As the weather slowly warms up in New York, running starts to become pleasurable, and the runners leave their winter hibernation. With the start of Spring weather, it also became the start of my running season and my first New York Road Runners race of the season – the City Parks Foundation Run for the Parks 4M.
My first half marathon was at Walt Disney World in 2011. At the time I had never run such a distance before and led me to my desire to run marathons, but it led me to running five more Run Disney race weekends (including a Goofy and the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare). I decided to take 2014 off from Disney races in order to run the Berlin Marathon in Germany, but when I heard there was going to be a Star Wars themed race weekend, I had to make my return to Disneyland for the cross section of two of my passions.
With the Berlin Marathon a month behind me, I had one race left for the year. A 26.2 mile trek through the five boroughs of New York City that would comprise the TCS NYC Marathon, the biggest marathon in the world and also possibly the most challenging.
The Berlin Marathon is not only one of the six biggest marathons in the world, aka the World Marathon Majors, it is referred to as the fastest, flattest marathon course in the world. The most world records have been set on that course than any other, which meant I needed to attempt to run it myself for my sixth marathon.
For the third consecutive year, a 5k race wound its way around Metlife Stadium in New Jersey for runners and New York Giants fans to converge on the field to complete a 3.1 mile trek. A feeling like your favorite football player as he runs those 100 yards to completion at the end zone is what draws them each year.
The Achilles organization makes it possible for injured and handicapped runners to race every year. They can be seen along the New York Marathon, as well as other races, and make it possible for those who normally cannot race to have a guide run with them to help them along the course. Each year, the New York Road Runners have a five mile race dedicated to this organization and the impaired runners it assists.
As marathon training began earlier this year, it became time to start running races again to prepare for the big races. The Queens 10k is one of the five borough races to qualify for the NYC Half marathon the following March. As such, I decided to wake up early Sunday morning to head out to run.
It had been about a month since the NYC Half Marathon ran through the streets of Manhattan, and I hadn’t run much since then due to inclemental weather and a busy schedule. I was able to get in my long runs on the weekends leading up to the Brooklyn Half Marathon, but felt I was woefully unprepared as that fateful Sunday loomed.
After running three marathons last year, I decided I was going to take it easy for the first half of this year. No major races while I let my body recuperate from all those small injuries that accumulate from pushing so hard. When the NYC Half Marathon lottery opened, I thought I would get an entry and see what would happen. When I was granted an entry, I decided to just run it rather than race it.
After running the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World in January, I began thinking about what future races I wanted to run. I started to set my sights on the World Marathon Majors – the six biggest marathons in the world – and began to contemplate which of them I could run. I had already run the NYC Marathon in 2011 and started looking at the other five – Chicago, Boston, London, Berlin, and Tokyo. Since the closest and most accessible was Chicago, I chose to run it.