AMAZING is the first word that comes to mind when I am asked about my TCS NYC Marathon experience. From start to finish, it truly was an awesome experience.
Starting months ago, after completing the registration process, the New York Road Runners began sending information on training, traveling and suggestions for getting the most out of the entire process. I spent countless hours reading the tips and Q&A info. The advance preparation materials were just what I needed to get ready for the race.
Not long after arriving in New York, it was on to the Expo experience. I was prepared to wait in line for hours to get my race day packet but the entire process took 5 minutes and then I moved on to pick up my shirt — the perfect souvenir. There were so many amazing items to purchase that I could have spent hours just taking it all in.
Race day was awesome. The thousands of workers and volunteers went above and beyond to make sure that all participants got the red carpet treatment. It felt as if every person I came in contact with was there just for me. They looked me right in the eyes with every interaction and offered up some great encouragement: “good job,” “you look great,” “keep up the good work.” Despite standing for hours in the extremely cold and windy conditions, these awesome volunteers seemed unaffected as they supported us and cheered us on.
The fans along the route truly made the TCS NY Marathon a premier event. For the entire 26.2 mile journey there were bands playing music, precious words of encouragement were offered. There were lots of cheers, high fives and smiles to keep our spirits high.
Seeing the finish line was exhilarating. The announcer welcomed me with, “Smile for the camera, you just completed the TCS NY Marathon!” Hearing those words nearly brought me to tears. I had really done it and I was proud. Then one of those amazing volunteers placed a finisher’s medal around my neck and looked me in the eyes while offering up a heartfelt ,”Congratulations, you did it!”
As I continued moving along, I was given a finisher’s wrap and told to keep walking toward the food and drinks. A volunteer soon placed a warm poncho around my shoulders, pulling up the hood and making sure it were properly closed. Once again it was the feeling that I was the only person who mattered at that moment.
My race was complete!
Jordan and Missy were waiting anxiously for me at the security check point and both were surprised when I announced that I felt great. My first request was a McDonald’s cheeseburger because I was hungry! Then I remember stating emphatically, “Wow that was fun!” Quite simply put, I had the time of my life.
I ran the TCS NY Marathon to raise funds for Joint Council On International Services, an adoption advocacy group. While I raised funds for their Change For Children Campaign, I got more from this experience than any amount of money donated. I am grateful and proud that I was a part of Team Joint Council 2014.