My little sister Christie ran in the NYC Marathon last Sunday! I flew up solo for a quick weekend trip to cheer her on and I had a BLAST doing so. Seriously. It was so much fun.
About a week before the marathon, she had sent out a spreadsheet listing where she would approximately be running by if she kept up her target pace and then gave us assigned spots to cheer her on from. It was really helpful for coordinating and going to a target area vs. meandering along and hoping for the best.
My sister Katelyn, my parents, and I met up with Christie’s boyfriend, Nick, at our first assigned stop in Brooklyn, right around the 8-mile mark. We got there with a few minutes to spare, but we were so nervous because we didn’t know what to expect! Katelyn and Nick have both cheered on runners in the NYC Marathon before and I have cheered friends on in the City of Oaks Marathon (in Raleigh), but we were all still pretty nervous and excited for Christie. She knew exactly where we would be and although we were tracking her via the Find My Friends function on our iPhones, we were still so nervous that we almost missed her! In fact, the picture I took is of the dude running next to her, hahahaha!
After Brooklyn, we split into two groups. Nick, Katelyn and I jetted up to the E. 72nd St. subway station to catch her at the Mile 17 marker. We were way more prepared this time around. We even had time to stop to use the restroom and get coffee and bagels! We had a great spot, knew from tracking her on her phone when she was approaching and had our cameras and air high-fives ready!
After we left the Upper East Side, we walked over to Central Park to catch her at our next assigned spot, which was around the 23-mile mark. We ended up getting there much quicker than we anticipated so we decided to walk as far along the course as we could go before it got too crowded or we were stopped.
We got as far as the boathouse when Kate has to use the bathroom. As we were waiting for her, Nick spotted fellow bystanders with beer on to-go cups so we went to investigate. Turns out the Central Park Boathouse knows what’s up and sells beer. We grabbed a beer and then headed back outside. The area outside of the boathouse was surprisingly quiet, all things considered. It wasn’t very crowded and we found a spot along the fence where we could sit and rest our beverages on, so we decided to stay there. We were somewhere between miles 24 and 25 and we had to have been fairly close to mile 25.
We waited a bit, chatting and tracking her progress. I took a few minutes to find a virtual geocache or two that were near where we were set up. My parents, my grandma and aunt, her college friends, and her work friends were all at different points of the race as well. My parents and her friends also went to a few different spots, so she never had to go more than a few miles without having people to cheer her on. She even got to give my grandma a hug at Mile 20, which was an awesome pick-me-up when she really needed one. 🙂
Christie definitely looked like she was over it by the time she got to us. She told us later that she was expecting us to be around Mile 23, so when she saw us, her thought was, “Holy shit, I have another 3 miles of this?!” Hahaha! She realized after a few minutes that we had not, in fact, been where she thought that we were and therefore, she had gained at least a mile. Woo-hoo, mental boosts for the win!
She finished the marathon in 4 hours and 10 minutes. We are so proud of her! It really was such a great day and a great experience. Have I mentioned yet how proud I am of my little sister?! She has inspired me to get back into running a little bit. I used to run all of the time, for anywhere in between 45-75 minutes a day, but my knees couldn’t take it after a while and I had to switch to walking/hiking. I would love to run a marathon someday…I think, hahaha. Even if I wasn’t bitten by the marathon bug, I was definitely bitten by the marathon spectator bug.
Oh, and speaking of the marathon bug…the funniest moment of the day was when we asked Christie if she’d do it again. She was hugging my mom and still had her face buried in her embrace. She looked up at us and bluntly said, “Fuck no.”
I told one of my amazing marathon-running friends, Shandy, this story and she went, “Mmhmm. Everyone says that after their first one. We shall see…”
Either way, I’m totally in for another round of cheering while eating bagels and drinking beer. So proud of my little sis!