Krispy Kreme Challenge – Race Recap

Race day was today, 2/6/16.  A local event sponsored and run by students of NC State, benefitting North Carolina Children’s Hospital.  This event has transformed over the course of a decade from a small event among ten friends, to a nationally recognized charity race.  Here are the details….

Running from the Belltower on the campus of North Carolina State (where my oldest son is a student), runners run 2.5 miles through Raleigh to the Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop on the corner of Peace and Person streets.  This is where the real fun begins!  Runners in the challenge then have to eat a dozen doughnuts before taking off and running another 2.5 miles back to campus.  Sounds like a real treat, doesn’t it?  Well, the glazed treats don’t feel like a treat when you’re trying to stuff your face with them.  This challenge all has to be completed in under an hour.

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This was my first time running this event, the 11th installment of the race, which has grown and grown over the years.  Believe it or not, there were almost 3,000 runners in the challenge, and over 3,500 in the casual division (which doesn’t include having to finish the 12 doughnuts).

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I met my son at the Belltower about a half hour before the race began.  The temperature was like 30 degees, so I decided since the race was only 5 miles long, I would wear running pants.  There were runners in every direction as we got ready.  The costume contest was a riot, and many runners took on the challenge.  I saw Dancing Bears, donut costumes of all kinds, Little Red Riding Hoods being chased by two guys wearing a Wolfpack costume, guys in speedos, you name it!

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Take a look at this unique costume!

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We lined up in a sea of nearly 7,000 runners.  We got fairly close to the front so the crowding wouldn’t be too bad.  It was a blast!  I hadn’t run in nearly a week, but I went out at a fairly good clip.  Mile 1 was done before I knew it.  You know, I’m so used to running long distance that I rarely run at the pace I was running today.  I zoomed through mile 1 at a pace of 7:16.  Some ups and down in mile 2, I ran that mile in 7:19.  As I got closer and closer to the half way point, I started fearing the doughnuts.  Pretty soon the doughnut shop came into view, and table after table were piled high with doughnut boxes.  Each runner was to grab a box, and consume the 12 doughnuts before getting back on the course.

I grabbed a box, and found my son in the parking lot to start eating.  He had already finished two doughnuts by the time I found him.  I found getting that first one down was a real struggle.  I mean, when was the last time you ran a fast paced mile or two, and then immediately tried to eat something?  I never have!  It was tough!  I was breathing so hard, my dry mouth I’m sure didn’t help.  I can’t tell you how difficult it is to try to eat those things at such a fast pace.  It wouldn’t be as bad if the doughnuts were nice a warm and melty like they are when you get them hot from the conveyor belt in the shop.  These doughnuts were cold from sitting outside in 30 degree weather, and were probably at least several hours old.  They were glazed stickiness but quite dry.

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That was just the beginning!  I had eleven more to go…..  A few doughnuts later, I started hating them.  It was so not easy!

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Half way there!  OMG!  It sucked!  I hated doughnuts so much now!  How would I ever be able to complete them?  I looked at my watch, I was already trying to choke these things down for almost 10 minutes.  I had to turn up the heat!  Get it done!  Eventually I was eating my last one, tossing the box in the trash and heading to the timing mat marking my completion of the eating portion of the race.  I hit the split at 30:45.  That meant I spent about 15 minutes eating.  It was awful.  I didn’t see a single person vomit though, which was a real surprise to me.

I knew that with a belly full of doughnuts, the run back would not be as fast, or as fun.  It felt like I was carrying a bowling ball in my stomach.  I felt so bloated and very uncomfortable.  Needless to say, my mile 3 which included the doughnut stop was damn near 20 minutes.  I ticked off mile 4 at 8:12 pace, and came to the finish without puking with a mile split of 8:13.  I had done it!  Survived the KK Challenge without barfing, even though I probably could have just after finishing.

Look how the timing clock has “Krispy” on it!  Hilarious!  My son finished well in front of me, but my official time was 49:43.  I beat the hour challenge!  I finished 337/2560 finishers in the Challenge.  Average pace (including doughnut stop) was 9:56.  Not bad!

It’s a very unique race, tons of fun, and thousands of people.  A great way to spend a Saturday morning, especially since the proceeds go to charity.  Since I cherish every small amount of time I get to spend with my college student son now, I really most enjoyed seeing him and spending the morning with him.  I don’t think I’ve seen him since Christmas, so it was a treat.  I am so lucky to be able to run a few races a year with him.  Thankfully his fondness for racing hasn’t diminished at all in the past few years.

Here is a look at my race shirt and medal.  (They don’t give medals to finishers)  you can actually buy a medal, with the proceeds going to charity.  Dylan and I raised $100 that went straight to the charity, so we actually earned a medal through our fundraising efforts.  The Krispy Kreme Challenge is a race to try at least once.  For me?  It’s a one and done type race.  It is a very unique race experience that everyone should try, but many probably do it just once.

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Krispy Kreme Challenge for Charity

A while back I announced that my son and I would be running/eating our way through a local event that draws thousands of participants.  It will be his second time participating in the Krispy Kreme Challenge, and my first time.  There’s something about gorging on a dozen day old doughnuts in the middle of a five mile race that’s just a bit daunting to me, and probably the reason I haven’t signed up prior to this year.

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This race is a charity event, with proceeds going to the North Carolina Children’s Hospital, so I figured I must finally give it a go.  Hey, it’s all in the name of charity, right?  So, why not?  On February 6th, on what I hope will be a crisp cool morning (no snow/ice), we are running in the name of charity, and trying not to vomit during the second half of the race.  🙂

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Since I found it extremely gratifying to raise money for the James Blake Foundation last year for the New York City Marathon, I figured why not try to raise some money for the kids in need of medical help here locally.  So, without further ado, I created a fundraising page on crowdrise.  This platform is so user friendly, all you do is click on the link below, and it will take you directly to our fundraising page.  I am trying to raise $200 for the kids, so in essence, that’s 20 $10 donations, so it should be a cinch, right?  So, help us get our fundraiser off the ground by donating today.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

I really hope you will consider a donation to this worthy charity.  Thank you!

2016 Pace Gigs

Looking ahead to my 2016 racing season, so many things are still up in the air.  I usually have a pretty solid plan by now, and am typically already training for my next race.  Why is this not true this year?  I guess there are many reasons.

Ending the year with the one two punch of Chicago and New York, my body has felt a bit depleted.  When you have no energy, and a lack of desire, it leads me to a oh hum attitude when it comes to getting signed right up for my next race.  I just couldn’t find one that worked for my schedule and budget.  Then I got sick, and have still not fully recovered.  Still having problems and not feeling quite right going on three weeks now.  It has led me to quite the laissez faire attitude.  This is not good when it comes to having a rock solid plan for 2016.

I’m going to just roll with the punches.  I do know this however.  After spending the last five years running various races, I’ve learned a thing or two about myself and my running goals.  Sometimes my goal is to run fast, set a PR, or even try for a Boston Qualifier.  Sometimes not.  Sometimes it’s about the experience.  The race itself.  Getting out there, testing myself, enjoying myself on the run.  It’s not always about how fast you can go, or how far.  I’ve learned I like certain races, and others not so much.  I don’t just sign up for a race because I am a glutton.  I’ve learned to be smart about where I spend my racing dollars.

I’ve also learned through the past couple of years that one of my favorite things to do is be a pacer.  If not Boston material, I am certainly still a pretty fast runner.  What most folks would consider fast anyway.  What I do best I think is have a very consistent pace.  Fast or slow, consistency is key when pacing.  I can offer you that!  Helping others reach a goal before my own goals is something I just never saw coming, but has been a welcome addition to my charitable life.  Giving a bit of myself to others on the race course.  I love it!

This leads me to a few races which are set in stone for next year.  A couple of my favorite races, and races I will be pacing in 2016.  Drum roll please……

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In March I will be heading to Asheville, North Carolina to pace two events.  Actually same event, two different races.  The Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate is a full on runners challenge this coming year.  You can run the Half on Saturday, the Full on Sunday, or both!  I am running both, and pacing both!  I will be pacing the 2:00 Half, and 4:00 Full.  How much fun does that sound?  Tons!

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In April, I will be heading back to one of my favorites to pace for the first time.  The All American Marathon has been a trusted, awesome race experience for me the past two years.  I’ve run the Full both years the race has been in existence, so on its third anniversary, I will be pacing the 4:00 Full.  This will be my first marathon three-peat.

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I’m sure I will do some more pacing in 2016, but those gigs are what I have lined up so far.  I’m not sure I will even attempt a BQ this coming year.  Right now just not feeling the need to put that kind of pressure on myself.  2016 is going to be about having fun, running consistent, and getting back to basics.  Finding more joy out there on the road.  Listening to my body, and smiling.  If giving back to others through pacing is what gives me joy, I’m going to do even more of it.

What gives you joy this holiday season?

New York City Marathon – Race Recap

The much anticipated, and probably the longest wait for a recap.  Honestly, just so busy, and tired that I just haven’t had the time to do a recap justice.  Hopefully this will sum up not only the race, but also my busy New York trip.

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It all began with a 630 mile road trip to upstate NY on October 28th.  I haven’t driven to NY in over ten years, so it was a really long day.  Destination, my Fathers house in Binghamton.  My roots are still so deeply embedded in update NY, although if my Dad still didn’t live there I probably wouldn’t ever go back.  My family (Dad and Brother) are the reasons why this trip was even happening.  I’ve written about it previously, but I entered the lottery to run NYC because my brother did.  It was my chance to run with him, in another marathon, but this time in our home state.  The fateful day came when they drew lottery spots….  my brother announced on Facebook early in the day that he was IN!  I waited all day for notification.  I checked my email at least a hundred times, nothing, nothing, nothing.  Finally at around 6:30pm it arrived.  “We’re sorry….blah, blah, blah”.  My dreams were dashed in that one instant.  That shitty email.  It took me all of about a day to figure out that I HAD to race.  I had to find a way.  I turned to looking into charity teams, and vowed to raise money.  I think it was within a week that I was accepted onto the charity team for the James Blake Foundation.  I pledged a $3,000 donation to the charity, and paid my way into the race.  Done!  Fundraising began later that day once my fundraising page was set up.  I thought to myself, “how hard will it be to raise $3,000 over the course of seven months?”  I antied up $100 to start my campaign, and I was off and running.  Well, as it turns out, it is not easy raising that kind of money.  **Flash forward to race day**… I didn’t meet my goal, but came awfully close.  Through the help of family, friends and complete strangers, and awesome people like you, I managed to raise $2,590.  I have until the end of the year to hit the goal, but my personal goal was to hit my pledge by race day.  So, before I get back into the real gist of this post, here is a link to my fundraising page, because I can still use your help.

Armed with the knowledge that I was in the race, I spent the next several months planning, and planning.  I knew I wanted my Dad at the race.  He was so excited!!  To get to watch both of his sons running the New York City Marathon?  Who wouldn’t want to see that?  Not long before the race however, came bad news.  My brother was going to have to cancel his entry due to medical issues.  I was heartbroken for him, and it made the entire trip bittersweet.  How in the world was I supposed to be excited for this, knowing that he was equally agonizing over it?

Dad and I - Binghamton in the background

Dad and I – Binghamton in the background

Ok, I am getting off track a bit.  I knew this recap wasn’t going to be easy to write.  So, after 10 hours on the road in mostly raining conditions, I finally was pulling into the driveway at my fathers house.  Exhausted and road crazed, my Dad and I caught up for a few hours before I had to hit the hay.  With a decent nights sleep behind me, we took it easy most of Thursday.  We went out for a late breakfast, drove around town and hit a few “hot spots” I didn’t want to miss while I was there.

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The Cider Mill, in Endicott, NY.  To me this place means Fall in NY.  Fresh pressed apple cider, delicious donuts, and candy apples.  Of course we had to buy all of it.  We also stopped for some true Italian Bread from DiRenzo’s Bakery.  Later that evening, we hit the road for another three hour road trip to my brothers house in New Jersey.

A very relaxing few days ahead with family.  I did manage to get in one final shake out run on Friday.  Four miles on the towpath in Bound Brook, NJ.  I hadn’t run in a week!  Had to get loose and find my running legs.  Thankfully the weather was so nice the entire trip.  The last thing I wanted was a rainy, miserable marathon, but it turned out to be near perfect. Although a tad on the warm side.

Saturday we were up and at ’em early for a trip to the NYC Marathon Expo in the city.  Bob was running, and my brother at least wanted to pick up his race shirt.  A drive, a walk and 45 minute train ride later we exited Penn Station in Manhattan.

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That was my view as I hit the streets of NYC for the first time since 1996.  Long before the World Trade Center disaster.  It had been so long!  We walked a few blocks and within ten minutes were entering the famed expo.  It was crawling with runners!  The biggest marathon in the world on the last day of the expo, it was bound to be busy.

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We quickly picked up our bibs and shirts, stopped for a few photo ops, and shopped the 50% off Asics gear racks before studying the course map.  I bought a few pairs of logo’d shorts and a shirt!  Cheaper than I could get them online, so I was happy.

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After the expo, we headed back to Jersey.  A busy day all around.  The Mets in the World Series, Halloween, and the night before the biggest marathon in the world.  We needed some rest and relaxation with only a few hours left until race day.

A typical night before a race, I got all of my gear ready.  This time however was a bit more detailed.  NY is not a simple race morning process.  You don’t just drive yourself to the start.  It’s a long affair.  Patience is needed, and you need to be prepared for anything.  Packing for race morning is very important, so as not to leave anything to chance.

Donor names on the back of my charity shirt.

Donor names on the back of my charity shirt.

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That picture doesn’t show the last several donation names I got in the days leading up to the race, but you get the idea.  I was ready for bed, anticipating a 3am wake up call.

Race day!  All went off without a hitch.  I was feeling good, the weather was looking promising and I started my mental preparation for the race.  The long process of race morning began as my brother drove us approximately 50 minutes to The Meadowlands parking lot in NJ.  It was there that Bob and I would catch a race bus to Staten Island.  We arrived at about 5:30am, my brother snapping a few pictures as we got ready to board the bus.

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Armed with our gear we boarded a bus, and then made the hour long trip to Staten Island.  While we entered the Green Starting Village I was so impressed by all of the food and drink options available to us. We had about a three hour wait until the gun went off, so it was really nice to have.  As luck would have it, Bob and I grabbed a coffee and a hat from DD, and then I spotted a Bus Stop shelter right at the back entrance to the village, which we promptly called ours!  A bench, and shelter from any wind or rain.  Perfect!   It was the find of the morning!  Here are some photos from the village.  Yep, right next to the Verazzano Bridge that is, the start of the race!

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Home sweet home!  A random bus stop on Staten Island.  Love it!  That’s Bob in his DD hat, and throwaway gear.  We passed the time telling stories, talking about the course, numerous stops at the potties, etc…  It was a long wait.  We were comfortable though!

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Eventually the time came that we needed to abandon our shelter, and head to the starting corrals.  It was well organized, as you would expect.  The corrals were super tight, and I barely made it in.  My nerves starting to play some games, but I did manage to try to take in the entire experience.  We moved forward  after about a half hour, and things really started to get real.  I shed my hat, gloves, top layer shirt, and got ready for the business at hand.  The fanfare was electric as we entered the loop heading onto the bridge.  In place now, I could actually see the start.  My corral was on the bottom bridge.  Helicopters televising the event were flying overhead, clothes were flying to the sides, and before you knew it, Frank Sinatra, the National Anthem, the boom of the howitzer cannons, and the race WAS ON!  NYC here I come!

At the start!

At the start!

Behind me

Behind me

The first few miles were tight!  Heading up the bridge I didn’t even notice the incline, but was more concerned with not tripping over anyone.  I stayed to the left so I could take in the views of Manhattan, the water, the Statue of Liberty.  It truly was magnificent!  What a way to spend the first few miles!  The downside of the bridge meant picking up the pace a bit.  I knew my first mile was slow based on runner traffic, so I tried to find a better more consistent rhythm on the downside heading into Brooklyn.  It worked.  My goals for this race were pretty simple.  Enjoy the City, enjoy the crowds, and keep my eyes out for family along the way.  My cousin Brad was to be at mile 11 at the corner of Bedford and N. Third St.  I checked for texts occasionally to make sure exactly where he would be.  After that, I would be on the lookout for my brother, dad, Melissa, Chloe and Connor just beyond mile 17, and then again in Central Park around mile 24.5.   As far as time goes, I just wanted a solid race.  My A goal was sub 3:50:00, and B goal was sub 3:40:00.  Time would tell.  Traffic was tight!

My 5k split was 23:46.  My feet and legs felt ok.  It was a tad on the warm side,  Proper hydration would be key, especially if I wanted to avoid cramping.  With the bridges on the course, I knew I wanted to keep my electrolytes in balance.  I thoroughly enjoyed the views of Brooklyn, the brownstones on both sides of the street.  The numerous bands, the cheering crowds.  A non-native to the city, this was my first time traveling these streets and it was so cool to be able to do it on foot.  I’ll say it again, runner traffic was tight, and very annoying at times.  I cleared the 10k mark in 47:31, so I was still managing to stay the course with my intended speed.  Brooklyn was long.  Knowing I would see Brad at almost the halfway mark was keeping me positive.  Around mile 9 all corrals merged onto the course and it became very unnerving.  It was just so crowded in my area.  At that moment I wanted to be running in a small marathon, and have some space to myself, but that was not meant to be on this day.  This is the biggest marathon in the world, stay calm and adjust to it.  I told myself to relax so many times.  I wondered though, as I heard so many people cheering names of runners why I hadn’t heard my name called out.  I knew my name was on my shirt, so why no “Go Paul’s” or “Keep going Paul’s”!  It was then I looked down and noticed that my name (which I wrote in blue marker) was completely gone, and now in a pool of sweat and blue ink on the bottom seam of my shirt.  That’s why!

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Brooklyn was long, but awesome crowd support.  Brad texted me to listen for drums and he would be in his designated spot.  In a hot pink shirt, with a sign.  I counted down the streets, and was getting close.  Soon enough I could hear those drums, and moved to the right hand side of the street.  There he was, smiling ear to ear, cheering.  I stopped to give him a quick hug, to which he responded, ok, go, go, go.  I took off.  I found out later he actually took a video of my arrival at that moment, which is so funny to see now.  Thanks Brad for being there to support me!  It was you that got me through Brooklyn.

The halfway point sent us over the bridge into Queens.  My half split was 1:45:00 on the nose!  On track, but feeling my legs getting heavy.  I needed a boost.  Knowing the infamous Queensboro Bridge was looming in the not so distant miles, I Gu’d up, hydrated and kept the faith that I would gain some energy before that long quiet bridge.  I had been warned that it was the loneliest, most difficult part of the race.  Now that I’ve lived through it, I can say that it clearly is!  It was pure hell. I felt so defeated crossing that bridge.  Loathe is a great word to describe it.  Dark, fierce, it will get you if you don’t stay ahead of it.  Like a knarly hairy monster.  Just pure dread is what I tell like on that bridge.  The only thing keeping you going is knowing at the end is Manhattan, and crowds galore.  I did not walk, I did not walk one bit.

Coming off the bridge I still felt very depleted.  I was off my game.  I think I slipped into a dark cavernous place in my head.  After that initial burst of energy from the crowd, I drew nothing from them.  I was in my head, and fighting demons.  The fact that I had just run Chicago three weeks prior might have something to do with it, but I was exhausted.  The only way I could force myself out of that head space was to think of my next cheering station.  I would see my Dad!  I would see David!  Thinking of them got me though.  The miles ticked by.  14, 15, 16…..  I knew they would be at mile 17.  On the left.  I steered to the left of the road well early in anticipation.  I had it so deeply embedded in my brain (Mile 17).  This finally brought me tons of energy.  I was running much better, felt better and was in positive spirits.  I counted the tenths of a mile as I approached mile 17.  Then finally I was there.  Where was my family?  I waited for my name to be yelled.  I scanned the crowds, I cranked my neck back and forth.  Nothing… I actually stopped and thought about running back.  How could I miss them?  That was not going to happen!  They were there to see me, and I needed them.  BADLY!  Finally about two tenths of a mile beyond the mile marker I heard my name.  There they were!  My cheering section.  Smiling ear to ear, I gave them all a big sweaty hug, and then left them behind.  I got emotional right afterward.  Pure joy, tears streamed down my cheeks.  That family energy lasted about two miles.  Then?  Back into my dark space.  I was clearly struggling physically, but I would not let it ruin my day.

Crossing over into the Bronx gave me a much needed boost.  Not the bridge, which sucked, but knowing that mile 20 was nearing.  You don’t spend a lot of time in the Bronx, and I had been told it’s sort of a drab, unsupported part of the course.  I found it amazing.  Maybe I had caught a second wind after coming off the bridge, but I found the crowds really supportive.  The bands were awesome, too.  Plus knowing that the final 10k and trip back into Manhattan was approaching was energizing to me.

Across the bridge into Harlem, and down 5th Avenue.  The end was near.   Hit the 35k mark in 3:03:01.  I knew I had to keep calm and run.  No more demons.  My thoughts turned to seeing Central Park for the first time.  Seeing my family again before huffing it to the finish line.  Trying to stay on pace, I knew I was slowing down.  I didn’t walk.  I didn’t even walk through water stations.  I actually became a little better at drinking while running without drowning myself.  I needed those moments to hit my goal.

Central Park!  It was finally here.  The cheering crowds became louder, the fall foliage on the trees.  Such a beautiful way to end this epic race.  I once again yearned for my family, and the strength they would give me to push through those last two miles.  I saw them again, and again was moved to tears.  I knew how much it meant to my Father to be there.  To witness such an event.  To see his son almost at the finish of the biggest marathon in the world.  As I paced to the finish, dying to actually see the finish line come into view, I thought about my charity, my donors and all the support I’ve received through my running career.  The end of my 22nd marathon was quickly approaching.  I threw up my hands in exultation as I crossed the line.  Immediately overwhelmed, completely debilitated as if the walking dead had entered my body.

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A long walk ahead, I could barely move after crossing the line.  An incredibly long wait for a bottle of water that I needed the moment I crossed the line.  The medal draped over my neck was worth the agonizing slog through the finisher village.  Mylar blanket donned, more water please.  Maybe a pretzel?  A banana?  Yes, they helped when I finally had them in hand.  As I exited Central Park in search of my family I realized that my cell phone was finally dead.  With the help of strangers, I finally connected with them about an hour after I finished.  I finished!  I ran the New York City Marathon!

Wish I could have snapped some more pictures along the way.  The memory of this race though will linger in my head as one of giant crowds, epic challenges and support galore.  Family.  In the end, it was really about family.  Thank you New York.  Not sure I will ever race the city again, but what an epic adventure through your five boroughs,  thanks for having me and treating me so well.

Official results:  3:45:23 finish time.  Goal A achieved!  My best marathon finish in 2015.

Overall:  7472/49365. Top 15%

Top 20% in age group. Top 21% in gender.

No complaints here!  I take it!

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My NYC Marathon

Ten days have passed since the race….

when I think about that day, this pretty much sums it up….

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…..total all and complete sensory overload.

There are so many details, so many minute snippets, and moments in time.  Details, details… I promise they are coming.  I’ve had to take time to decompress, to absorb.  I’ve also had to work every day since I’ve been home.  Tomorrow?  OFF!  Maybe I will find some time to write a recap, but to be honest, I think a ton of my race was spent in a total fog.  I’m almost worried about it.  Maybe I was just on auto pilot, and so concentrated that many of the moments were completely in a haze.  Well, I’ll do the best I can.

Running in the biggest marathon in the world is overwhelming, and fun, and well, so satisfying.  I can tell you one thing as a teaser, I finished in the top 15%!  That’s pretty damn satisfying right there!  My mind however, during the run?

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New York Road Trip

Travel day is here.  Normally I would not find a nine hour car ride a lot of fun, but today is going to be even more challenging.  The weather!  Tons of wind and rain to travel through today, but my 80 year old Father will be waiting my arrival once I cross the state line into NY.  That will get me through it!

I worked extremely early in the morning the last few days, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep.  Last night I went to bed fairly early, to try to catch up before my journey begins in a few hours.  What’s left?  All of my packing.  Not just race packing, but vacation packing.  Packing for being gone nearly a week.  My plan is to be out the door in about two hours.  Yep, waiting for rush hour to be over before heading out on my way north.

Regardless of my long drive today, I am very excited.  This trip, this race, has been a long time in the making.  I still can’t believe that I am actually running the New York City Marathon this Sunday.  An epic race, represented by runners from 139 countries around the world.  Should a 45 year old man be this giddy about running a race?  Eh, I don’t care if it seems odd, but I am truly excited abut it.

I really owe a lot of thanks to my charity partner, the James Blake Foundation, as they are the real reason I am running this race.  They accepted me onto their charity team back in February, and I have been fundraising for them ever since.  Quite a long journey, and an unfamiliar one at that.  I have never been on a charity team before, or even raised money for anything other than selling cookies or booster stickers for little league when I was 8 or 9 years old.  This has truly been a unique experience.  Challenging, and unique.  I’ve have learned that it’s not easy convincing people to part with their hard earned money.  I guess it’s about being relentless in driving a cause that you feel passionate about.  But, I am passionate about this charity, and running.

Setting a goal of $3,000 to fundraise over the course of several months was my top priority.  As of the moment of this post, I have raised $2,311.  Yes, I am just $689 away from my goal, with the help of these amazing folks!

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That’s the back of my charity team race shirt that I will be wearing this Sunday during the race.  *hint, hint, there’s still tons of room for more names.  I haven’t even started putting names on my sleeves yet!

So, now that I have exactly two hours before leaving home, one more shout out and push for donations. Don’t worry, just because I am leaving home, you still have time to donate.  Plus, I am taking my markers with me, so that I can put your name on my shirt even at the last minute before heading to the start line on Sunday.  Here is the link to donate.  100% of donations go directly to the James Blake Foundation supporting cancer research.

Thanks everybody, and see y in New York!

In a NY state of mind

Yep, it’s pretty much all I can think about.  The race next Sunday, wait, this Sunday.  The race is this week!  Six days away!  Right, like I said, it’s pretty much the only thing on my mind.

Still have a ton to do leading up to the race.  Slowly but surely I have been working on my race shirt.  Since I am running for the James Blake Foundation, I have a charity shirt to race in.  Want a sneak peak?  It’s a work in progress, and I have about 20 more names to add to the back.  As promised, any donor who has made a donation gets their name on my shirt.  Hers what it looks like so far.

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So there’s that.  The emails, and communications have been increasing, and I expect a ton more since it’s now RACE WEEK!  The Marathon App is to be released this week, so folks all around the globe can track me during my race.  Will be looking for that communication today.  It will show me as a tiny blip on the race course so that all of my adoring fans can meet me at appropriate places at the right times in a crowd of over a million spectators.

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Can you see me?

As far as the week goes, I still have a ton to do to get ready for my trip.  This isn’t some easy, quick trip either.  It involves about 20 hours in the car, over the course of about a week.  Packing, not only for the race itself is key.  Lots of weather variables.  I am actually glad that I am driving, because it will allow me to pack more of what I might need, and not have to worry about luggage constraints.

So, yeah, I have a meeting time with Staten Island in less than a week.  It’s going to be epic, and a journey I will document in pictures and words along the way.  Can barely contain my excitement!

Oh, and there’s still time to donate to my charity partner.  I still haven’t met my fundraising goal, so please consider a donation today, or sometime this week.  I’ll take my markers with me on my trip so you’ll still get your name on my shirt right up until Saturday night.

You can donate here:

Thank you so much for being a part of my journey to New York.  Many updates to come throughout the week!

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