Race Day - 2016 NYC Half Marathon

Race Day!

 Sunday brought a clear, but very cold start to race day! All through the week, the weather forecast was completely messed up, as there was a northeastern sitting off the coast, and we had forecasts of rain, sleet snow – pretty much anything that would make race day miserable. As it turns out, it missed NYC, and we got a clear, but cold start to the day. Could have been worse!

We hopped in an Uber, and headed up to the race start for some god-awful time. My wave started at 7:30, but I had to drop off a race bag, get through security and be in the corrals no later than 7:00. Justine was in a separate start area, and was starting about 15 minutes after me. So we hung out together for as long as we could, then went our separate ways. I did some stretching and warm ups, and then one last trip to the washrooms before heading to the start line.

We had a clear day, and there was an amazing sunrise as the sun came out from behind the clouds. BY the time the race started, the sun was up, it had warmed and it looked like it was going to be a perfect day! Now as I mentioned, my training hadn’t gone all that well, so I was a little nervous as we got underway. I felt not too bad at the beginning, but could never really get to a pace that I knew I needed to be at to make the time I wanted. So early on I decided not to worry about my time as much, and just try and enjoy the day.

The race starts near the south end of Central Park, and works its way to the north end of the Park and out briefly into the streets, before turning back into the Park. At that point, there’s a pretty significant hill to climb, and then a series of rolling hills as you make your way back south. That’s really the hard part of the race, and my lack of training was definitely hitting me. Still, I wasn’t feeling too bad, and the atmosphere was great.

The day after the race, the same streets that we ran on were very quiet.

Once you get out of the Park, the race takes to the streets and leads you into Times Square. This is always the best part of the race. The crowd is amazing, everyone is still feeling OK (you’re only at the half way mark), and it’s always cool to run through the middle of Times Square! From there, the race heads west to the West Side Highway, and the long haul south towards Battery Park.

After passing through Times Square, and heading out to the west side highway, you run towards the Intrepid Air and Space museum. One of the Space Shuttles is under that big while structure on the back of the aircraft carrier.

This stretch is downhill for the most part, which helps after the hills in Central Park. There’s more room to spread out, and you know the end is right ahead of you. You run past the new World Trade Center, then eventually into the Battery Park Tunnel. Everyone ends up yelling and making noise, which is kind of cool. Then it’s up the last hill, and the last mile or so to the finish line!

My time ended up being just over 1:53 – not great, and about 8 minutes longer than last year. The day was beautiful, the race was well organized, and I wasn’t feeling too bad. After getting through the finishing area, I grabbed our warm post-race cloths, the food back and my medal, then headed back out to watch Justine finish her race.

At the finish line - survived another one.

My race splits. Not great, but not too bad.

Justine's parents were tracking us on the app and grabbed screen shots as we finished.

I made my way back to the West Side Highway, just south of the World Trade Center and eventually saw Justine. She was looking pretty strong still as she went by!

Justine's up there in the mass of runners. This was just after I saw her on the course.

I made my way back to the finish line, and found her eventually after she finished. We headed back to the subway, and made out way back to the hotel. We grabbed some post-race recovery food, and spent about an hour having a shower, and relaxing.

Justine's race splits

Justine crossing the finish line.

Justine had been very patient so far this trip about doing some shopping. We had done a little bit in SoHO, but she really wanted to head up to 5th Avenue. So after relaxing, we hopped back on the subway, and headed north. Justine spent a bunch of time in Uniqlo, and then we headed out and made a stop at American Girl and the NHL store. We got a pretty fun photo in the NHL store. Having scratched the shopping bug, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our evening out.

St. Patrick's Cathedral. It's been under renovation for the last few years - first time in forever that it hasn't been covered by tarps. It's beautiful now - all glowing and white.

neverland

One of the things that Justine wanted to do was to see a Broadway play, having not been to one in the past. I had been to a couple, and was happy to go see something.

She decided on Finding Neverland, the play about the man that wrote Peter Pan, which was originally a (really good) movie with Johnny Depp. I’m not usually much of a fan of musicals, but this one was amazing.

It was supposed to have starred Kelsey Grammer, but he was out for this performance. Bit of a shame, but the cast we got was amazing.

 

Outside the theatre, after the play.

 Times Square in the snow.

Times Square in the snow.

After the play, we came out onto the streets of Times Square to a bit of a snow “storm”. Ok not really much of a storm, but after the clear, sunny day, it was a bit of a surprise! Last year, we were staying in this area and had found a pretty cool bar – Three Monkeys. So we headed back there for some post-theatre drinks and food. It ended up being after midnight before we made our way back to the hotel. Sunday was pretty great, and we had one more day in the city to enjoy it.