were quite strict, even with me who had a name change due to my marriage. If you’ve recently had a name change, bring documentation.
  6. If you’re taking the ferry, I promise they want you to race on Sunday. It is a public ferry and therefore, as long as there is space, they can’t refuse you access. While it’s probably smarter to go at your “registered time” it isn’t required. But, DO NOT WAIT too late! Keep in mind that after you take the ferry you still have to take a bus to the starting area.

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7. The ferry and starting area are cold. Even if it is 60 degrees there will still be wind whipping. Double the amount of throwaway clothes you’ve planned to use and throw in some magazines to read while you wait. I highly recommend pastel fleece robes from your local drugstore. They are equally sexy as they are warm.

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8. Last year, they let people wait in the ferry terminal, on the Staten Island side, until 9:15. This was the perfect place to stay warm and use the bathroom instead of heading straight out into the elements.

9.THEY DO CLOSE THE CORRALS. If you don’t believe me, and think you can just meander into your 10:10 corral at 10:15, read Leslie’s recap from last year. She missed her call time because we were too busy talking to hear the loud speaker. I suggest heading towards the corral entrance 20 minutes before your corral closing time, which is normally 20-30 minutes before your start.

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10. If you’re friends or family want to watch you along 1st Avenue, I highly recommend strategically placing them as far north as possible. When you leave the bridge you will most likely be greeted by amazing spectators. But, between mile 19-21 it gets pretty quiet. This will give you ample opportunity to find them, grab some fuel or water from them, and keep running with less than a 10k left.

11. Jack Rabbit has an awesome tool which can help your spectator friends figure out when to head out to greet you along the course, based on your pace. Also, ensure they choose very specific locations such as intersection of 1st Avenue and 101st street on the left side of the street near McDonalds. (I have no clue if there is a McDonald’s there but you get my drift.)

12. It truly does take an hour to exit Central Park after finishing. While checking a bag is a pain and something I never recommend, figure out a plan to stay warm during this time. Some people grabbed hoodies from family members during the last mile while other grabbed an extra finisher’s foil.

13. Have fun and smile because you’re going to have a blast running the New York City Marathon!

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If you have any other questions you’d like me to answer please leave a comment and I’ll answer it this week.

{ 26 comments }

Krissy - shiawase life November 1, 2011 at 1:24 am

Love this all! I can’t wait to see the events unfold over the week and one day, hope to have my own NYCM experience!!!!

Jessica November 1, 2011 at 1:32 am

Great tips! That Jack Rabbit spreadsheet is amazing – very excited to share that tool with my friends and family.

Congratulations on your social media gig with NYRR. I can’t wait to hear more about race prep and events this week!

Monica November 1, 2011 at 1:32 am

What an amazing opportunity! Love that you were selected to be a social media reporter! Your blog is awesome and I am looking forward to your nycm reporting. I am not a runner but this tIme of year is always so inspiring! Good luck to you!

Liz November 1, 2011 at 1:32 am

Agree with all of your tips! Since I don’t go to the Expo until Saturday, I hate that #4 is true, but no biggie – I enjoyed swimming in my men’s XL last year ;)

Lisa Fine November 1, 2011 at 1:53 am

I love reading about how runners prep for races.

How do you fuel for a marathon? A half marathon? I always am looking for new tips.

healthyh November 1, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Lisa: Do you mean how I fuel during the race or before?

Tropical Eats November 1, 2011 at 2:37 am

that jack rabbit thing is AWESOME.

thank you for the tips!

Sue November 1, 2011 at 3:16 am

LOVE the bathrobes! Hahaha.

Brenna Schwert November 1, 2011 at 3:28 am

Great tips! As a first time marathoner (and first time being a part of INGNYCM at all), these are incredibly helpful!

Kris November 1, 2011 at 4:20 am

Thanks for the tips! I am an out of towner flying into NYC later this week, and running NYC Sunday. I am super excited:)

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy November 1, 2011 at 4:30 am

These are great tips (even though I’ve never run NYC, I can imagine these being very helpful). Good luck and enjoy the marathon!

healthyh November 1, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Thanks Lauren, Kris, and Brenna!!!

Marleen November 1, 2011 at 5:54 am

Awesome tips. Thank you so much! Running my fist marathon and I’m very excited!!
I have a question: can I bring my own fuel from Europe? E.g. gels, drinks, energy bars, mixing powder for energy etc. Thanks and have fun on Sunday.

healthyh November 1, 2011 at 9:55 am

Marleen: I have no idea regarding fuels but my initial inclination would be that energy bars and mixing powder would be fine. The gels and drinks are liquids and therefore have to be checked. Sorry I can’t help more!

ellen November 1, 2011 at 10:41 am

awesome tips! i definitely second heading as far north as possible on first or fifth avenues for spectating. the year i ran that was a ghost town and first ave was so crowded my friends and family seemed like a blip on the radar.

the year i ran (2008) they didn’t do the ferry service… everyone was on a bus. so the ferry info (and corral closing times) are particularly helpful :)

ahhhhh – so close! i can’t wait!

Megan @ Life As Megan Knows It November 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm

great tips!! I am going to have to bookmark these posts for when I run my marathon in march!!

You are so close and I feel like you are more prepared then ever!!

healthyh November 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Megan: I’ll be there with you in March to motivate and cheer you on to victory! You’ll rock!

Katie November 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Hey! Runners may punch me, but is the expo open to EVERYONE (i.e. the public/spectators) or just runners? I’m running Richmond (my first marathoner) a week later than NY, but as a runner in NYC for the first time during the marathon, I’m so intrigued by the expo!!

healthyh November 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Katie: Yes the expo and most expos are open to both runners, spectators, and fans. Feel free to head on over! The lines are primarily for the bibs anyway!

Margaret November 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm

really dumb question, but what’s the best/easiest way to get to the ferry terminal sunday morning… cab? subway?

healthyh November 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Margaret: I don’t feel I can trust the subway or public transportation on a day like the marathon. Therefore, I take a cab. If for some reason you live in an area without cabs, call for one in advance or leave extra early to hail one or use public transportation. Remember that many trains have a different schedule on the weekends.

Lindsey November 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Great tips! And good luck on Sunday!

Even if you don’t have a runner in the marathon, it’s an incredible thing to watch. I went to NYC last year to watch and got an excellent spot at the Mile 25 mark. My advice would be though–if you’re going to watch, don’t leave or get your spot when the race starts. I sat, bored for about 2 hours until the wheel chairs went zipping by.

You’re going to rock that marathon, Ashley!

healthyh November 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Lindsey: Great suggestions! Are you going to watch it this year?

Eula Oneal December 7, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Remember that many trains have a different schedule on the weekends. I always am looking for new tips. Running my fist marathon and I’m very excited!!

Ashley D December 8, 2011 at 1:16 am

Eula: Good luck on your first marathon and great tips!

Rosalie Elliott March 14, 2013 at 3:04 am

Thanks for the tips! LOVE the bathrobes! You’re going to rock that marathon, Ashley!

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