Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Expo & The Parade...

I flew into New York yesterday morning and it was a non-stop day of activities... 
The morning started out as any other travel day: up early -- pack last minute items -- get to airport -- still get annoyed about taking off shoes in security line -- search for food -- find a Starbucks -- all is now right with the world :)

Kai and I were on the same flight as Will (who is also running NY) so we were talking about race strategy until it was time to board. Once we got on board I ran into my friend Alex from the law firm where I used to work...
Alex was one of my favorite people there. Always super cool. We spent the entire flight talking and catching up on what has been happening in our lives. Once we landed we said our goodbyes and Kai, Will and I made our way out of the airport into the Big Apple! Whenever I saw a bridge I asked Will "Do we run over that one?!"...
(I don't remember if this is one that I will run on, but the picture is nice right?)
We got to the hotel and got settled in fairly quickly. This isn't a travel blog (although I totally want to do that some day) so I won't go into detail about how small the hotel rooms are (very small) or that the elevator in this particular hotel takes a day and a half to come. But the room is neat and the hotel staff is friendly so I'm happy with my decision to stay here. 


We found a restaurant close by to grab a quick lunch and then we made our way to the marathon expo... 

It was Kai's first NYC subway ride...
(She's a big fan of taking pictures)

The expo had a pretty big crowd but it didn't feel too congested... 

It was well organized and had a lot of volunteers helping guide people throughout the bib and packet collection process. Everyone was extremely friendly and if you looked remotely lost or confused there seemed to be someone around asking if you needed help. We got our packets quickly and then made our way through the expo. While exploring I saw that Brooks had a mannequin that runs at my pace...
video
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We also took a moment to check out the pace teams and get some pacing bands...

The pacer who was there said "take a couple of bands just in case you need a Plan B". I found that hilarious since I plan for the first half of the alphabet...

After the expo we made our way to Central Park to check out the Marathon Pavilion...

And check out the Wall of Fame (aka "Wall of Names")...

I found me...

They had an interactive course map available that allowed you to look on the iPad screen (while pointing it at the map on the table) and see a 3-D version of the course highlighting different sights to see along the route. There were also pins with additional information etc. This was one of the coolest things I have ever seen! 

At the entrance of the Pavilion they had the gold, silver and bronze medals for the elites on display...


I'm never going to get those, but I do plan on getting all of these...
(The World Marathon Majors medals)

We didn't have a lot of time to explore the Pavilion because they were closing and it was time for me to head to the check-in area for the Opening Ceremony's Parade of Nations. 

Initially there was a little confusion regarding where the runners were to go and what we were to do, but eventually we figured it out. There was no separate sign for Jamaica because our delegation was small (less than 10 runners) so we were in the front section with runners from a variety of different islands and countries. I was all decked out in my JA gear (left over from my Rio Olympics trip)...

And at first it was just a few of us...

Then slowly but surely other runners started trickling in...

Finally the parade started and Will and Kai were able to take a video of us walking. The clip (below) is a little loud and jumpy but you can still see us...
  video
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The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. I met up with Will and Kai after the parade (I left a little early because I was exhausted from the early travel day) and we went back to the hotel. Then Kai and I went to eat dinner and then went to sleep. 

Today I'm taking it easy. We are going to see some sights and then get an early dinner. I may not do another blog post before the race, but I will be posting pics via my Instagram account. You can check those out here: 
You can definitely get updates on Instagram and as soon as I finish (and get cell reception) I will post an "I finished" pic. You can also track me via the TCS NYC marathon app. It looks like this...
(please send lots of positive thoughts! I would really appreciate it!!)

Good Luck to all the NYC Marathon runners! I'll see you out there on the course and will be cheering you on... in between gasping breaths ;)

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