Jeff Baker didn’t know it, but we signed him up for the Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K the morning before the marathon.
His wife, my sister-in-law, had planned a surprise trip up to NYC for them for his birthday weekend, which always falls on marathon weekend. Marathon weekend, for those not in the know, is the greatest weekend in New York City.
Friday night’s dinner was at Elio’s, a local neighborhood italian spot that we enjoy. I had some penne with broccoli rabe and italian sausage and it was perfection! Salman Rushdie was also in attendance at Elios.
After some coffee, Abbe, Jeff and I set off for an easy warm up run to the start down Park Avenue. It was a cool and crisp 48 degrees out, perfect for running.
The start was bustling with runners, 10,000+ actually! We split up to enter our respective corrals. I ran into my neighbor Angus again in the A Corral! There was a huge international crowd present due to the marathon the following day and it made me really happy. As a New Yorker I always feel inclined to help tourists, so this presented tons of new opportunities.
The race was delayed by 15 minutes, during which my mind wandered around until it landed on the fact that I was thirsty. Wonderful. My mouth kept getting drier and drier and I swallowed, wishing for the first aid station.
Angus and I fist bumped and then the gun went off. I felt a bit sluggish, maybe because I was parched.
Barreling down 42nd Street was quite fun and the low light bounced off the buildings in a beautiful ‘fall morning’ kind of way. I hit Mile 1 in 5:19, which doesn’t seem accurate to me. There wasn’t an aid station either.
After taking a sharp right onto 6th Avenue I felt my pace equalize and settle in. I felt pretty good now and was enjoying all the international cheer squads positioned up the avenue. At the end of 6th we took a right onto 59th Street and had a really nice downhill going towards 5th.
Taking a left and entering The Park, Mile 2 clicked off as a 5:39 and there was finally some water!
I slowed a bit on the uphill towards the East Drive a bit, but was really just having a great time. As we rounded the bottom of the Park we entered the official marathon course. It was (as always) lined with al the flags of every nation represented in the marathon. This is my favorite part of the course (NYC Marathon as well) because it really shows you how broad the running community is. I also always get a bit choked up in a happy way when cruising by the flags.
I heard my name loud and clear right before I finished as the whole Gotham City Runners crew cheered me on!
Mile 3 was a 6:10 and my finishing time was a 19:13.
I waited for Abbe and Jeff up by 72nd Street. Jeff said that what he misses most about leaving NYC is running around the Park. Once we all regrouped we finished the morning with a clockwise loop in glorious fall weather.