A 10:20 am gun time meant a drastic change in my pre-marathon routine. At home, I would wake up at 2:30am and have an hour to prepare and then head off at around 3:30am to be in time for the 4:30am gun time.
Last Sunday, the schedule is a bit more relaxed. I woke up at 5:00am to start getting ready for the race. My target time is to be at the Staten Island Ferry station by 8am.
Getting 7 hours sleep before a marathon is such a novelty. I was also able to have a leisurely breakfast. I needed a good and filling breakfast. The race starts at 10:20 so it means I will still be running during lunch time. Stopping for a bite to eat was not an option. I heated up some leftover adobo and rice. Sarap!
After last a minute check that I had everything I needed for the race, we headed off to the subway station at 73rd St. We left the house at 6:30am and took the R train from Queens to White Hall St Ferry Station.
It was chilly (about 12 degrees) but at least the light rain predicted a couple of days ago was all spent from the previous night’s shower.
In each station we passed, runners trickled in. We would check out each other’s gear, bib and Dtagged shoes and exchange smiles.
Arrived at the White Hall at around 7:15am. This gave me plenty of time to get on my designated ferry. Saying goodbye to my Kuya before I went in to the ferry station left like the first day of school. It’s a big scary world out there and I have to be brave and play nice with other kids.
I went in and waited for Vicky to arrive. Dingdong and Harry were allocated early bus rides to Staten Island while Vicky and I were included in the group of runners allocated the prime 8am Staten Island Ferry slots.
The ferry station was filled with runners. I tried to stay away from the huge Dutch group. They tower over me. I’m so afraid I’d get trampled even before I get to the starting line. I found a bench and waited for Vicky. After a few minutes Vicky arrived with her friend Rinna. At 7:50, we started to queue up for the ferry. The group of runners getting on the 8AM ferry was more than the usual number of runners we see at the usual races in Manila.
We got in the ferry with an Aussie carrying an ostrich costume. I turned to Vicky and said, “That’s our goal. We will not let AussieOstrich overtake us.”
On the ferry ride to Staten Island, we could see the Statue of Liberty. It served as a reminder that we are indeed part of the New York marathon.
After 20minutes or so, we reached Staten Island. We transferred to a bus that would take us to Fort Wadsworth. This is the staging area for the 43,000++ runners.
When we got off the bus, we joined the line going in to the fort. Marshals (lots of them) asked us to display our bibs. No Bib, No Entry. We turned right, entered the main gate and a sea of runners greeted us.
Since there were 43,000 runners joining the marathon, we were divided into 3 villages: Orange, Green and Blue. Runners are directed to stay in their respective village and wait for their Wave’s gun time.
Inside our village, runners are engaged in their respective pre-race activities: warming up, stretching, lining at the portalets, chatting with friends or having a bit of snack from the freebie tents.
Dingdong, Vicky and I were all assigned to the orange village with a 10:20 gun time. Vicky and I deposited our UPS bags first to the baggage trucks. Runners are only allowed to deposit the UPS bags given at the Expo. Our bags have tags that match our bib. Security. After depositing our bags, we found a place to sit and waited for Dingdong to join us. We had still had an hour before our wave start so we got some free bagel and had a snack.
Time to chill!