On Sunday, more than 50,000 runners will line up at the start of the 2018 New York City Marathon. For many it will be their first. No doubt they will spend Saturday night wondering what made them think this was a good idea, as a combination of excitement and panic make sleep impossible. I remember the pre-race jitters well, unable to imagine how I was actually going to run those 26.2 miles.
The NYC Marathon is an experience like no other. You are a rockstar for a day. The streets are lined with people cheering you on. For the thousands of visitors who have traveled here to run the Marathon, it’s the ultimate sightseeing trip. Even for us born and bred New Yorkers, you see the city in a whole new light. Bridges are behemoths – the Queensboro, monstrous.
A friend who is running for the first time asked for a few tips. He told me he was worried he had not trained enough. Here is what I told him…
It’s better to under train than over train. Getting to the starting line is the hard part. Just keep putting in foot in front of the other and you’ll get to the finish line. It’s all heart in the end.
Do NOT do anything different on race day than you have been doing during training. Don’t try a new kind of GU, wear a new pair of sneakers, decide paleo might be the way to go instead carbo loading. All of those, and any other last minute brainstorms, are bad ideas.
Do bring a large trash bag and old sweats. All runners have to be on Staten Island by 7am no matter your wave start time. It’s usually cold and wet. The sweats will keep you warm and the trash bag dry. Bring your least favorite layers and toss them at the start. They get collected and donated to those who need them much more than you.
Slow down! Adrenaline is pumpin’ and you’re rarin’ to go, but don’t leave it all on the Verrazano! You’ve got 23 more miles to go.
Enjoy the journey. It’s 26.2 miles and you’re gonna be out there for a while. High five everyone reaching out their hand. Take it all in. Soak it all up. You’ll be there before you know it.
Savor the last 400 yards. You’ll be rushing to cross the finish line but having it in your sights is so amazing and it’s gone in an instant. We all repeat just to have that feeling back again.
Set your clock back! Daylight savings time ends Sunday at 2am. You just got an extra hour of sleep.
Have a great run! No matter how you do, you’ll do great!