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Insider Tips for the New York City Marathon #TSCNYCMARATHON

running-advice-bugIf you’re looking for my article on tips about the New York City Marathon that ran in US News Health, here it is:

Runners celebrate in the NYC Marathon

Runners celebrate in the NYC Marathon

Runners from around the world are about to converge on New York City for the TCS New York City Marathon, and they will all have something in common: They want to have the best experience possible. The marathon is huge, loud, packed with deep crowds and lined by some of the city’s most iconic sights. For the uninitiated, it is an inspiring – if a little bit overwhelming – experience. If you’re one of them, take heed of these tips and get the inside track:

1. Bundle up.

While the forecast looks good for this year’s race, the weather in New York City can be unpredictable. Some of my most intense memories of the New York City Marathon are of nearly freezing before the start in the staging area at Fort Wadsworth. Plan to spend hours out in the weather prior to the start with little to no shelter. There are a few tents, but for the most part, runners are out in the open and exposed to the wind and potentially cold temperatures. You may want to wear some old clothing, such as heavy cotton sweat pants and a sweatshirt, and then discard them at the start. In the past, race organizers have collected abandoned clothing and donated it to shelters. That way, you’re keeping yourself warm doing something good for the community at the same time.

2. Don’t be late.

Race organizers have devised an effective plan to get the thousands of runners out to the start, but it’s up to you to make sure that you’re on the correct ferry or bus. If you miss your ride, you may have a really difficult time getting to the start. I have heard stories of people thinking that they could “grab a later ferry,” only to find themselves out of luck. Every seat will be full, so stick to your assigned slot.

3. Bring only what you need.

Security will be tight this year at the New York City Marathon, as it has been at most major marathons over the past few years. If you’re thinking about bringing anything other than your running gear and energy supplies, you should check the prohibited items list on the marathon’s website. Keep in mind that sleeping bags and tents – which seem like appealing ways to stay warm at the start – aren’t allowed.

4. Understand the first few miles.

The start of the New York City Marathon is a massive undertaking that uses multiple waves and multiple corrals in each start. The course is actually split into three separate routes for the first few miles, with all of the courses eventually converging. What this means is that if you are trying to see or meet someone on the course, you need to understand that you might not be talking about the same “mile 5.” Also, keep in mind that there are separate color-coded mile markers on the course until mile 8, after which they all finally converge.

5. Carry your own energy products.

Aid stations at the New York City Marathon provide water and fluids every mile, starting at mile 3. As with most marathons, energy gels are only offered at one aid station along the course at mile 18. Fruit is also available at two stations: mile 20 and mile 23. Still, that won’t be enough fuel, since you’ll want to replace about 100 calories per hour. Be prepared by carrying some of your own energy foods or gels.

6. Take it easy – and take it all in.

The New York City Marathon route is amazing, vibrant and interesting. It passes through some of the most recognizable places in the United States, including Central Park and Fifth Avenue. But make no mistake: This is a tough marathon course. The bridges feature long, steady, uphill grades and they can catch a lot of wind. My advice is to take it easy on this marathon and take advantage of all of the cool sights along the way. Just don’t stop to take a selfie in the middle of the course – you’ll likely get run over.

The New York City Marathon is one of the high points of any marathon runner’s adventures. There’s no more exciting place to race. Have fun and be safe out there, runners!

Coach Joe English, Portland, Oregon USA
Running-Advice.com and RUN Time

Originally published by US News.com at: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/10/07/how-to-make-the-most-of-the-chicago-marathon

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