Five tips for watching your friends run the NYC half marathon

A few months back, I was intent on running the NYC half marathon. Life happened and I didn't train. But all along the way, my buddy Kelley was training. She was spending her Saturdays running lots of miles and her Thursday nights training in Central Park.

It was inspirational to say the least.

Here we are after a 4 miler last summer in Central Park.
So when the day of the race came, it was obvious that we were going to be there to cheer for her as she completed the 13.1 long miles. What an emotional experience! I cried at least twice, overcome by the individual struggles that everyone who passed us were going through. We high-fived complete strangers and cheered as loud as we could.

There was something about hearing my own voice say things like "You can do it! You're doing great!" and "Good job! Almost halfway there!" that got me all choked up. How often is our support of others silent? We type the words or we write them in cards or we give hugs or we compliment others quietly in conversation. But to loudly yell our support? Barely ever happens.

And when we finally saw our runner girl, we whooped it up and sent her along towards mile 6 with as much energy as we had in us.

Waiting for Kelley. Searching all orange tee-shirts.


Leaving us in the dust...

More strangers at mile 10, where we missed Kelley. 
Happy champion, via Kel's Instagram.

Know someone running the NYC half marathon next year? Here are our lessons learned:

  1. Don't be late. These races start super-early... and regardless of how tired you are, leaving 30 minutes earlier is going to save you stress later on when you miss the Mile 4 marker and have to settle for a spot near Mile 6.
  2. If you're late, don't take a cab. The city is on LOCK-DOWN and the cab driver will freak out. 
  3. Sign up for text messages about the runner you're tracking with NYRR. We found out when Kelley passed the 5k, 10k and 15k markers and could predict when she'd be passing our spot. Very helpful.
  4. For a 13.1 mile race, it's probably unrealistic to try to make it to two spots along the course. We tried for miles 4 and 10... and only made it to one in time. Those runners move fast!
  5. Be prepared for the insane amount of motivation you'll have once it's over. You'll want to be there next year! And with a little luck, that's my plan.  

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