On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Great tips for the New York City Marathon!!!

Okay, my title is being sarcastic.

About a week ago, I got an email from the organizers of the marathon with the subject "ING New York City Marathon Daily Tip #1. Okay, I thought, nice and helpful! I mean, I did the race last year, so I have some idea of what to expect. But more advice is always great!

But wait... Daily Tip #1 isn't really a tip, now is it? It's just directing me to their website, no? Well, okay, if I'm generous with them, I'll assume that Daily Tip #1 is "check your email and know our website." Okay.

Daily Tip #2. I won't lie: daily tip #2 made me laugh outloud. (I clicked through to the website to show it to you.)

Wait - a race? Now, with less than three weeks until the race? Huh. Um, okay. And I guess while I'm adding races to my calendar, I should also book a hotel? Kind of last minute, but...

The Daily Tips get weirder from there. Tip 3 tells you how to fuel for all the high intensity running you're doing (but we're tapering! the high volume is done!); Tip 4 suggests that you spend money on your friends and family because they're helping you through the race (maybe I'm alone here, but most of my friends and family are either also running or don't even realize that I'm running); Tip 5 tells you to taper - and to do it "correctly"; and today's tip, Tip 6, suggests that you should incorporate pace runs into your training. The training that you've already finished.

I get that they're trying to build up energy before the race, but these emails are kind of amusing to me. Too little, too late! Why not pragmatic information? Why not tell us where the best place for spectators to watch would be, rather than suggesting we buy them shirts? Why not tell us that our bib number represents our corral, and that our corrals correspond with the estimated finish time we provided, and that the different corral numbers correspond to where you start on the bridge at the beginning? Why not give us tips on the long wait in Staten Island before the race?

If you have any questions about the ING NYCM, don't wait for a "daily tip" email to cover them. Shoot me an email, post your questions on twitter, or use the RWOL forums.


  1. Actually, what are the best places for spectators...Maybe the top 3 spots...I assume most of the spectators move around during the race to see their friends and family.

  2. Ooh! Good question. I'll blog about this tomorrow!

  3. I've never run NYC, so I'd love to hear about YOUR tips for running the race. I've heard the 59th st brdige is brutal just because it's at mile 15 and no one is there to cheer or whatever. I've run the bridge a few times...is it really awful during the race? HELP US TRACY!

  4. This post is amazing. I've been pretty annoyed with the "tips" as well. Whose idea was this? Why weren't these sent out months ago? This all makes NO SENSE. That said, while NYRR is a great organization for many reasons, but they have shown time and time again that they don't "get" social media -- and this falls right into line with that.

  5. Ha! I was thinking the EXACT same thing. I was all stoked... but each day they have been more and more lame. I am excited to hear YOUR input!

  6. Thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to fire any question we could think of. ;) And yes, I really should start doing pace runs with 2 weeks to go. And this fuel thing. Why didn't I think of that earlier?

    Seriously...wankers...this can't be serious 'tips'. ;)

  7. ...clearly these "tips" emails are written by non-runners?