Can we, though?
I know it’s hype central for the New York City Marathon, and I don’t doubt it’s worth every ounce of it, but for a moment, let’s pay tribute to the baby brother, the New York City Half Marathon.
This year’s United NYC Half was by far my ultimate favorite race. And today I was able to register to crush it again next year. Thanks, NYRR and your glorious Borough Series.
The 2016 race took place on a cold (read: FREEZING) morning in March. The starting line is just a stone’s throw from my apartment so it was an easy (read: tolerable) trip to the corrals. I even got stopped for a photo by a NYRR photographer, so like, it was pretty fabulous commute, I’ll be honest. On my way to my herd, I highfive’d and hugged pals. And then we were off!
There were SEVERAL times were I cried during this race. ALL of them were from a gut punch of emotion. I’ll spare you all the details, but here are the highlights:
- Mile 3: Re-entering Central Park, runners are running up Harlem Hill and also facing the runners who are in later corrals. This is the ultimate time for runner on runner encouragement and playing “let’s spot my friends”. Someone said “you can do it!” and I f*cking lost it. Sign of good things to come.
- Mile 5: I was running towards my friend, Leah, and when I spotted her, another punch of emotion. I just kept screaming and then THREW my gloves at her. See ya at brunch, gurl!
- Mile 6.5: Exiting the park, I could see right down to Times Square and cue the waterworks. Bye park, LYSM.
- Mile 7: This wasn’t crying, more shock. It was when I tried to Snapchat the run through Times Square and my phone died but JUST BEFORE I saw the words “We have a bit of a problem” from someone meeting me at the finish line. UHHHH.
- Mile 12: Running through the little tunnel at Battery Park is the coolest. You’re all alone with the other runners and the echos of encouragement will make a grown man cry. I actually fist-pumped leaving the tunnel and I’m not even a little ashamed to put that in writing.
- Mile 13.1: DUH.
This race is stellar. It’s my “Personal Best” though it’s not my “Personal Record” because I was at my BEST running this race. It’s the race where you know you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. And then I went to brunch and a bar with all my favorite local humans and drank beers, ate pancakes and laughed so, so much.
So my final statements here are – RUN don’t walk and register for the lottery (that’s how I got in!) and count down the 5 months till the best race ever.
And also, for all those concerned, I borrowed a portable charger from a young lady on the course to revive my cellular…and who said New Yorkers suck?
Peace, love, NYC.