From the New York City Marathon with Love

This is a race report sent in by Academy member Logan Collier who improved her time by 30 minutes over her last marathon. The story captures the excitement of the NYC Marathon.

“Here’s a recap of my NYC Marathon experience…

Firstly: I’m amazed at how organized everything is. Seeing ALL those runners gave me a real appreciation for the logistical challenges of putting on an event of this size and scope. There were so many volunteers!! Makes me want to come back and volunteer.

From the New York City Marathon with Love

The Expo:

The Expo was very large! I’d never seen this before, but they had a special spot where you could try on the shirt sizes before going to pick up your race shirt, since no exchanges would be allowed. There was an area where the course map was laid out, and another huge map with details for spectators and how they could travel to different places to see their runners. Plus really helpful volunteers available to answer questions for anyone. Lots of booths! I saw Generation Ucan and got a couple bars – the chocolate is way better than the coffee flavor! 😉

Race morning:

I ran on the UNICEF team, so was able to take their special bus that left Central Park area at 6am! We traveled through traffic to the start on Staten Island (which took nearly 2 hours!). The start area is… big. Had access to the “Charity Village” at the start, but there wasn’t much benefit there except the portapotty lines were shorter, and the bagels were better. 🙂 Met up with fellow MTA’ers Cecilia and Peter!

There were therapy dogs at the Start Village, so yeah, we had to pet the yellow lab, Bobby. 🙂 The atmosphere was exciting! Every so often, you’d hear the start cannon, so you knew when each wave started. I got chills when I heard the start cannon for the pro women, knowing Shalane, Molly, Desi and all those ladies were running the same course I was about to be on!! Once they started calling the “regular runner” waves, things started moving quite quickly and the adrenaline kicked in! Next thing you know, we were at the start line looking out toward the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge!

The Race:

The start was incredible. My heart was going so fast and I couldn’t stop smiling. The first mile is the biggest climb, and I didn’t feel it at all! Everyone was so happy and fresh. Haha. Brooklyn was fun – you could really feel the different flavors of each area and it was fascinating to see the changes from mile to mile. You’re in Brooklyn all the way to the halfway point, then comes the Queensboro Bridge. I knew it would be tough, but I was feeling good. We have hills in Seattle, and I thought this would just be a little bump. But no. By the time I got to the crest, I realized my legs were TIRED.

We entered Manhattan and it was a sufferfest from about mile 16 on. The course is quite crowded the whole time, so it’s a mental and physical challenge to be dodging people for so long (some on their cell phones, arghhh!). My mom and my in-laws were supposed to meet us at a few points along the course, and I looked and looked and didn’t see them. I tried not to let it get me down, but I kept thinking of how nice it would be to see familiar faces. I took the advice of others and wrote my name big on the front of my shirt, so I did have TONS of other cheerleaders. I must’ve heard my name 500 times, and so many of the spectators were SO GENUINE in their encouragement. It was unbelievable! So I just kept going. It hurt to stop anyway.

Finally at mile 25, I saw my family, and nearly started crying, I was so happy to have found them. That got me through the LONG last mile! I was so damn happy to see that finish line.

The Finish:

I made it in 4:41, beating my previous marathon time by 30 mins! Yesssss!!! I was instantly caught up in the zombie-like shuffle toward the poncho area. Everyone was going so slow, it’s amazing we were even staying upright at that speed! The poncho delivery was *exceptional!* I don’t know where they find the angels who put the ponchos on, but they are good at their jobs. Peter says the NYC Marathon is known for this. If you run the NYC Marathon, for goodness sakes get the poncho.

And today, my legs actually feel fine! My husband ran the race too – his first marathon. He finished just under 4:30 and has caught the bug! So maybe he will become an MTA’er soon himself. 😉 As for me, well I swore while I was running yesterday that I’m not running another marathon. But I’m already having my doubts if that will come true. The pain really IS temporary. But the victory is forever! Thanks MTA for all your support! I love this group of people.”

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