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 Racecation Update

So, just a quick update for my loyal readers.

Wednesdays trip north from home was pretty much uneventful, except for clouds, wind and rain almost the entire 630 miles.  I never got tired, but did experience some back pain due to just sitting for that long.  I work on my feet, so I never sit for very long.  That 10 hours in the car kinda did my body in.  I did get to see some very beautiful Fall foliage though along the way, the most impressive area being my drive through the Shenandoah Mountains.  Just beautiful!

After getting to Dad’s, we relaxed.  Caught up on the journey, and what was to come before heading to bed.  I hadn’t seen my Dad in just over two years, so we did talk quite a bit.  He looks great, too.  For an 80 year old guy, he has recently really been watching his diet, and has managed to lose about 30 pounds since spending last Christmas with my sister in Ohio.  We took this photo together down at the bottom of the hill where he lives.

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Yesterday we went out for a late breakfast, and toured around some local favorite spots.  I moved away from the area about 26 years ago, and some things have changed a lot, other things haven’t changed a bit.  I miss my Dad, but I don’t miss where I grew up.  Moving to North Carolina was one of the best decisions I ever made.  The quality of life is just so much better where I am now!

After a quick trip to The Cider Mill, and buying some donuts, candy apples and cider, I had the chance to go visit my cousin Michelle.  It was nice to see her, even though we only had about a half hour together.

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Late yesterday afternoon we got packed back up, and headed out.  We drove back down into Pennsylvania, and then through the Pocono Mountains and on into New Jersey.  We are staying with my brother for race weekend.  He has lived in this area for years and years.  It’s too hectic here for my liking, but it’s certainly worth a visit now and then.  My brother was supposed to run the race with me, but recently got some bad news from his doctor that he needs a double hip replacement, and won’t run again.  It was shocking news, but he will be a spectator in full force.

Today is all about some rest, and my final shake out run before the marathon on Sunday.  I actually haven’t run now in a full week.  It wasn’t my plan, but between working right up until I left town, my sons soccer, and the rain, I just never got out for a run in the past week.  So, I am going to head out onto the Towpath here close to where my brother lives, and where Bob did most of his training for the race.  I’m looking forward to a peaceful and chilly four mile run.  I think I am going to take Dad along so he can get a walk in, while I run.

We are hitting the race expo in the city tomorrow morning early.  Lunch in the city, and then feet up, and preparations for the race.  I will update again when I have another chance.  For any of you running New York with me on Sunday, have a great race and enjoy!  The weather looks very promising at this point, so fingers crossed for perfect running conditions.

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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10 days til @nycmarathon

Only one race remains on my 2015 running calendar, and it’s a big one!  It truly has been another epic year of running for me, and I get to cap it off with another of the six marathon majors in just 10 days!

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Yes, the New York City Marathon is quickly approaching.  Deep into taper mode at this point, it’s really all now about the planning.  Logistics and mental preparedness.  The body is ready.  Legs have recovered from Chicago, and the only things that remain for me before the race are a few short runs, and a road trip to New York.

Tomorrow is my last day off from work until I leave on my NY journey next Wednesday.  I plan on getting my race shirt emblazoned with the names of my charity donors.  It’s not too late to donate.  I still have not hit my fundraising goal, so with any donation to my charity partner, the James Blake Foundation, your name will be proudly inscribed on my shirt!  Your thoughtfulness will get permanently written on my shirt so that you too, will get to run the streets of NYC with me.

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Click on the following link to be taken directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise, where you can make a donation in any amount with just a few clicks.  Thank you so much for your help in the fight against cancer.

Because of the fact that I am going to absolutely slay this race, I have been placed into Corral 1, right along with all of the Professional men.  Yep, starting with the likes of Meb Keflezghi.  Yes, he is my special friend and inspiration.

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I gest.  Yes, we’ve clearly met, but I doubt I’ll even see him on race day.  Only in my dreams could I run as fast as he can.  :). I do, however, plan on giving this race my all.  I will be running with inspiration.  Running for my charity partner.  Running for those suffering with cancer.

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So, as the countdown to New York continues, tomorrow we enter the single digits.  It’s all becoming very real.  The countless hours I’ve spent fundraising, the countless hours pounding the pavement will all culminate as I line up on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at 9:50am for a three hour plus run through the streets of New York City.  I couldn’t be more excited!  It all begins in just ten days.

Mini Trump

So, what is your opinion of Donald Trump vying for the Republican nomination for President of the United States?  Do you think this is really a good idea for America?  Do you think it’s a complete joke?

Somehow he is still leading in the polls.  Yep, the front runner.  Say what you will about it, but I guess the red states see something in this man that screams “head honcho”, “leader”, “best of the worst”.  Whatever your opinion is, I think a lot of people, including myself, find him entertaining.

Entertainer, yes.  Celebrity, for sure.  Business guru, absolutely.  Billionaire, no question.

This man has a ton of money.  Just saying the word “trump” now means way more than a term in a card game.  Say trump, and it means money.  Opulence.  Wealth.

Now let me turn to this….  We need billionaires to share the wealth.  Haven’t you ever thought that?  What could I do with an extra $10,000 in my bank account?  How many bills could I pay off if a billionaire gave me just $5,000 out of the kindness of his or her heart?  Plenty!  I just need a small windfall, and I wouldn’t even use the money on myself.  I would use it first to fully fund the charity I am working with.  Really, I don’t need that much to fully fund it.  $970 to be exact.

I need a Mini Trump!

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I need just a fraction of what this man is worth.  In order to fulfill my charity obligation to the James Blake Foundation, I just need like .00000097 of your fortune, Mr. Trump.  Does it help that I have been a fan of The Celebrity Apprentice?

I just need a Mini Trump!

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Who doesn’t find this adorable?

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Will you be a part of my Mini Trump Fund?  I am so close to my goal, and with only 31 days until the New York City Marathon, I need donors, both big and small.  Every dollar helps and goes directly to the fight against cancer.  Every dollar furthers research in gene mutations to effectively treat cancer.  Won’t you please help today?  $20, $30, $50?  $100?  Or more?  Just know that I appreciate all of the donations I have received to date.  I have raised $2,030 thus far, but need your help to reach $3,000 or even higher.

I am using the crowdrise fundraising platform, and making a donation is as simple as a few clicks.  Just click on the following link and it will take you directly to my fundraising page where you will be able to make your thoughtful contribution, and get your name written on my race shirt.  That way, you will be running through the five boroughs of NYC right along with me.

Thank you so much!

$25 a day and a New York City Marathon Experience

Most of you know, if you’ve read previous posts on my blog, that I am running the New York City Marathon this November 1st.  There are a bunch of 1st’s for this race, and here are a few.

-My first time running for charity

-My first marathon in the state of New York

-The first marathon my Father will be a spectator at

-The first time both of my parents will get to see me cross the finish line

-My first time in NYC since 9/11

Race day is getting SO close!  Only 41 days remain until I toe the line in Staten Island and make my way through the five boroughs of New York.  The excitement is certainly building.  This race is so iconic.  Epic!

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I’m glad I decided to run this marathon for charity.  Let me tell you though, it has probably been more of a challenge though to raise the $3,000 I pledged than for me to run the actual race.  As NYC will be my 22nd marathon!  I’m so glad for this experience though, as my fundraising is helping cancer patients.  The research being done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC is being directly helped by the donations that all of my donors have made thus far.  I still have just over a third of the monies pledged to raise, and I need all of your help.

With just 41 days remaining until race day, that equates to an average donation of $25 a day that I need folks like you to donate to my fundraiser to hit my goal by race day.  If you could find it in your heart to donate, I would be ever so grateful.  All of the money goes to the James Blake Foundation.  Every last dollar.  I paid for my own entry into the race, so rest assured, the money you donate directly impacts the lives of those suffering from this debilitating and deadly disease.  Please donate today.  The following link will take you directly to my fundraising page where you can make a tax deductible donation in any amount you wish.

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What would also be a huge help in reaching as many folks as I can is if you would share this post on your own blog, or link to it on your own social media outlets.  I would love to exceed my goal before race day! Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and love!  I will be running New York for all of you!

My Fall 2015 Race Calendar

This Summer has been a mixed bag.  Some great runs, some not so great.  I guess that happens a lot in the summertime, at least it does for me.   I can never make any wild predictions on how my training runs will go, and it’s all based on the weather.  Hot and muggy, Steamy and boiling.  Sunny and humid.  They all sound equally tough, but typically make me stronger for the Fall race season.

I have six races planned between now and the end of 2015.  Two major races, both marathons.  Four, run for fun, pace for others Half Marathons.  This is how it will play out.

1st up…  9/13, and the Run & Ride Half Marathon at Carowinds Amusement Park.

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This is a new pacing gig for me.  Pacing once again for Beast Pacing.  Target time of 1:50:00. My goal is to come to the finish within 45 seconds under my goal.  Just put a hotel room on hold last night, hoping to take my 17 year old son with me to ride some coasters after the race!

Next up, just six short days later on 9/19, is the Marine Corps Half Marathon.  This time I will be taking my 19 year old son with me, leaving bright and early on a Saturday morning for a 2+ hour car ride to the race location.  This race is run on the Marine Corps base Camp LeJeune.  It’s the first time I’ve had to provide my drivers license number, make and model, tag #, and insurance info for my car during registration.  They need all that info to expedite parking on base.  This should be a fun race, very military pride-filled, and inspiring.  Last year about 1,000 runners signed up, so it should be a good size field of runners.

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Taper time!  After a few Halves in mid September, I will concentrate on my next race.  Chicago!  Running the Chicago Marathon for the second year in a row!  I couldn’t be more excited.  My only goals are to equal or better my time from last year, and enjoy the crowds!  This year I will be wearing my name on my shirt!

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Six days after Chicago, I am pacing another Half Marathon.  This time closer to home.  I will be pacing the 1:55:00 Half at Greensboro.  Loved the tough course last year when I ran the marathon!  This time around only half the distance.

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Ok, so I do have a few challenges this Fall.  The day after Greensboro, on hopefully not too tired legs, I am running a Half again.  This time in Durham.  The Bull City Race Fast.  No time goals other than to beat 1:55:00.  Should be a piece of cake.  And maybe a piece of cake after the race from one of the food trucks!  This is a great event that I had to skip last year because of running Chicago and Greensboro marathons six days apart.  I was actually signed up to run it last year, but just didn’t have the legs left to even attempt it.

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All racing done now for the year?  Nope!  Insert another taper here.  The next two weeks after 10/19 will be total relaxation.  Letting my legs recover, and heal.  All for the epic event known as…..

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Yes, I will cap off my 2015 racing year with an epic run through the five boroughs of New York City on November 1st.  This really is the race of the year for me.  This is the race that I have been fundraising for for months now.  It’s getting to be crunch time, and I still need help.  I really had hoped to have raised all of the $3,000 that I pledged to the James Blake Foundation before the end of the Summer.

As of today, I have raised over $1,600, but need for every one of my readers to dig deep into their pockets.  Will you please help my charity?  $10, $20, $50?  $100?  All monies go toward advancing cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City.  Surely someone you know has been either directly or indirectly impacted by cancer.  Let’s honor those that have lost the fight to this disease, and to help those that are currently battling cancer.  Please give today.

You can click on the following link that will take you directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise where you can make your charitable contribution now.

Thank you for you help, and I hope you have a fantastic Fall racing season.  I hope you have as much run running as I plan on having.

Take A Peek! Sharing & Caring

I am a runner.

I am running the TCS New York City Marathon this year in honor of the countless cancer patients all over world.  I am running for charity, and my charity partner, The James Blake Foundation, raises money to further the efforts of cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

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Every dollar raised advances the research, and I am a proud member of the team raising money for this wonderful foundation.  Memorial Sloan-Kettering has the most advanced and largest cancer gene sequencing effort in the country.  In 2015, 12,000 genes will be sequenced and in 2016, 20,000 patients will have their tumors analyzed for genetic mutations.  The work they are doing allows patients to receive more precise and less toxic treatment, specifically targeting their tumors’ mutations rather than one-size-fits-all trial-by-error approach.  It is amazing research, and having long lasting impacts.  The Center for Molecular Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering is leading the revolution in personalized medicine based on tumor mutations.

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This fundraising effort really gives more meaning to my training, and will certainly make my marathon in New York City worth so much more than just the race itself.  It feels really good to give back, and support this foundation.

My fundraising platform is Crowdrise, and I have a fundraising page set up there which makes donating to this fine organization very easy.  Just a few clicks, and done.  I would appreciate any and all size of donations, and I thank you in advance for your amazing help.

I am continuing my amazing partnership with Angie at MarathAngBands.  She hand sews amazing headbands, is a runner like me, and offered up her services to help make in impact with my fundraiser.  Any donation of $10 or more will score you a FREE headband in the Stars and Stripes, or Chevron pattern seen below.  As an added bonus, any donation of $25 or more will get you (2) headbands.  So, what do you think?  Donate today….

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Every dollar helps advance research, so please dig into that pocket and give today.

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