NYC Marathon Transport & Bag Check Decision Time!

Hello class of 2019 TCS NYC Marathoners!

While we are still over 3 months away from the actual day of the TCS NYC Marathon, the next couple of days are very important days to all of us. On August 1, New York Road Runners will allow you to go into your profile to let you choose your transportation options as well as your bag check options. All you have to do is log into your account and go to your NYC Marathon entry within your profile and select your options.

For those who have run the marathon before, by now you likely have your preferred options and know how to respond accordingly. It may be helpful for experienced runners to chime in on your opinions below in the comments section!

However, if this is your first time running the race, then it may be worth it for you to proceed reading! Here is how I break down the different options that will be in front of you soon!

Transportation Decisions

Staten Island Ferry

Riding the ferry to the start line does provide an amazing view!

NYRR will give you two options with respect to the transportation that they provide to you. Those options are either chartered buses or the Staten Island Ferry.  Before I go into these decisions, I will start by saying that your transportation to this race is like no other traveling you have done for any other race. Unless you are staying in Staten Island close to the start village, you will need to give yourself plenty of time to get to the starters village. Remember, there are 60,000 runners making their way to the start line with you!

The FIRST transportation option is a chartered bus that leaves from two (2) locations. You can choose to take a bus that departs from either the NY Public Library (42nd Street & 5th Avenue) or from New Jersey departing from MetLife Stadium (parking lot K).

If you happen to be staying in Manhattan or anywhere near Manhattan, I strongly suggest the buses that leave from the NY Public Library. The bus from the NY Public Library will take you straight to the starters village in Staten Island. In fact this ride is so smooth that the NYC Department of transportation has arranged to have the roads leading to the starting village closed off and strictly only for the buses. It is my thought that NYRR hires every charter bus in NYC for this event because the parade of buses seems to be continuous. NYRR will ask you to pick a time slot where you will board the NYC buses, but to be honest, just show up with plenty of time before your start time and you will be able to board a bus.

With that being said…I strongly suggest giving yourself three hours of traveling and prep prior to your wave start time regardless of which option you choose. Ideally, traveling will take you between 60-90 mins and then getting thru security will take you some time as well. With that being said, it isn’t a bad idea if you factored in even more time to travel!

I can’t comment here about the bus from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey but I have to imagine that it is similar to the bus that leaves from Manhattan and runs very smooth.

The SECOND transportation option is taking the The Staten Island Ferry. Like the buses, the ferry also leaves from Manhattan, near Battery Park, but departs once every half hour. Unlike the buses, it isn’t a continuous departure. If you choose to travel via ferry and you happen to miss a ferry, then you are waiting a half hour for the next one. Something else to keep in mind is that once you are off the ferry, you will still have to board a bus from the ferry terminal to the starters village. In 2018, there were serious delays with this shuttle buses from the ferry terminal. Will NYRR fix them for 2019? Lets hope so!

Bag Check or No bag Check?

Aside from transportation options, NYRR will also ask you to declare whether you will be utilizing their bag check system or not. For ease of reference, you will check your bag in at the starters village in Staten Island and it will then be transported to the finish line area in Central Park. The weather in New York City can be very unpredictable and its hard to say what you will need after your race months in advance. But I will say this, if you plan on meeting someone after the race or if you are staying in Manhattan afterwards, you might want to consider the option against bag check. I say this for a few reasons. The first reason is that if you decline bag check, NYRR give you a very cool insulated poncho. No this isn’t an aluminum heat wrap but a very nice insulated poncho! This poncho cannot be obtained by any other methods other than by declining bag check on the day of the NYC Marathon. A picture of the poncho is below as it is being worn by a bunch of runners!

NYC Marahton Ponchos.jpg

You can only scoop up these cool ponchos if you decline bag check!

Also a deterrent of bag check for me is that the walk off after you cross the finish line will be even longer if you have to pick up your bag from bag check. For comparison, the walk off if you opt for no bag check is roughly a half mile to exit the park at which point you receive your poncho and continue on your way, However…if you have to retrieve a bag from bag check, you can end up walking close to a mile to retrieve your bag and you guessed it – no pretty poncho! Walking a mile after you have run 26.2 miles can be quite daunting.

Finally, the third reason I lean away from bag check is because of the complimentary runners aide bag that is given. While the bag is a very nice gesture by NYRR, it will include two bottles of water/gatorade, a protein drink and some other nutrition in the bag. If you are tired, the bag will weigh a bit as will the bag that you retrieve should you be checking one. I just wanted to mention this if you were still considering checking in a bag as carrying two bags after 26.2 miles might be a drag.

Overall, my personal opinion is to decline the bag check and grab the cool poncho. Of course I say this because I will likely stay at a hotel in Manhattan after the race and will just make may way to the hotel to change. But if you have to travel after the race, checking a bag to get into some fresh clothes might be for you. Just give yourself even more time before the start of the race to go thru the bag check area as that will also require more time from you before you start the race.

At the end, lets hope that the decisions that we are about to make in the next couple of days regarding bag check and transportation are the hardest decisions that we will have to make during our journey to the marathon! Making the decisions to run the 26.2 miles was clearly the easy decision right?

If you have any questions regarding the bag check or transportation options you can reach out to me on wearenycrc@gmail.com or DM me on Instagram at @catrunsnyc_2018 . Enjoy your decision making day!

Finish Line NYC Marathon.jpg

The finish line awaits!

Preparing For The NYC Marathon

Hi everyone, Cesar here chiming in on marathon training prep! While the NYC Marathon is still more than 20 weeks away, many runners are starting to ponder how they will be preparing for their big race in November.

If this is your first marathon, I strongly suggest follow a training plan. Why you ask? Training for a marathon is unlike any race you may have done previously. Training for a half marathon is no where close to training for a full marathon. I highly encourage runners not to try to “wing it” with your training. I’ve seen people do this and it results in injury and none of us want that!

With so many training plan options out there today, choosing how to prepare for a marathon can be almost as daunting as running the 26.2 miles! Doing a simple google search for “Marathon Training Plans” will give you several results, all of which will cost you nothing to follow them. On the other extreme, organizations suchs as New York Road Runners offer comprehensive plans with different features that can add up and cost you a pretty penny. Since your race fee is so high, opting for one of these may not make sense for you.

So what is runner to do? Every runner will be different on how they will approach this however I wanted to suggest a couple of things that you should ensure are included in your training.

Remember It Is Your Plan! There are alot of plans out on the internet that are very generic in nature. They will tell you to run the mileage but once again, every runner is different. Some may need more time to build up their mileage than others. If this is your first marathon, ask yourself and be honest with yourself if jumping to 26.2 miles will be a big jump for you. If so, be mindful of these generic plans and how quickly they outline your jump in mileage. Also make sure that the paces prescribed in these generic plans make sense for you. If you need help figuring out what pace you should be training at, you can drop me an email at my contacts below!

Build the Base First! While everyone is eager to get race day ready, it is extemely important not to progress your mileage too fast. Make sure that your plan has you building a base of miles first before you jump into higher mileage or jump into drastic speed work. Your first 3-4 weeks of your plan should include building your base. your runs should be around 4-7 miles and not much longer. Also these miles should be done at an easy conversation pace and no where near your race pace. Adding in some strength training and core work at your gym will also help prepare your legs for the demands of increased mileage which will come soon!

Once Your Base Is Built It’s Time To Build Mileage This part of the plan is inevitable. To run 26.2 miles, you need to train for 26.2 miles. However this is the area where many people risk injury. It’s not a smart practice to jump from 6 mile long runs to 15 mile long runs. That’s where injuries occur and exhaustion can set in because your body just isn’t used to that increased mileage. A good rule of thumb is to increase your weekly volume by 10%. If your plan has you jumping more than 10% to a new long run, maybe it time to think twice about that plan.

Also something to note, based on how many weeks you are training, try to maximize your longest run between 20-22 miles. This is where the longer plan (ie 18-20 weeks) is prefereable. There are a lot of plans that max out their longest long run at 18 miles. That’s 8 miles more that you are asking your body to give you without knowing how it will respond. With that being said, be mindful of trying to rush your training to get to a 20-22 mile long run. Getting there should be a gradual process that progresses along the lines of what I previously recommended of adding 10% each week.

Don’t forget speed work and hills! Speed work may not be for everyone but if you are looking to run a certain time then don’t skimp on the speed work. Long intervals such as 1200 meter repeats and mile repeats are perfect speed drills to implement when training for a marathon.

Unlike speed work, for the TCS NYC Marathon, hill work should definitely be part of your training! There are 5 bridges to overcome on this 26.2 mile trek in addition to other hills (more on those at a later date). Make sure that your training plan implements hill repeats thru out! If you live in the NYC area, I strongly suggest working out on any and all of the bridges that are part of the course.

  • Pace is a critical part of your training! I’ve seen so many plans that just detail the mileage to be done on a daily basis with no mention at all as to pace. Some experiences runners may know the paces they need to run during their training but not every runner will know! Your plan should be descriptive as to what your pace should be on a daily basis especially if you are looking to run under a certain time. Long runs should be done at a vey relaxed pace or how some call it, a conversation pace. Speed workouts should be done at a much faster pace but not necessarily all out. Then of course for those who are looking to run under a certain time, there is the ever popular “marathon pace”. This is the pace that you will need to average to hit your desired time. Some of your runs should be run at marathon pace but it shouldn’t be all of them. I’ve seen people train at marathon pace all the time and that type of training is not sustainable over the course of 16-20 weeks. On some of your runs, your plan should include portions of your runs where you work up to marathon pace and hold it.
  • Somewhat related to this is working on achieving negative splits on york long runs. For those unfamiliar with the term, negative splits is when the second half of your run is faster than your first half. Training your body for this will help you overcome “the wall” which usually hits in the second half of a marathon.
  •  In closing, there are ALOT of things clearly to consider when choosing a plan but it is worth your time to research and ensure some of these are addressed by your training plan. After all, it’s your race, and you want to run YOUR time!

    If you are still unsure about which plan to choose or if you are unsure about the paces your training runs should be at, you can always drop me a line at wearenycrc@gmail.com and I would be glad to assist!

    Additionally contact me about personalizing a plan as well based on your needs! Good luck to all marathoners and their training!!!

    Cesar

     

     

    Smile Samantha! You Are Our Member Spotlight Of The Week!

    Always with a smile, Samantha has been featured on many NYRR promo ads!

    Another week has passed so it’s time to shine the spotlight on one of our members! Today we are happy to shine that spotlight on one of our very first members, the always smiling, Samantha M.!

    Samantha has always come to club gatherings with tons of energy, a positive attitude and of course her vibrant smile.

    Samantha started running in 2001 in college when she felt she was overweight and as a result, it made her self-conscious. At the time she had an unpleasant dance teacher that would make her feel uncomfortable about her weight so she turned to running to prove that teacher wrong and feel better about herself. Little by little she would set small benchmarks for herlsef measured in city blocks.

    When she’s no running, Samantha loves singing and dancing!

     

    Eventually she had worked up to a mile and before she knew it she was running as far as 5 kilometers! As running became a healthy obsession, she would run at the gym on treadmills admittedly so she could watch trashy TV (lol). Ever increasing her mileage, she joined New York Road runners in 2012 and ran her first 5k that year. Fast forward to today, Samantha has run over 80 races with NYRR!

    Being a runner since 2012, Samantha stumbled across We Are NYC Running club last year while training for the United NYC Half Marathon. Why would Samantha join a running club though after being a runner for 6 years and having success with it? Samantha points to the amount of support that she felt from strangers who shared the same common goal as her and had a true genuine love for running.

    3rd from the right, Samantha was at the very first official club meet up!

    Samantha was part of the first unofficial meet up of the club back at the 2018 NYRR Gridiron 4 miler run. That day she felt the group had something special just from spending 15 minutes together with the group before the 4 mile race. With many years of running already under her belt, she wanted to be part of something bigger where she could talk to people and not be judged. She remembers many years back still to that dance class teacher where she made to feel so small. Being a part of this club, she no longer feels that at all! Since joining the club, Samantha has loved being a member as she points to the many fabulous, strong, dedicated and down to earth people she has met. She adds that running a race is so much better knowing that you have a lot of people out there rooting for you and running with you. Just yesterday, Samantha ran her 22nd race as a member of We Are NYC Running Club as she ran the NYRR Gridiron 4 miler with the club and celebrated a year of running with her new found running family!

    Looking forward, she continues to think about running the TCS NYC Marathon as a long term goal. For now she is concerned with committing time to train for a marathon as she knows the amount of time involved with it and she does not want to take that time away from her family, especially her three year old son Harrison. Speaking of her son Harrison, he himself has already run some races with NYRR. Samantha plans on continuing to have Harrison run more races this year while she continues to prepare for some more half marathons herself with the 2:00 time barrier as her ultimate goal!

    Pictured here at the Bronx 10 Mile, Samantha ran 22 races with We Are NYC RC in 2018!

    We are fairly confident that Samantha will break that 2:00 barrier if not at the NYC Half Marathon, perhaps the Brooklyn half marathon! Once she has done that, if she hasn’t changed her mind about going for the TCS NYC marathon, she may just be content with continuing another fun hobby of hers – performing and singing famous Broadway musical scores on top of her radiator with her son Harrison!

    Here are some words that some of our members had for Samantha!

    Fellow Club teammate Marjorie

    Fellow Club teammate Cesar

     

    NEW FEATURE – Monday Member Spotlight

    Cheryl crushing the 2018 TCS NYC marathon this past November!

    Good Morning Running Community!

    Over the past (almost) year, We Are NYC Running Club has grown tremendously and with over 450 active members worldwide sometimes it’s hard to keep track of who is up to what. So to assist with keeping up to date with our members, we’ve decided that starting in 2019, we would introduce one outstanding member per week to showcase who they are and why they are such a great teammate.

    It is our honor and privilege to introduce the first ever Member Spotlight: Cheryl F. (IG: @cfriscia). 

    Cheryl has been such a supportive and compassionate member from the day she joined the club. She puts 110% into everything she does whether it’s encouraging her teammates during group runs or organizing a Cross Fit class for the club. Cheryl is committed to taking We Are NYC Running Club to the next level.

    Cheryl is a survivor of stage 3 kidney disease. With her kidneys failing in 2014, she was hospitalized and underwent two years of intense treatment. While she avoided a transplant, she has come back to full health thanks in part to a complete diet change and lots of exercise. In April she celebrated her full recovery with our running club by running the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K.

    With the arrival of her first grandchild and watching her son get married, Cheryl experienced it all this past year! She capped off a triumphant year by running and completing her first marathon, the TCS NYC Marathon, and her teammates were there cheering her on all across Manhattan!

    When Cheryl sets goals, she hits them! Check out some highlights on Cheryl and hear what other members had to say about her character and impact she’s had on the club! We can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for you, Cheryl! Thank you for being the personable, driven, and kind member that you are!

    Here are some member messages about Cheryl!

    Some kind words on Cheryl from teammate Derek S.!

    More kind words from teammate and good friend Rosa S.

    A big thank you to our teammate Casey (IG: @caseyalexandrafit ) for her work on this!

    Be on the lookout every Monday for our latest Member Spotlight!

    Happy running to you all!

    Cheryl holding her newborn grandson earlier this year!

     

     

    Race Day Planning For The United NYC Half Marathon!

    So you are running the United NYC Half Marathon? Congratulations are in order because this race is not easy to get into! Now that you have gotten into the race, running and completing the race is not the only thing that you may have to worry about. Preparing for this race physically, mentally, emotionally and logistically can be a huge task. The version of this course was run in 2018 for the first time, so even if you have run a lot of races in New York City, this race may still be relatively new to you!

    At this current time, I am hosting a United NYC Half Marathon Facebook group and as we did last year, each day we are discussing so many topics about this race. From training, to travel accommodations, to diets, to race prep, to holding local group runs and even hiring a few coach buses to take some of us to the start line of the race! We’ve been covering so much in this group and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it! (side note, we have similar groups open now for the Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon and the New York City Marathon!)

    So I thought I would put this article together for everyone to benefit from the discussions that I had last year in the group. As time goes on I will be updating this post with new developments or changes to the race.

    This post is heard towards out of towners running the race but there is definitely info in here for native New Yorkers as well. It’s a long read but I think there is something for everyone in here!

    Getting Your Race Day Bib and the Expo

    Getting your bib at the Expo is only the beginning of the fun!

    Whether you are traveling in from out of town or whether you live here in New York City, you will have to make your way to the Half Marathon Expo. For those that live in the New York City area who are accustomed to picking up their race day bibs at the NYRR Run Center, that will not be an option this time around. Further, you will not be able to pick your bibs up on the morning of the race either! That makes it super important that you plan some time either on the Thursday (11:00am – 9:00pm), Friday (11:00am – 9:00pm)  or Saturday (9:00am – 6:00pm) before the race to make it down to the Expo. The Expo is located at 125 west 18th street, New York, NY 10011 (between 6th and 7th avenues).

    * Note the times listed above for the expo were the times that the Expo was open in 2018. The hours of the expo have not been listed yet but will likely be listed a couple of weeks before the race. It is likely they will be similar but check back here closer to race day for the exact operating times of the Expo!

    When heading to the Expo, give yourself some time to be there. Getting your bib and race shirt should be quick, but there is usually a lot of fun little things for you to see or do there. A race pacer booth will be set up so that you can speak with race pacers to talk about strategy to meet your desired goal time. I was able to confirm with NYRR that you will be able to pick up a “race pace” bracelet at the expo to help you keep pace with your desired goal time. These are several different bracelets each with a different goal time. The bracelet then tells you the mile splits you will need to hit in order to run that bracelet’s goal target time. Among other things to do at the expo is look for your name on the wall of runners, take some pictures or do some shopping from the racks of merchandise they are sure to have! The official race day gear sponsor New Balance will be on hand and sometimes you can score some free giveaways! Whatever it is, just give yourself some time at the Expo! You won’t regret it!

    If you can’t fit some time in to get to Expo yourself, there is an option to send someone as your proxy to get your bib. That involves having your proxy bring a copy of your photo ID, with your name matching the name attached to the bib. Your proxy should also have a copy of your race day confirmation form. Your race day confirmation form can be found by logging into your NYRR account. This will be available a couple of weeks before the race so don’t panic about having that yet! While this is an option, you will miss all of the fun at the expo!

    Know Your Transportation To The Start Line!

    This is the first year that the course will start in Brooklyn and end in Manhattan. As such you will have to plan out your traveling plans in order to get to the starting line on time! The race is on a Sunday morning which means New York City subways will be operating with less trains than they usually do during the week. Further, the NYC MTA has a tendency of doing a lot of track work on weekends. This means give yourself lots of commuting time if you will be riding the subways to the race that morning. Last year,  New York Road Runners Club released a detailed diagram of Prospect Park and where runners will need to go to enter the starting corrals. Based on that diagram below, it looks like the Q, 4 & 5 trains are the preferred subways to take the start of the race. One important thing to note, even though it is advertised that the race will start in Grand Army Plaza, runners will have to enter the corrals on the other side of the park over by Flatbush Avenue & Empire Blvd. Make note of that and make sure you travel to the right location! Traveling to the Grand Army Plaza station will only make you walk all the way around to the start of the corrals.

    Diagram of the starting line for the United NYC half!

    One thing that I STRONGLY urge you to do is check out the service advisory section of the MTA website. They are notorious for scheduling track work or other maintenance that can severely affect train service on the weekend. The last thing you want to do is be on your way to the race, only to find out that morning that the train you planned on taking that morning was not working! Plan ahead! To assist with that, the MTA actually has a “Trip Planner” available. This trip planner takes into consideration any service advisories that may be in play that day. I tested this a couple of weeks back when I did my trial run of the course (click here to read my review of the course!). The day I used the Trip Planner, there were service advisories for the subway lines I used that day. The trip planner told me about them and factored them into my traveling time. I got to the starting line to meet my group for the trial run on time with no issues just as the trip planner had planned it out for me! For reference the name of the subway stops you can travel to are in the graphic above. Enter those subway station names into the trip planner along with the station you are traveling from.  It works – use it!

    Aside from subways, NYC taxi cabs, Uber & Lyft are an option. Just keep in mind, traffic to that area will be heavy. Further street closures in Brooklyn leading up to the park may snarl traffic. Give yourself some time if you plan on taking some form of car service to the start! As for driving yourself, I strongly suggest against it. 25,000 people will be heading to the start area. I tried to park at Prospect Park a few weeks ago for a race that only had 5,000 participants and it was chaos on that day! Imagine having 5 times the number of runners and trying to look for parking! Leave your car at home!

    Planning Your Day Before The Race

    Many folks will be traveling into New York City specifically for the race. If you are like many of these folks, you might be getting to New York on Thursday, Friday or even Saturday. If you are lucky enough to get in Thursday or Friday, do your moving around the city those days. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Saturday March 16th because St Patricks Day falls on a Sunday this year. The Catholic Church will not allow the parade to occur on a Sunday so the parade will be on Saturday instead! With that said, Manhattan is full of parade goers and party goers looking to seek a celebration or two in honor of the famous Irishman! The festivities always seem to end up in an abundance of alcohol being consumed so if you had your heart set on going to a restaurant or bar in Manhattan on this Saturday, just know that it may full of festive party goers enjoying St. Patricks’s Day. Further, getting around town may be tough on the day before the race as the parade route goes right up 5th avenue, smack dab in the middle of Manhattan. As I mentioned, plan your day on Saturday accordingly to work around the St. Patrick’s Day congestion.

    There is no question that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the most popular parade in New York City and one to enjoy if you are ok with having a couple of drinks. But for the person who has trained for weeks in preparation for 13 miles on Sunday, you might want to skip the festivities this year. If you need to unwind with some beverages, seek out hotel bars or lounges who will likely not allow St Patrick’s Day revelers into their establishments. Better yet, by a bottle of wine or a 6 pack and sip comfortably and responsibly in your hotel room if you absolutely must, although personally, I recommend you save it for AFTER the race!

    Dressing For The Race & Bag Check

    What to wear come race day morning?

    Weather in New York City in the month of March is extremely unpredictable. There have been 70 degree days in March and there have been insane snow storms in the month of March. In 2017, the race was run on the heels of a pretty strong snow storm during the week leading up to the race. The temperature at the start of the race was 30 degrees. In 2018 while there was no snow on the ground, the wind chills had the temperature feeling like 20 degrees. While the temperature could be cold at the beginning, it could warm up rather quickly as the race progresses as well. So how does one dress??

    I suggest to wear some layers to the race that you will be comfortable parting with. There are close to 25,000 runners competing in the United NYC Half Marathon. This means that the bag check won’t be close to the starting line. In fact if you look at the graphic of the starting area above, the bag check is before you even enter the secure zone. Think hard about what you want to check in and what you will be able to bring with you thru security and to the starting corral. Keep in mind that you can only check in a clear bag. NYRR wants to see the contents contained in your bag. Also, I have confirmed with NYRR that your bag will be transported via courier to the finish line at Central Park so don’t worry about having to come back to Brooklyn to get your stuff! Check your bag in with confidence!

    In terms of other items allowed past security, water bottles in excess of one liter will not be allowed. Camelpacks are also not allowed either. To be honest, those likely aren’t even needed. The race course will have a water station just about every mile along with some water stands that will include Gatorade. There is even a “Powebar Gel” station along the Half marathon route!

    The security check point will include a metal detector and you will pass thru it like you do at an airport. Your cell phone, keys, money, etc., will go in a dish and then they will wand you and you will go thru a metal detector. All of this means that if you’re checking items into the bag check, you will have to do it early to give yourself enough time to get thru security. This could cause your wait in the corral to be anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

    Going back to how you should dress, you will want to stay warm in the corrals for this period of time. This is where the extra layers come into play. Remember, it will be anywhere between 7am – 8am when runners start since there are two waves. Once your wave starts, you can peel a layer or two off and part with them by placing them in one of the several donation bins that will be lining the starting line area. That’s right, you won’t be seeing those items again, so plan accordingly!

    Going back to checking in your items at the bag check, one thing to consider when packing your check-in bag, is that it may be cold or rainy this day. Consider packing a dry  or warm change of clothes in your check in bag for after the race. The last thing you want to have happen is to be standing around after the race in cold or wet clothes. You can easily duck into a portable john to get out of those wet clothes if you choose after you retrieve your checked in bag. If you despise portable bathrooms like some folks do, you can head over to the New York Road Runners Run Center (320 West 57th street b/w 8th & 9th avenues) which is not too far from the finish line to use some of their changing rooms there.

    As of the editing of this article, we are still three plus months away from race day. Its impossible to know the weather but I will update this post a week before the race with the 7 day outlook weather wise and what I would wear to the start that day!

    Get To Know The Course

    img_0822Finally, the course itself! As mentioned earlier, last year New York Road Runners Club decided to change the course route that had been in effect for several years. The race last year started at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and finished in Central Park. The reason for the change is because the race is getting bigger each year and they are looking for a wider course and one that has a larger finish line and finish area. Logistically also, finishing in Central Park allows them to keep the finish area open longer so that runners don’t have to worry about having to finish their race under a certain time.

    The course map is just above. If you have run this race before you will notice that this course has a lot more hills than the previous version of it. What make it worse is that a lot of the hills are towards the end of the race. If you look at the elevation chart at the bottom of the below graphic, miles 8 thru the end of the race are a series of climbs most of them which will be in Central Park. Just before that there is a stretch of 7th avenue from 42nd street up until the entrance of Central Park which is all up hill. If this stretch may look familiar to those who have run this race before thats because the race used to run the opposite way down 7th avenue after you exited the park. This year, you are running a slow steady climb for 15 blocks before you get into Central Park! If you haven’t thrown in hill work into your training, now may be the time! For a more comprehensive review of the course, you can read the review I wrote up after I did an actual trial run of the course last year. You can find that article here! I will be doing another trial run of the course now in January and February along with members of We Are NYC Running Club. Check back on this site for more details on when that will be happening!

    The Finish Line.

    You made it 13.1 miles to the finish in Central Park – CONGRATULATIONS! You’re not done yet! Once you are done with the race, you will still have about a half mile walk. During that walk, family will not be allowed in this half mile are as it is considered a “runners only” area. Family can watch you finish the race during the last mile. See the graphic above and note that they can enter the park on the west side the park via two entrances. They will not be able to meet you however on there other side of the finish line.

    Once you have crossed the finish line, you have approximately a half mile walk that will lead you to the southern exit of the park close to Columbus Circle. I highly suggest, that you meet with family away from the park after the race. The area around Columbus Circle will be pure chaos. During your half mile walk you will get your recovery bag, water, and of course, your well deserved medal! There will also be stations set up to take post race pictures with your medals or your friends. Medical tents and bathrooms will be available during this half mile walk as well. It may be a half mile, but trust me, it will pass by really quickly!

    Speaking of medals, make sure to get your medals ENGRAVED after the race! I confirmed with NYRR that medal engraving will be available immediately after the race at the NYRR Run Center on Sunday from 10am – 5pm. If you are not in the mood to stand on line to get your medal engraved after the race, medal engraving will also be available at the run center on Monday 3/18 from 12pm – 7pm and on Tuesday 3/19 from 4pm – 7pm. Unfortunately medal engraving is only for NYRR members. However there is nothing stopping you from becoming a NYRR member before the race to not only take advantage of free engraving but to also take part in their future races. Of course as an alternative to all of this, you can also get your medal engraved else where.

    In Closing

    I am a stickler for logistics. I put this together because so many of you worked hard to prepare for this race and I don’t want to see you throw it away because you thought you could pick up your bib on race day morning or you took the wrong train to the start or your dressed incorrectly. You deserve better than that! Now go out there are crush this NYC Half Marathon!

    If you found this information helpful, then I am glad I could help. As I mentioned earlier, if you happen to be running either the Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon or TCS New York City Marathon, I have similar group discussions going on now. Here is the one for the Brooklyn Half and here is the one for TCS NYC Marathon Why not join these groups and get in on all of the information being exchanged there!

    For more information about running in general in New York City, make sure to follow me on Instagram @catrunsnyc_2018 or on Twitter @catrunsnyc ! Also while you are at it, check out our running club We Are NYC Running Club! It is a running club that is open to all levels of runners with one common bond – that they simply love running in New York City! You can also follow We Are NYC Running Club on Instagram @wearenycrc

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    It awaits you!

    Upcoming WE ARE NYC RC Runs!

    Happy hump day to everyone out there! The sun hasn’t come out in New York city that much the last few days but that doesn’t keep this group from running. So many of our members continue to post their “rainy days” run since they keep gaining their motivation to run in the rain from the group itself! Another benefit of being part of a running community like ours!

    With that being said, here are some of our upcoming group runs that you all can partake in to keep that motivation going! Hope to see you at one of these!

    Club Members At Last Weekend’s 5th Avenue Mile!

    WEEKLY GROUP RUN IN CENTRAL PARK! (all paces are welcomed!)

    • WHAT- Weekly group run (5-6 miles)

    • WHERE- Central Park – Meet At NYRR Run Center (320 West 57th street, NY, NY)

    • WHEN – Thursday, September 13, 2018.

    • TIME-Meet up at 6:00pm, leaving run center at 6:15pm

    Taken at the last workout led by club member Tobias

    5 Mile Run & HIIT Training!

    • WHAT- 5 mile Central Park Loop/HIIT workout 10 mins of high intensity interval training, followed by a one mile run to a location in central park. Repeat 5 times for a total of 5 miles and 50 mins of HIIT. Led by one of our club runners Tobias!

    • WHERE- Central Park – Meet At NYRR Run Center (320 West 57th street, NY, NY)

    • WHEN – Saturday, September 15, 2018.

    • TIME-Meet up at 8:00am at Run Center

    Members at the NYRR 15 Mile training series! 18 Mile one coming up this Sunday!

    NYRR NYC MARATHON TRAINING–18 MILE RUN!

    • WHAT- 18 mile training run. While this is a NYRR run, you can run this together w/ a club member! After all, it is an 18 mile run!

    • WHERE- Central Park – Meet by 102nd transfers on East side by softball field 8.

    • WHEN – Sunday, September 16, 2018.

    • TIME-Meet up at 6:30am, run time 7:00am!

    This Thursday – Special Queens Group Run!

    Hey running friends! I wanted to jump on here to tell you about a special group run this Thursday!

    For this one week our club is heading on over to Flushing Meadow Park in Queens. Why? One of our original members who came to the first ever group runs and was a regular many of the early group runs has become one of the heads of the NYRR Open Run at Flushing Meadows. Melanie will be hosting her first NYRR Open Run on this day and she asked if her club could be there to support her on her first official NYRR Open Run. I think it would be nice to do this so we are headed to Queens!

    The loop in the park is a 5k but she says runners do it multiple times to get their miles in. There are bathrooms on site and volunteers on hand to watch people’s bags. You can either drive there or take the 7 train. It may be a bit of a commute from the city but its a one time deal for a team member, so hoping folks can troop it out there this one time!

    See you all there!

    • WHAT- Weekly group run (3-6 miles)

    • WHERE- Flushing Meadow Park close to the Children’s Carousel

    • WHEN – Thursday, August 30, 2018.

    • TIME-Check in is 6:45pm, run starts at 7:00pm!

    NYRR asks that you signup for the group run by filling out the below form prior to coming to the open run!

    https://openrun.nyrr.org