TEAMABC7 Finishers: JACK SHEAHAN
I'm happy to welcome a 19-time Marathoner and Co-workerJack Sheahan to the #TEAMABC7 Blog. His running resume is impressive! Enjoy his entry which includes some incredible tips! - Amy Freeze
My thoughts on the NYC Marathon, wow… I have a lot of them. By Jack Sheahan
I’ve done 12 NYC Marathons, 19 Marathons total, since November 1998. And no doubt, magnitude-wise, there is the NYC Marathon, and then there are all the others (that I’ve done, at least). Chicago and London are big time too, Marine Corp. is great (and my Marathon PR 3:35:43 in 2000, got that Paul Ryan?) but NYC is just a massive, massive event. In the past, I have called it “an attack on every sense, visually, sonically, etc. It feels different than every other race, it sounds different, it even smells different.
And make no mistake, it is an awesome experience. Another mistake not to make: thinking it’s easy. It’s not. It’s a REALLY, REALLY hard race to do. A huge field of runners (probably too many), plenty of people in your way, huge crowds screaming at you (you might think they fire you up, but it can also be very distracting). The music is very loud, especially after your senses sharpen well into the race, the last thing you probably need is some band cranking up a Def Leppard cover. The course itself is very challenging, LOTS of hills, and long hills at that. And they don’t do you any favors, the course even climbs from the 26 mile mark, to the finish line.
My favorite part of the course is coming down the 59th Street Bridge, and making those massive turns onto 1st Avenue. It’s extraordinarily loud, the crowd is massive and intense, probably ten deep at the barriers. It can fire you up, but at that point it’s important to remember, you are only just over 16 miles into the race. Another ten to go… don’t go charging up 1st Avenue, and then when the crowd thins out, close to the Willis Avenue Bridge, and you find yourself climbing again, with no gas in the tank, and you’re not even at the 20 mile mark yet. Keep yourself patient…
Second favorite part of the course has always been the bridges in general. They are the only areas of the course closed to spectators, which means when you are on the bridges, it’s just you, only the runners. All you hear, for the most part, is feet on the pavement. I’ve always found that a special feeling, very cool. That’s when you realize that you are among the reasons why it’s such a special event.
I honestly can’t say I ever had too many “fears” as far as the Marathon goes… I guess if I had to name one, it would be being undertrained for it. I knew I could not get to where I would have been comfortable about everything this year, and that’s why I cancelled. I don’t think there is anything to fear per se… there’s PLENTY to concentrate on, plan for, and prepare for, but nothing to fear. If you have any fears about anything, bring a Metrocard. And use it to get home, but take your chip off too.
Best advice for a non-New Yorker: prepare yourself for an extremely long day. Because of where the start is, it’s not like you can leave your hotel, and be in the start area ready to go in 15 minutes, forget that. It’s hours, from taking the Ferry or a bus to the start area, then probably hours until you will line up, get onto the Bridge plaza, and then it’s finally time to go. Take your patience along with you on Marathon day, not just for before it starts, but for the whole race itself. As I said, it’s long, it’s hard, it’s hilly, and God bless if it’s hot… that would make for a rather long day.
Wow, now I’m even fired up here… I may have cancelled for this year, but I be in there again next year, no doubt.
Thanks Jack!!! Meteorologist Amy Freeze