We know, we know. You’ve mentioned you’re running the New York City Marathon, and now you’re being bombarded by information at an increasingly annoying rate – what to wear, what to eat, when to taper, how to get to the start…
The truth is, you’ll be fine. You’ll figure it out. You’ll finish, and you might even feel like a superhero. What follows are just a few more last minute tips that we felt were worth sharing – take ’em or leave ’em!
- Bring a tarp. Or garbage bag, or cardboard, or…lawn chair? Bottom line is: a wet bum for a few cold hours before your race is just not worth it. The start village is not much of a village. There are no quaint cabins or tiny tee-pees with comfy beds – so plan accordingly! Tarps can be folded up and packed away nicely, and they can also earn you some fast friends (or friends, fast). Which leads us to our next tip…
- Find a buddy. Now that you have this big, luxurious tarp to sprawl out on, why not share it with a friend or five? The time spent alone prior to a race might be your idea of focus and meditation, but for most – it’s a time where panic and anxiety can set in. “Did I train enough?” “Am I going to bonk?” “Should I have eaten more this morning?” Interacting with another human being can curb your anxious enthusiasm. See if there is anyone you know in your wave/start village and try to link up with them. No dice? Well, then whip out that charming smile and make a new pal.
- Get in the potty line early. Don’t have to go yet? Well, chances are that standing in a line waiting to go and thinking about having to go will inevitably make you have to go. SO – bring a book/phone/some knitting, and pick a line. Bonus: this is also a great time to make a friend if you haven’t already done so. A steady rotation of drinking water, nibbling a snack, updating your social media, and waiting in line to use the loo can kill a fair amount of time and before you know it…race time!
- Buy some hand-warmers. You know, those little disposable ones. They’re a great way to keep the hands warm, but an even better way to keep the feet/toes warm – just toss those bad boys in your shoes and you’ll feel like you’re in front of a nice fireplace at home, sipping wine with old college buddies. (Only the reality is that you’re curled up on a tarp drinking nuun, and you’re hanging out with other crazy people that paid money to possibly poop their pants – alas, minor details.)
- Don’t be a sheep. A lot of people are going to start to take their “throw away” clothes off once you’re in the corrals and getting ready to head to the start. They’re all good people, they are. They would love to hold onto their clothes for as long as possible, but want to make sure that they make it into the designated donation bins to be parceled out to those in need – so they deal with the cold a bit earlier than they’d like. Well, an often overlooked fact is: those same bins are still available closer up to the start. Tend to run cold? Hang onto those sweats for just a few more minutes – it’s worth it.
Here’s to hoping you heed some of this advice, and find yourself calm, cool (but not cold!), and collected on November 3rd.