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"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tracy's NYCM tips part three

A few more tips...

  • Is your bib green? In other words, did you get relegated to the lower level of the bridge? Don't fret! First off, you will not be peed on. It's an urban legend that people pee off the top level and it rains down onto those on the lower level. (Just to be safe, though, stay toward the middle and don't open your mouth.) The bad news: your views will not be as lovely. You'll have the water on one side and the stream of UPS baggage trucks on the other. The good news: you don't go up the crazy hill. The highest elevation point of the marathon is the top of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. You will not run to the top of the bridge.
  • Make sure your bib is easily accessible. You'll have to show it to get into the start area, to get into your particular color-coded start village, and to get into your corral. Don't bury it under 37 layers of clothing like I did last year.
  • Get in your corral ASAP. All of the instructions advise you that corrals close early, and they mean business. Don't underestimate how long it will take you to walk from the start village to the corrals - it looks like a much shorter walk on the map than it actually is. Last year, Christel and I got to the corrals only a few minutes after they opened, and we were just in time. They closed shortly after we got in, with loads of people shut out. (This is less relevant if you're in the third wave, but if you're in the first or second? They will force you to wait for a later wave.)
  • Marathon Sunday is also the first day of Daylight Saving Time. Spring ahead, fall back - so set your clocks back an hour right before you go to bed. (Yes! That 4:30am wake up call won't feel as bad once you realize that it's actually 5:30am.)


  1. Not urban legend: you can literally feel that bridge shake when you run across.

    My advice: sprint across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the safety of Brooklyn as quickly as possible. Go out hard, build up some oxygen debt.

  2. Actually, Mike, I think that was today's NYRR Daily Tip!

    No, just kidding. Today's tip made less sense than that, oddly:
    "If you're prepared for anything, you won't let a last-minute rainy forecast or a missing lucky bandanna throw you off. You can deal with whatever happens, if you keep a clear head. There will also be plenty of staff and volunteers along the course to help you on race day."

    So basically, go back in time and prepare for running in the rain. Then keep a clear head and don't believe in superstitions. Also, the staff can change the weather if you're unprepared. Did I get that right?