Scene: 7am Friday March 23rd. Sprawled out on the floor of the G’s room simultaneously reading Dr Seuss’ ABC’s and putting together a train puzzle. That is when the lightbulb goes off. I do my best work over Dr. Seuss.
I say to VC “9 miles and 13.1 miles aren’t that big of a difference, right?”
VC, “Not really”
Me, “Ok, I’m going to run the 13.1 New York Half Marathon tomorrow”
VC, “You’re nuts.”
Logically it really does make sense. I had 9 miles on my training schedule and I wanted to see Ashley run the half … I didn’t have the time in my day to both run my 9 miles and spectate the half and so I ran the half. It was really time management.
But I digress …
Lets talk about this 13.1 New York Marathon. The 13.1 series is descibed on their web site as
“13.1 Marathon® events are first-timer friendly and perfect for marathoners in training and other experienced runners looking for a fun and memorable race experience.
Fields will be limited to enable novice walkers and runners a less intimidating race experience compared to events with over 10,000 racers. For marathoners and half-marathoners, Allstate Life Insurance℠ 13.1 Marathon® Series will offer the perfect weekend long run on a closed course fully supported with aid stations, spectators and everything a runner would want as part of a fun race experience.”
I had heard about it via various runners in New York, but the hype around this race was not like a NYRR event. However seeing the description above, that was exactly how they wanted it.
The course was through Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, the home of Shea Stadium, Arthur Ashe Stadium, the Hall of Science and a few other Sites that I was unfamiliar with … for instance the Fountain of the Planets (??) which I am clearly stoked about.
Here is the course, and yes it is just a loopty loop as it looks. Thankfully Flushing Meadow Park has an Epcot Center type of feel, with tons to look at … but I did feel a bit like a rat in a maze. Overall the course was ok. It had times of being too narrow … but it was relatively flat.
- Ample parking
- Well marked corrals
- Mile markers at every mile
- Lots of hydration stations
- Well stocked post race with water, bananas, bagels and even egg rolls (if thats your thing … I about gagged at the smell, but to each his own!)
- The signage. First when we arrived the signage toward parking was minimal and although we found the lot, it would have been easy to get lost. If you drive, give yourself time to find the lot. Second, when the race was over there was no direction back to the parking lot. We ended up looping around Flushing Meadow Park in efforts to find our way back to the car. Just a few signs would have been stellar.
- The medical tent RAN OUT of ice. Post race we stopped to get ice taped on Ashley’s hamstring and my knees and while in the tent I seemed to get the last 2 ice bags. They were scrambling a bit to find more ice … Thankfully there was no emergent issue at the time, but I didn’t feel overly confident in the medical tent.
- This is irrelevant to the race itself but really irritates me for some reason – a 13.1 Marathon is an oxymoron. 13.1 miles is a half marathon and a marathon is 26.2 miles. STRIKE! Improper use of terminology. Sorry … rant over.
I’m not sure that I would run this race again, it was more of a means to mileage for me … but I think that if a smaller race in a well defined and relatively flat course is what you are looking for this could be the race for you! Especially if you are in the NYC area and want a local non NYRR race.
All in all I would give this race a 7/10. The weather was beautiful, the company was great and the race organization was pretty good. A lovely way to spend my Saturday morning
Did any of you run it? What were your thoughts?