Exactly 3 weeks before crossing the finish line GRC member Warren Stark thought it would be a great idea to have his appendix out, as you can imagine this somewhat ruined his race preparation. However, despite this setback, he was over the moon to even be in New York so completing the marathon was something special.
If you have run the London marathon you will know the crowd support is fantastic but in New York speakers are turned up to 11. The main thing he will always remember running in New York is the noise, it was overwhelmingly loud. The streets are lined with the most enthusiastic people on the planet (Americans!) and when runners come off the Queensboro bridge into Manhattan for the first time it’s hard to keep it together emotionally because the noise is so incredible.
As for the course… well it is tough. The first mile is uphill but at this point Warren was just marvelling at the spectacular views of Manhattan in the distance, so he didn’t really notice it.
After this he turned into Brooklyn and turn onto one of the seemingly never-ending avenues, where Warren felt like he was running in a straight (albeit undulating) line for miles.
Once runners arrive at centre of Brooklyn the road narrows and turns up Lafayette Avenue which is like running up one of the mountain stages of the Tour de France. The crowd is so close and they part as the runners make their way up the never ending hill. This was Warren’s favourite part of the course.
At around mile 15 comes the Queensboro bridge which is eerily silent compared with the rest of the course. The bridge has a long steady incline, and all of the runners were suffering at this point but minutes later they hit the wall of sound on 1st Avenue and got a real boost.
First avenue is a 3-mile straight line and at the end is the Bronx. At 19 miles Warren had to walk for the first time, his lack of fitness finally getting better of him.
After negotiating the Bronx runners return to Manhattan for the last leg of the race or as Warren renamed it ‘hell on earth’. Central Park is very, very hilly so miles 23 onwards Warren was run-walking to get home. Once again, the crowds were phenomenal as runners entered the park for the first time.
At mile 25 the course briefly leave the park before turning back into it for the ever so cruel uphill finish but at this point Warren was so happy to have finished he didn’t care.
To finish that course in 4h 26m on a warm day is something that Warren will be forever proud of, he can forever say that he finished the New York City marathon!!!