NYC Marathon: The Expo and the Start

Happy Tuesday!


I haven’t even started to write my NYC Marathon recap yet – but hopefully will have some time this afternoon to start working on it. I am going to break my recap into three parts: Before, During and After. There is so much to talk about that I just don’t want to have one epically long blog post – so, three parts is how it will be done!


We arrived in Manhattan around noon on Saturday. We dropped off our bags at the hotel and then proceeded to the race expo which was priority #1 of the day, since I had til 5pm to pick up the bib. We made it two steps out of the hotel before deciding to grab a cab and just have a ride to the expo. The expo wasn’t too far away, and there were shuttle buses, but it was just easier (with a two year old) to grab a cab for $10. The expo is held at the Javits Centre which had to be the biggest convention centre I have ever seen. It was huge!  The marathon expo was only using one section of it. Bib and t-shirt pick up took all of 5 minutes. Super easy and lots of volunteers on hand. Definitely impressed. In my pack, I had my bib, long-sleeved t-shirt, village bag, marathon book and a few other goodies.





After I picked up my stuff, I went to the Asics store to check out the marathon gear. Max was a bit overwhelmed, so I only had a few minutes to look around. I ended up buying a jacket in an emerald-teal like colour with a small logo. I did see another jacket that had a big logo on the back, but it was crazy expensive and only in a salmon colour. I did not like the colour, so I went with a jacket that I would actually wear again. I have already worn my jacket about 600x since Sunday. Since I received a decent long sleeve race shirt, I didn’t feel it necessary to spend more $$ on more shirts. Also – many items were no longer in my size. Apparently everything was crazy cheap towards the end of the expo – then I might have bought everything 🙂

After I paid for my jacket, we left. It was just too busy and Max thought rolling on the floor was perfectly fine – so we called another cab and went on a search for lunch.  After lunch, Max napped and then we went to the big NYC toy store (more on that later). We then went to Heartland Brewpub for dinner (yum!) and went back to the hotel. I set my alarm for 6:10 and went to sleep.

I had almost no issues falling asleep, but because of daylight savings time, I ended up being awake fairly early. Max and P were sleeping, so I quickly got dressed, assembled the rest of my gear and went out the door. I stopped by the McD’s for some coffee, but disappointed they didn’t have any bagels. I took the subway with lots of other runners down to the Staten Island Ferry station. I chatted with a few other runners. We got to the ferry pretty quickly and upon arrival I saw tons of people taking selfies and whatnot in front of the ferry station. So, I took part in that:


Inside the Ferry terminal: it was a mad house! I arrived just before 7:30 for my 7:45 ferry. We had to let the police dogs sniff our bags and head upstairs, which was very busy. Basically there was no order – and it was just “get on the ferry”. First we were told to go to one door, then another, and then finally back to the original door. So crazy! I think I finally ended up on the ferry just after 8am. After we got on the ferry, it was much more calm. We were treated to some very nice views of Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. BUT it was so windy and cold, that most of us quickly took a picture and then sat back inside. I also did not want to be standing for too long – so I sat for most of the ferry ride. I also did not rush to get in line to get off either – I sat until the last possible second.










When we got off the ferry, we had to walk through the Staten Island Ferry terminal to the buses. Lots of police presence, including some from “Homeland Security”. Then, we all had to stand in another giant line to get on the bus. I’m not sure how long the line took, but it felt like forever. Everyone was in good spirits; chatting and laughing about standing in line. I noticed when I walked through the terminal that there were many people from Wave 2 just standing around not getting in line, I’m guessing to stay warm. BUT – I’m not sure that was the best idea, so I went into the line right away, which turned out to be a good thing.


When we finally got on the bus, we drove for what felt like a million years to the start line. Traffic was just moving so slow! By the time we actually made it to the start line, it was almost 9:40am. There was one woman on the bus who was supposed to be in Wave 1 – we all let her run off first. Lots of people from Wave 2. When we got off the bus, we had to go through security again and then start the long walk to the start villages. By the time I did all of this (walking at a brisk pace), the cannon was going off for Wave 1. This meant that I was going to be running in less than an hour. It was 9:50 by the time I was in the Green Village and I was supposed to be in the corral at 10:10. So, absolutely no waiting around for me. I tried to grab some breakfast (powerbar and gummies) but the powerbar was rock solid. So, I only had gummies and no bagel – remember this for tomorrow!



Soon, it was approaching 10:10 and I started getting my gels on my fuel belt, and getting some other things out of the way. Luckily, they were moving a bit behind schedule and I had more time than I thought. But, I was ushered into the corrals fairly quickly. Being one of the first in the corral, meant that I was able to use the corral toilets with no line, sweet! Otherwise, I’m pretty sure I would have peed my pants! I chatted with a woman from Australia and another runner in the corrals. People were standing, but I just grabbed a discarded magazine and plopped my butt on the ground.

At this point I had all my layers still on. My layers consisted of:

– Shorts

– Compression sleeves and socks

– Purple long sleeved shirt

– Green long sleeve shirt meant to be a throw away

– Sweat pants

– I Love NY hoodie

– Green fuzzy hat

– ear warmers and Oiselle hat.

The only item in that list that was dumped at the start was my green fuzzy hat. Everything else stayed on until I finished the bridge portion of the race (more on that tomorrow). A bunch of us said there was no way we were going to take off our layers before that bridge. Every time the wind gust, it was super cold! When I saw Wave 2 go – everyone was in tons of layers. When my wave took off, lots of people were still in winter gear – lots of sweatpants, jackets and other items to stay warm. It was just too cold!

In what felt like 5 minutes, the Wave 3 runners were off. I am going to say, that out of all the corral situations I have been in – the race with over 50,000 runners felt the least crowded. I had plenty of room in the corrals and we were off running very quickly. The wave NYC does the corral/start is just perfect.

Now I shall leave you in suspense for part 2 of the NYC Marathon!


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  1. Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom

    AHHH can’t wait to hear all about it!! Congratulations! So proud of you 🙂
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Turtle Tuesday #7My Profile

  2. Amy

    That is great to hear you were not crowded at all! That would be my biggest fear of doing such a large race like NYC. The wind and the cold sounds absolutely terrible. I can imagine how much better it would feel once you are warmed up, but to have to go over a major bridge like that with massive gusts of wind? Not my cup of tea.
    Amy recently posted…My Favorite NYC Marathon HighlightsMy Profile

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      It wasn’t *too* terrible – but you definitely had to hunker down and just run. The crowds in NYC are pretty intense in some parts, and perfectly fine in others. Whenever the street was only a few lanes across it felt very crowded. Other than the bridges, I didn’t really have to do much weaving

  3. Alice

    ahhh the suspense!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it. Congrats !!!
    Alice recently posted…Injured and Onwards Towards AthensMy Profile

  4. Lisa @ Lulus Big Adventure

    Great pictures!! It looks like a lovely morning. 🙂 Also, I love how you seem to think that rolling on the floor is NOT a good idea. Sounds fun to me! 😛
    Lisa @ Lulus Big Adventure recently posted…A Trip to The Shire & Up Mount MaunganuiMy Profile

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      haha it is only not fun when Mommy wants to do some expo shopping 😉

  5. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust

    I imagine an expo for a marathon of that magnitude must be pretty organized and all around spectacular. I can also see how it would be a little overwhelming for little kids, so I completely understand why you didn’t hang out there all day. ☺ I honestly cannot believe how much thought and planning goes into getting to the marathon start. It’s like a marathon of its own. I think it would be too much for me, haha. You mean, you didn’t run with the green fuzzy hat?? That is great that you didn’t have any issues with the start and corral craziness. Can’t wait for more..
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Dark Days, Training Highs, and Halloween LaughsMy Profile

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      NYC was very overwhelming for Max – he has never been in a city before. He is too used to running around suburbs!

  6. Pingback: Running.Food.Baby. – NYC Marathon: Race Recap

  7. Kim

    Ah, this brings back so many memories of NYC in 2013 for me! I hope you had a fabulous runs and I can’t wait for part II!

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      🙂 Thanks!

      Hope you enjoyed reading 🙂


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