The Verrazzano Narrows BridgeLast night, I shared my pre-race experiences. This morning, I would like to describe the New York City Marathon as I saw it when I was running. This evening, I will share my experiences from after the race, as well as my official splits. The split times and overall times listed below are based on my watch, which started when I crossed the starting line, and I stopped on the one bathroom break that I took early in the race.

Mile 1: 7:45 / 7:45
We did not have to wait too long in the starting area before the cannon went off. The cannon that they use puts the Maine Track Club to shame! Mile 1 comes over the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, the steepest climb. We kept the pace very easy, first because it was a bit of a crowd, and second because we wanted to make sure our muscles had a bit of a chance to warm up.

Mile 2: 6:14 / 13:58
This mile was actually a bit longer than 6:14 in terms of actual time, and a bit shorter in terms of how fast we ran it. As we were cresting the bridge, my friend and I stopped for half of a minute or 45 seconds or so to “take in the view”. I did not stop my watch right away, but I did stop it after a bit until we began running again. My friend still had his long sleeve shirt on at this point, and when he tried to take toss it off to the sidewalk the wind took it and sent it straight over the rail. Most of this mile is a pretty steep decline as you exit the bridge.

Mile 3: 6:24 / 20:23
I wound up starting with the blue runners, which meant that I got to have a fairly straightforward trip through Brooklyn along the lines of the orange start. The green runners, who took the lower level of the bridge, met up with us around 3 and a quarter miles. I did not realize that blue and green merged that early; I thought originally that all three starts merged at the same time at mile 8.

Mile 4: 6:30 / 26:53
Around here was the first time that there I tried and failed to engage the crowd. There were plenty of people out to watch the race, but they were all just watching; nobody was cheering. I tried getting them to cheer, but they all just stared blankly at me. It was quite disconcerting.

Mile 5: 6:26 / 33:20
The next few miles wound through Brooklyn. The blue and green starts had the right side of the road, and the orange start got the left side of the road. Around the 9 or 10 kilometer mark, I turned to my friend and asked if it seemed like we had been running for 40 minutes. He was surprised as well. We were moving effortlessly, and it felt as though we had just started 10 minutes prior, and not 40 minutes prior.

Mile 6: 6:36 / 39:56
We passed Lance Armstrong during mile 6. One of John’s friends was watching the local race coverage and thought that he saw us on the babble box as we came up behind him. Lance already looked like he was hurting, and we knew that there was no way that he would catch us. Surprisingly, he was not very far behind us at the end, though. He had a huge throng of people wanting to run right next to him, and had a motorcycle right in his face the entire run. I certainly would not have wanted to have to deal with the crowd or the motorcycle fumes during my marathon.

Mile 7: 6:32 / 46:28
Towards the end of mile 7, the orange bibbed folks took a little hook to get them back to the same distance as the rest of us. Everybody was merged into one group at mile 8.

John and I at Mile 8Mile 8: 6:23 / 46:51
Shortly afterwards, we passed John’s family who hooted and hollered for us. John’s mother got the picture of us that is to the right. They then tried taking the N train up to Queens, but we outran the train and they missed us.

Mile 9: 6:24 / 59:17
Mile 10: 6:24 / 1:05:41
There were a few good crowds, a lot of crowds that just kind of apathetically watched us run, and there were quite a few good bands that were playing throughout Brooklyn. Mile 10 was effortless. We just wanted to keep the pace for a bit. I did miss clicking my watch, but these miles were definately even paced.

Mile 11: 6:42 / 1:12:23
At mile 11, we slowed it up a little. Our goal pace was 6:50 or so, so we did not want to be going out too fast. I was beginning to have to pee again, since I was not sweating very much up to this point.

Mile 12: 6:19 / 1:18:43
When I was in college, we used to sing on our long runs. The people around us did not seem to appreciate my rendition of the House of the Rising Sun, though. Probably because anybody at our level of fitness was ahead of us and couldn’t hear us, and the people around us were struggling to keep pace while we were just moseying along. We also got to see a man cheering on fellow Mexicans in his 6 foot sombrero as he ran back and forth along the side of the course.

John and I running with Creighton FaustMile 13: 6:35 / 1:25:18
We got Creighton Faust in our sites at around the halfway point. He had a bright yellow singlet on, and we chased him for most of the race until the later miles. He got a slightly larger lead on us in the low 20s, and I was unable to reel him back in at the end. Another half of a mile and I probably would have had him.

Mile 14: 6:37 / 1:31:55
Mile 15: 6:37 / 1:38:32
The halfway point came as we were crossing the bridge into Queens. Queens was over pretty quickly. I missed clicking my watch at the end of mile 14 because I was busy grabbing some water and taking a gel packet, so the 6:37s are an average pace for the two miles. I would tend to think that they were pretty even, though.

Mile 16: 6:49 / 1:45:21
The Queensboro Bridge. You run along the lower level of the bridge, and with the sunglasses on it was very difficult to see around you on the portion where the sides are blocked off. You can see the people running ahead of you where light filters in, but where it was dark we amused ourselves by making ghost and bumper noises. They echoed nicely. I could not see the reactions of anybody around us, so I don’t know how well they were received. Crossing the bridge had a nice little upslope, but we were right around the pace we wanted.

Mile 17: 6:15 / 1:51:36
At the start of this mile, I turned to John and said, “That was good; let’s try to keep that pace.” Then we got to the end of the Queensboro Bridge and could start to hear the crowd at the other end. Betwee the decline in the road and the fantastic crowd over the next mile, I led us a little too quickly. It was a lot of fun, though. Coming into Manhattan was the first time that there was both a huge crowd and an enthusiastic one in the same place.

Mile 18: 6:25 / 1:58:02
I started to notice that John was faltering around mile 18, even though he was not yet ready to admit it. I grabbed a second gel packet from the aid station since I thought he might need it in a few miles. The powerbar gels are not nearly as tasty as my crank e-gels, though. I told John to look up and that if we kept up this pace, we would pass about 2000 of the people in front of us. I think that that wound up being pretty accurate.

RunningMile 19: 6:25 / 2:04:27
There was a band of kids that were about 8 or 9 years old just before getting to the Bronx. I don’t know if they were really playing or if they were just pretending to with music blaring, but it sounded good and they were having a lot of fun rocking out!

Mile 20: 6:32 / 2:11:00
We left Manhattan and crossed into the Bronx. The bridge into the Bronx was an easier slope than any of the previous bridges, but the footing was a little bit off on the way over it. I did not really care for the bridge because I was worried that I might turn an ankle.

Mile 21: 6:39 / 2:17:40
John’s family caught up to us (barely) in the Bronx. They got off the train and managed to get to the course just as we were passing. We also saw a man laying in the road with some cops standing over him; I think that he did not properly prepare for his race. I can only assume that he did not finish.

Mile 22: 6:34 / 2:24:14
The water stations were frequent and large throughout the entire; the biggest problem was that the road would get slippery with all of the spilled water and gatorade. Manhole covers were especially dangerous; I slipped a few times but managed to keep my feet. The wind began to pick up a little as we came back to Central Park, and I tried getting John to focus on my shoulder blades and to draft off of me.

Mile 23: 6:43 / 2:30:58
John was really struggling by the time that we got to Central Park. I told him that I would keep the pace up until mile 24 and that then I was going to take off and finish my race, and he said that he would definately finish and to go when I wanted. I started dropping his name to the crowd so that they could cheer for him by name, and that helped out a bit.

Passing people in Central ParkMile 24: 6:36 / 2:37:34
I stopped dropping my pace back to wait for John, but kept up the pace that we had been running. He kept his eye on me and was able to key off of me for the rest of this mile. Once I hit 24, though, I dropped a few hammers. I tried offering John $20 if he outsprinted me, but he was gone shortly thereafter.

Mile 25: 6:17 / 2:43:51
I started passing people left and right, even more so than we had since we got back into Manhattan. I felt great. I was able to see Creighton Faust up ahead, but he looked pretty strong and I was only able to reel him in very slowly.

Sprinting towards the finishMile 26: 6:06 / 2:49:57
I wanted to run under 6 minutes for my final mile; I may have done it in the actual last mile but I forgot to look at my watch when I passed the 1 mile to go sign. I just missed running sub-6 for mile 26. The race day coverage mentioned that there was a hill somewhere in here, but I did not even notice it. I was just powering through to the finish line.

Mile 26.2: 1:21 / 2:51:18
Animated Finish LineThe last mad dash in. I passed another half dozen or 10 people, but I couldn’t catch the yellow singlet and I got outsprinted by another guy from about 200 meters out. Everybody else seemed like they were standing still, though. The crowd noise was fantastic! If you click on the image to the right, then you will be able to see an animated finish based on the pictures I was able to pull from Brightroom Photography. It has my finish as well as John’s.