(Disclaimer, obviously the nature of the damage and devastation along the east coast is way more important than a running race. I feel terribly for all those affected by the storm and its aftermath. These posts are just my feelings as a marathoner tied to the whole mess.)
As many of you have heard, the Mayor of NYC and the NYRR finally came to their senses and canceled the NYC Marathon. The decision came way late (announced Friday afternoon around 5:00 PM EDT), after many athletes had already boarded their planes and were on their way or were already in NYC.
But WOW, what an emotional week for everyone involved. I am just a recreational runner and this week was a mini roller coaster of decisions and emotions; I cannot even imagine what the city of NYC, race officials, and the pro runners went through. Here is what was going through my mind throughout the week:
- Monday and Tuesday- (watching every detail relating to the storm, devastation, etc.) There is NO way this marathon will be held, when will they announce the cancellation? I feel so bad for the east coast, I cannot imagine traveling there and getting mixed up in this mess! But what about all these months of training and preparing to run, and all the money I have tied up in this? I guess I will just wait and see….
- Wednesday- Continue to wait, but mentally not where I should be the week before a marathon. Reports say that the marathon will be held, but still with uncertainty. Trying to keep focus with the assumption that I will run a marathon on Sunday and continue to take care of myself during taper week. On the side, I am looking up other fall marathons to run just in case…
- Thursday- The Mayor and NYRR are assuring everyone that the marathon will be held. They are telling runners to come to NYC to economically help the city by spending money on travel and tourism. Alright, they are telling me its on and to come to NYC. They know the situation better than I do, I will keep my plans and travel to NYC. I now am mentally back into running this race and I am getting EXCITED to run; the weather will be great, fewer entrants with many choosing to defer, my legs feel great and I am ready to PR!
- Friday morning/early afternoon- My flight is not canceled and I ready to run, in fact, I am PUMPED about the race! I can’t wait to get to NYC.
But I knew the decision to hold the race was controversial and I was hearing many reports of New Yorkers being FURIOUS over the decision to hold the race. Runners were already feeling attacked for the race being held and we had no control over the situation; I even had a random New Yorker respond to a tweet making me feel unwelcome and a little uneasy about my choice to head to NYC.
About an hour before I was set to board my plane to head to NYC, I heard the news. Jeff and I just got through security when his phone rang; it was him mom who was watching the news and saw the announcement that the NYC Marathon was canceled. We didn’t even make it to our gate, we turned around, headed to the Southwest check-in and canceled our flight. We then called our hotel and were able to cancel that as well. All in all, we were VERY lucky (my friend was not as lucky, she heard of the cancellation on the way from the airport to her hotel in NYC… even more disappointing for her).
Jeff and I headed straight to a few breweries to get my mind off things. The best cure for a canceled marathon is beer, honey whiskey, fried chicken, and mashed potatoes.
Over the wonderful spread before us, Jeff and I started discussing my options…. and his options for running another marathon to qualify for Boston. Glued to our smart phones, we scoured the internet for a marathon to run in the next few weeks. We decided on…
We don’t know a lot about the race, except that it is small, in the middle of the desert, and it runs through 3 states (Utah, Arizona, and Nevada). We plan on making a mini road trip and driving to Nevada, staying in Mesquite the night before the race, and then heading to Las Vegas Saturday night after the race. Why not?
The course looks interesting; it is downhill the first half and rolling hills the second half. It is point to point so there are very few turns. There is a huge potential for windy conditions, but you can’t control weather! Who knows if it is PR or BQ friendly, but we went for it either way.
Now I have two weeks to keep up my fitness (have a good week of training this week and a nice taper next week) and stay injury-free. I’m looking forward to this small race in the middle of nowhere. You have to make positives out of every situation…