Well, I figured I should put a post on here about the New York Marathon 2010. I managed to get a lottery place and was really looking forward to the race. I have to admit I underestimated how cold it would be and that I also expected it to be flatter than it was.
Going over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start was amazing – it offers a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline in the distance. In some ways exhilarating and other ways scary that I still had to get all the way over there. The first 15miles went well – there was fantastic support along the course with many bands playing great music and spectators wanting to slap hands with runners on the way past. I felt like I had a just sub-3h30 time in my legs and was ahead of schedule until mile 25. Around the 15/16mile stage, going over the Queensboro Bridge, I took a bit of a knock. My foot started hurting . Also, going over the bridge there are no supporters to keep one’s spirits up. Add to that my Garmin lost GPS signal so I had no idea of pace – as it happens the pace stayed OK. Going over that bridge is tough mentally.
Turning off the bridge and heading up First Ave is great. The support resumes and the music and festivities commence once more. The only down side to the First Avenue stint is that it is a straight 3.5mile stretch of road heading off into the distance before you. Entering the Bronx (around 20 mile mark) you climb over a short steep (well it certainly felt steep!) bridge which saps the legs. The twists and turns in the Bronx are tough going and stop you getting into a rhythm.
Returning to Manhattan and heading along Fifth Avenue is wonderful – the end is figuratively in sight. Unfortunately the two miles (23rd and 24th) along Fifth Avenue heading to Central Park are uphill – again leg and mind sapping.
It was around here that my foot was in serious agony and my quads had left for the day. The last four miles (two along Fifth Avenue and two in Central Park) were seriously tough and where I lost my time and 3h30 split. The last four miles took roughly 40 minutes and were pure agony. I resorted to a jog/walk routine and managed to limp home to the finish in 3h32:35 with an average pace of 8:07/mile.
I kept to my plan of a gel every 4 miles starting at mile 4. Towards the end of the race I starting taking on the sports drinks which prehaps I should have done sooner.
A great race at the end of the day with superb support and awesome iconic views.