By: Run Molly Huddle, provided by our content partners at AthleteBiz
I’ve raced in New York dozens of times. Stepping off the train from Providence to Penn Station feels like a familiar routine by now. I’d been a peripheral part of Marathon weekend before, but I soon found out that nothing compares to actually racing through the 5 boroughs yourself.
The marathon as an event feels larger than life.
The days leading up the race had a few reminders that this was unlike any road races I was used to.
Much to my excitement, Saucony had designed a special uniform. I had suggested a few ideas, noting how cool the old school 80’s kits were. It’s the decade I was born, but also a decade full of great American running. The 80’s saw Joan Samuelson win the first ever women’s Olympic Marathon. It saw Saucony’s Rod Dixon win a thrilling NYC marathon showdown with future Boston champ Geoff Smith. It was an inspiring decade in US running with spectacular fashion in general. We came away with a patriotic stars and striped themed white tank top. I felt like a more subdued version of an American Gladiator, which was perfect.
As another reminder of the weight of the occasion, a peek at the pre race expo saw large NYC- themed pictures of me at the Saucony booth. Flattering attention for sure, but I really hoped I didn’t mess this up!
Am I late for the start?
The media coverage was more than I had experienced at any Olympic Games or Championship race, where despite the enormity of those events you are at best only one piece of the 21 ring circus of track and field. Here, we were leading the main event, (literally, as the ladies start first), and NYRR gave us a platform and many connections to shine, like being a Team For Kids Ambassador with Tatyana McFadden and Meb.
I was amazed that after a decade of competing I hadn’t experienced anything like this. People seemed to care the most about how we all fared at 26.2 miles. I didn’t quite get it, though I knew a Major Marathon is a big deal; It’s a dramatic event with a lot of money at stake. I learned it also has the hypest of pre-race hype, especially in New York. It’s a gritty yet glamorous event in a gritty yet glamorous city. It’s a place where you may even run with and into celebrities:
This Rudy (and Goonies) fan was pumped to meet Sean Astin
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