Every year in New York City, the marathon is a major event that runs 26.2 miles through all five boroughs. The second biggest race for the New York Road Runners is the NYC Half Marathon, a 13.1 race around Manhattan that 14,500 runners had to run four out of five of the previous year’s five borough races or enter via lottery. In 2012, I ran four of the races (Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens) in order to run this year.
We entered Central Park on the east side and lined up in our corrals in anticipation of the run ahead, many of us dressed in green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. At 7:30am, the first runners crossed the start line and we were off. The first six miles of the race were a loop around Central Park. Having run the park many times while training with Team Determination, I knew it well and still dreaded the hills that I knew were along that part of the course. Feeling good, I was able to make it through relatively well before turning off onto Seventh Avenue.
Leaving the park felt good as we headed south and the lights of Times Square loomed ahead of us. The most exhilarating part of the race was passing the Tks Tks booth and running en masse through this historic part of New York City. At the corner of 42nd street and 7th Avenue, Team Determination had a cheering station – that included Joey and Jessica – and it was great to see friends cheering me on more than halfway through the race.
Turning west on 42nd street led us onwards to the west side highway. A nice open run south on the highway was nice, but it was there that spending over a week at SXSW started catching up with me and I started losing steam. I kept pushing myself as hard as I could, but it was tough. At the 12 mile mark, one of my Determination teammates caught up with me and it was good to run with her for the last mile, since it took my mind off the running and pushed me on to a strong final mile.
When all was said and done, my time was 2:08:23. Looking back, this was my third best time for a half marathon overall. I owe it all to the training I got with Team Determination and look forward to training with them again for this year’s marathon, so I can use that training to push myself even further and do even better in my future races.