JKR Tips for the NYC Marathon

Are you running the 2015  2016 NYC marathon?! Then we are SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!! Really, that excited – we have to shout about it. This race is amazing and you’re going to have an amazing time!

Sirrah has done this race three times and Katie has done it once, and we want to share some our tips for having a great time running the NYC Marathon. If you’re spectating, check out our spectating tips from last year  2014!

  1. Expo: The marathon expo is pretty great. It’s also pretty expensive. I don’t think there anything wrong with spending $90 for a branded jacket (that would probably normally be $70 if not branded), if you’re actually going to wear it. Race souvenirs are awesome. You trained hard and it’s nice to have a shirt or hat that brags for you about your accomplishment so you don’t have to. Figure out how much you’re willing to spend and maybe check out the gear online ahead of time so you’re mentally prepared for those inflated prices. If you’re prone to buying the entire expo, bring supervision. Learn by Katie’s mistake of setting a PR of spending $500 in 7 minutes (totally worth it).
  2. What to pack for the start: You’re probably going to be sitting around in Staten Island for at least a couple hours before your start time and you’ll need some provisions!
    1. throw away clothes – it’s chilly out there. If you are able to discard on your way to the start, your clothes will be donated.
    2. garbage bags – for sitting of wet grass and for wearing. I always bring one or two.
    3. second breakfast – most likely you’ll be there a couple hours before your start and you might want to eat. I usually eat when I wake up and then eat in the start village about an hour and a half before the start. Remember though, nothing new on race day!
    4. toilet paper – sometimes the port-a-potties are all stocked up, and sometimes they are something out of a nightmare. Don’t take your chances, bring a little of your own TP.
    5. hand sanitizer – See above.
    6. your race gear, duh – Lay it all out the day before so you can see if you’re missing anything.

      Bundle Up!

      Bundle Up!

  3. Put your name on your shirt! – Thousands of strangers want to shout your name! Let them!!!!
  4. Set a million alarms. If you’re like me you’ll be terrified you’ll oversleep and miss the race. You won’t. You probably won’t sleep well at all the night before. Still set a million alarms. Also get good nights sleeps all this week so it won’t matter that Saturday night you’re lying awake thinking about how you wish you’d done one more long run. 
  5. The start(s): 
    1. Cheer for the other starts – It will get you so pumped for yours!
    2. You wont get peed on – Are you on the bottom level? Don’t worry about those rumors.
    3. New York, New York – OMG it’s so F-ing Exciting!!!

      1392451_10100578533212006_1106994052_n

      Sirrah’s reaction to “New York, New York” is priceless

  6. First third: Miles 1-9
    • Go slow – It’s hard not to go out fast because the start is so F-ing Exciting!!! But hold back, so you have legs for the rest of the race.
    • Enjoy Brooklyn, but don’t speed up!! – So much good music and A-level cheering in Brooklyn! It’s also pretty flat, so you’ll be feeling energized and fast. Don’t speed up!!
    • Collect High-Fives!! (or something else to keep your mind off all the miles you still have to run) – Katie and Sirrah did this and just thought it was fun, because there are tons of kids out there waiting to give a quality high-five. Not only is this fun, it’s something to distract yourself from the miles ahead.
  7. Second third: miles 9-18
    • Pick up the pace – The second third is where we start to pick it up to the goal pace. If you’ve run the first half conservatively, you’ll be tired but you’ll have the juice.
    • Get out of Brooklyn – You may start to think, “Brooklyn, I love you, but when do I see the other boroughs already?!
    • Get out of Queens – You’re in Queens for a heartbeat. Enjoy it. Sirrah will be there cheering for you! Pro-tip: there are porta potties under the Queensboro Bridge exit that people fly past. If you need to use the facilities, these are your best option for a clean(ish) toilet.
    • Oh man First Avenue!!! – WHAT’S THAT NOISE?!!!! You can hear the roar of the crowd from the Queensboro Bridge. Soak it up, but don’t speed up!
  8. Last third: 18-26.2
    • RUN WITH YOUR HEART!!!! – Your legs may start to feel heavy, but there is no way you’re not finishing at this point, so give it all you’ve got! If you’re running for a goal, go for it! Do you have a  mantra to repeat to yourself (like: “just keep running”)  or a person you are running for (maybe someone who cannot run for themselves that you’re honoring or remembering)? Focus on those things and they will pull you through the toughest miles.
    • Oh MAN first avenue – So, First Ave. is great, up until about 96th when the crowds start to drop off. Run with your heart!
    • Bronx aint no thing – The Bronx is pretty short but the crowds have been getting better each year. Are you still tired? Nah! Run with your heart!!

      5th avenue smiles thanks to my friends.

    • Fifth Avenue or “who put a hill here?!” – Fifth Avenue, straight up stinks. Ask friends to cheer for you along here if you can. Also, know what? Less than 4 miles to go! Run with your heart!!!
    • Peaceful Central Park – A little too peaceful. It can be quiet in there, but it’s only about a mile till you exit and next time you enter Central Park there will be nothing quiet about it. Focus on your training, on staying relaxed, on arm swing, and…run with you heart… cause it’s about to get crazy.
    • 59th to the Finish – They don’t make it easy on you and there are some tiny inclines on the way to the finish, but the crowds will be there to carry you. I’m getting teary just thinking about it. You’ll be exhausted, but it is the best exhaustion ever because you’re about to finish the NYC Marathon!! RUN WITH YOUR HEART!!! …oh, and look up, cause someone is taking your picture.IMG_0050
  9. Pick a meet up spot: you just finished your dream race with thousands of your best friends and every single one of them will be trying to find their loved ones. A lot of the park will only be accessible to runners for security reasons, so look at the map of the finisher area and have a pre-determined meeting spot set. Also, be prepared for there to be no cell service. Everyone will be calling and texting you congratulating you on being a total rockstar. Just look forward to getting those messages later than normal and alert those that get easily nervous to expect a delay. You don’t want your mom thinking something happened to you and panicking because you’re in line to get your fleecy poncho.
  10. Eat your heart out: really, why wouldn’t you? Katie even used her medal to convince a bar to open their kitchens to her earlier than normal to satisfy her hunger. Eat and drink to celebrate, but remember to replenish electrolytes and water. Dehydration isn’t pretty. Hydrate folks!
  11. It’s ok to sleep with your medal: it’d be more weird if you didn’t. Wear it on the train so people will offer you a seat. Bring it to work the next day so people will be nice to you. You ran the greatest marathon in the greatest city in the world and you’re one of the greatest runners ever. Just wear it. 1395081_10100578892576836_1942212610_n
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