I left work early this afternoon and hopped onto the D train heading Southbound.  This was momentous, not only because I had never taken the D train from its Northern-most terminus in the Bronx, because I was heading towards the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan and the Race Expo for the NYC Marathon.  For the record the D train was a relatively short walk, stayed relatively uncrowded on both my Southbound and my return journeys, and was as enjoyable as any NYC subway ride could be. The Race Expo, like most things in NYC, was larger than life.

As I exited the D train at 34th Street and Broadway, I realized how quickly I forget that Avenues are long and that 12th Avenue is a pretty good walk from Broadway.  I also remembered why “real” New Yorkers avoid midtown Manhattan, especially on a Friday afternoon.  Luckily the rain had stopped, the temperatures were warm, and I was too excited to care about any little aggravations.  The further West I walked, the more people I saw carrying their race bags.  It started to dawn on me that the NYC Marathon is a really, really BIG race!

Security at the Javits Center was tight.  I went through bag check and had a bright orange NYM sticker placed on my beloved Disney Dooney & Burke bag.  The bag check guy was friendly and nice.  I then went to the I.D. check-point and had my race registration stamped “I.D. checked.”  I was then able to proceed to packet pick-up.  Like at Disney, the packet pick-up is divided by bib number.  Not unexpectedly I was way towards the high end of the numbers.  It still makes me laugh that I’m considered a mid-packer or better at Disney but way back of the pack for New York Road Runners (NYRR).  

There was literally no line for my packet pick-up.  My bib was in a clear plastic bag, complete with bag check sticker and safety pins. The volunteer also handed me a blue ribbon pin “in memory of Boston, if you want to wear it.” I love that they handed these out!!! I have Boston Strong (temporary) tattoos that I will be wearing on race day instead of my customary 26.2 tattoos so I love the memorial pin. I then headed to shirt pick-up.  It was divided by men’s and women’s and then again by size.  I chose a women’s small.  I could have probably taken a medium but I think I’ll prefer the snugger fit.  I love that they have women’s cut shirts!!! The shirt pick-up area emptied into the Asics Marathon Store.  This area made runDisney look like a bunch of amateurs!!! The store was huge with plenty of room to walk around a browse.  I knew I’d want to buy something but wanted to finish my mandatory registration stuff before shopping.

My next stop was the official NYRR booth to find my charity, Team for Kids.  I needed to get my Team for Kids bus assignment to get to the start, my Team for Kids bracelet so I’ll be allowed in the Team Tent before the start, and my Team for Kids stickers for my bib and bag check so I can access the Team area after the finish line.  It took a few minutes to find the right booth (the Javits Center is HUGE) but getting checked in with the charity was easy.  I didn’t see anyone I knew at the charity booth but I stopped back later to say hi to one of the coaches who has been very kind to me.

At this point I had done everything that was required to run the race.  And so it was time to wander and have fun! I went back to the Asics Store and looked through all the official merchandise.  I’ll admit that I didn’t really need anything.  There were several tech shirts that I liked – a short sleeved one with a map of NYC on it and the long-sleeved shirt I eventually bought.  I saw a really cute shirt with writing in the shape of an apple (for the Big Apple) but I only saw 2 left and they were both extra small.

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Front and back of my new long-sleeved tech shirt!

I wandered around the Expo and browsed.  One of the guys at the runDisney booth noticed my Disney purse and handed me a runDisney tote bag (they were very free and easy about handing them out but I appreciated that he recognized me as a fan).  It was fun to look at all of the gear but I really don’t need anything right now so I just enjoyed the view.  I’m sure the Expo had as many or more people than a runDisney Expo but it just didn’t feel as crowded as it does for Marathon Weekend at Disney.  There was, however, the ubiquitous line for the ladies’ room…. I guess we were all pre-hydrating!

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My race bib with the official race shirt.  On the back it says MARATHONER.  I really like this shirt a lot!

When I got home from the Expo, I decided to start getting things ready for Race Day. I know I’ll have time tomorrow to get my gear together but I plugged in my Garmin for charging and got my race shirt ready.

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I love my “name tag” for my shirt!

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And my memorial for my back.

My bib is attached to my running belt (which I didn’t photograph yet). I will spend some time tomorrow making sure everything is 100% ready for race day.

Getting my race packet just makes it all seem so much more real!!!

 

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