We get back to our boat on the 20th October which gives us a week and a half to winterise the boat, pack for New York plus everything we need for our trip back to the UK for winter not to mention summer clothes for South Africa in January – we don’t like our life to be easy. It is not long before we are on our way to New York, staying overnight in Paris and arriving into New York late on the 1st November and taking a taxi to our next Airbnb in East Village hoping it’s in a better area than our previous experience and are relieved to find it is smaller but adequate and in a very friendly area surrounded by bars, shops and restaurants. The weather is really odd – the temperature at 11.30pm is up in the 20’s!
Friday we go straight to the Expo for my racing bibs for both the marathon on Sunday and the shakeout run on Saturday. I manage again to maintain some restraint and along with the celebration jacket I only buy a few other essentials!!
The 5K shakeout run is a lot drier but cooler than Chicago and I just enjoy the run through the centre of New York but cannot help get a bit giddy when I run past Central Station. No medal at the end but a goody bag.
The weather on Sunday is perfect and fortunately another runner gets us off the bus at the correct stop and I join a long queue to get on the buses to take us to the start of the marathon on Staten Island. It is a long drive but I get chatting to another runner and the time flies by. I get a coffee and bagel and just find a quiet place to sit down until it is time for my corral to be called.
It is not long before I discard my warm clothes and get to the front of my corral where we listen to the National Anthem before we are off and ascent Verrazano Bridge where a stupid runner stops right infront of me to tie her shoe laces causing me to literally jump over her. We pass through Brooklyn, Queens, over Queensboro Bridge into Manhatten, up to the Bronx, down Fifth Avenue and into Central Park.
Leaving Queens there is a woman who apparently stands there every year during the marathon with a plaque stating “Last Bridge’ and shouts abuse at the runners with ‘get out of my bleep bleep borough’. We cross five bridges and the views are impressive. Once again the Americans are excellent at supporting runners and cheer so loudly, shouting out names displayed on shirts and help us all to keep on running and makes each one us feel as though we are the main attraction. The cops look very stern but I think they are happy inside and when I get eye contact they give me a clap and a shout out. It is a tough run but after all it is 26.2 and it is less than a month since I ran a marathon so running through Central Park which was very special but hard as it goes up hill so seeing the finish line at last is exhilarating. I collect my bling and goodie bag and walk about half a mile to collect my blue New York lined cape and it is wonderful to wrap myself in it but feel sorry for family and friends trying to locate their loved ones as we all look the same.
The great thing about finishing a marathon is I can eat what I like – I know the advice is to take a light meal but after being good for so many months I want chips and champagne.
Now to enjoy New York but predictably the weather has turned and Monday is cold and wet. We made good use of the hop on hop off bus (of course) to get us around and visit the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum which is a good place to keep dry on a wet day.
Tuesday starts even wetter and we decide to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. We have to queue in a thunderstorm and pouring rain. It’s a very sobering experience and we leave after several hours feeling quite exhausted and sad. We find an Irish pub for a late lunch and the sun appears which cheers us up.
Wednesday dawns sunny and pleasantly warm so we make the most of it by revisiting the memorial site, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and an open topped bus tour around Manhatten Island and end the day with a trip up to the ‘Top of the Rock’.
On our last day, Thursday 8th November, the day is sunny and bright so we take a boat trip to Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty and also Immigration Centre Museum on Ellis Island. Our final trip is to the Grand Central Station before we head to the airport.
Then it’s back to the UK for a well earned rest and to celebrate Christmas with the family and catching up with friends.