YOU MADE IT TO THE RUN!! YESSS!! If you’re anything like me (Katie) you’ll be high on life when you get to the run. My first year I was estatic because I knew I could crawl 6.2 miles if I had to. My mind was screaming “I’M GOING TO BE A TRIATHLETE!!!!!!”
While you’re in T2 don’t forget to take your bike specific gear off. Our coaches have seen people in the race (and in practice) on the run with their helmet and bike gloves on. While safety IS sexy, those are unnecessary. Get changed and head on out.
Remember that steep hill to get onto the bike? There’s another one to get onto the run. When you go to rack your bike on Saturday, look for it and be aware. Your adrenaline will carry you up it, but don’t be surprised.
1. Enjoy the spectators: The run begins along W72nd street to Central Park. This is one of the first times I was really aware of spectators. To have strangers celebrate you making it past the swim and the bike is the best feeling in the world. It also distracts you from any discomfort you may be feeling in your legs. Focus on the cheers and you’ll be fine. Also, there are photographers here. Don’t forget to smile.
2. It’s hilly. Don’t be surprised. Once you get into the park, you’ll turn left to head north and begin the joyous rolling hills that is the Central Park run path. There’s roughly three rolling hills between the entrance of the park and W102 (the lamp posts in the park are marked with the street location. Don’t stare at every single one of them or you’ll go mad, but use them every so often to gauge your progress). Once you’re north of W102 you’ll begin to climb Harlem Hill.
Because the run course goes clockwise, Harlem Hill doesn’t seem as bad as normal. Instead of one long hill, you get two shorter hills. Once you see E102, you’re pretty much golden. There are straight always and one glorious downhill at Cat Hill (look for the Panther statue) before two last inclines.
3.HYDRATE! You did NOT survive the swim and bike portions just so you can lose it on the run. There are water every mile so you have options if you choose not to carry water with you. The thought of not having my own hydration makes me anxious, so I carry my own, but I still stop at the aid stations. It’s hot out there, probably as humid as it’ll ever be, so I always take the opportunity to dump as much water on my head as possible. It helps cool you off and once you finish you can lie and say “no, this isn’t sweat. This is just water” as you hug people (it’s totally sweat mixed with Hudson and it’s the best to wipe onto people).
4. Be as efficient as possible. Take corners in closely. Be mindful of your gait. Run smart and you’ll find you saved enough energy to finish strong.
5. Listen to your body. Like I mentioned before, you didn’t come all this way to have your race tainted by the run. Overheating and heat stroke are very real things. Learn the symptoms and be smart. If you start getting chills on a 90 degree day, slow down, walk and/or dump water on your head. A DNF is not worth it.
6. Smile for the cameras! YOU DID IT!!! You’re a triathlete! Have a finisher pose ready so you have the best photo to post on social media later! Get your medal and enjoy!
8. Don’t forget your things in transition: remember all the stuff you had with you at one point during the race? You have to go pick that back up by 2pm. The athlete with the transition wristband must be the one to pick it up. No exceptions will be made.
9. CELEBRATE! Have the time of your life! You earned it!