NYC Half Marathon – 2010 Race Recap

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a race in New York City. The weather was perfect, I couldn’t have hoped for a better morning.

March 299

I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:15 am on Sunday morning. I felt so spoiled because I got to sleep in so late. It was nice to roll out of bed, head on over to Central Park and get in my corral in 45 minutes!  Anything is better than waking up at 3:15 am, like I did for Disney!

March 339

When I got to the start line, I immediately made my way to find the Birthday Girl – Dori! Yesterday she rocked the NYC Half on her birthday!

March 340

I was in the Pink corral, just like I was last year. Yesterday there were 12 corrals total and I was right smack in the middle. It wasn’t a bad place to start! I was pretty in pink!

March 341

Aileen was an awesome friend and she agreed to be my sport photographer for the race. She got some awesome pictures of the first runners!

March 293

Now THOSE are some fast runners!

March 294March 295 March 304

I finally made it to the Start line with the mass group of people and I was ready to get my run on. I had some technical difficulties at the start. When the corrals started to move I realized my Garmin didn’t have satellite location yet. I knew if I crossed that start line before my Garmin was ready, I would be off to a rocky start not knowing my pace in the crowds or my time. I pulled over to the side and let my Garmin find its location, but in the process I ended up letting a whole other corral (and maybe more!) pass me. 

March 342

Running around Central Park is awesome for your friends and family members watching you because you get to see them multiple times.

I first got to see Aileen around mile 1, right off the bat. I threw her the long sleeve I was wearing to keep me warm in the morning. Seeing my support team (all one of her!) within the first mile was the nice little boost I needed to keep me moving forward to try to beat out the crowds.

 March 296March 297

I was all smiles at mile 1 – pretty pumped to be running in the city! Obviously  I am still rocking the hand waving!

March 298

Running in the park was fun, but not easy. The roads aren’t the widest and for the first half of the race there are lots of people running around you. Too many people running around you.

It’s pretty much like herding cattle.

The NYRR Volunteers were trying to keep the racers on one side of the road, while trying to keep a recreation lane open for people not in the race. I thought this was sort of out of control. There were so many people running, I think they should have regulated the recreation runners/bikers/what not to the Central Park paths off the road. It was only for 3 hours max, I don’t think that would be a big deal,  right?

March 343

Like most of my other races, miles 1-3 is a continuous fight to get out of the crowds of people. Aileen caught me coming up strong on Mile 3, still with so many people around me!

March 307

I was still all smiles at this point, feeling good at mile 3! Only 10 more to go! Another picture with my hands up!

March 308

I love these two pictures! Aileen got some awesome action shots!

March 309

After seeing Aileen at this point I was headed towards the hilly area of Central Park. If you haven’t run there before there is one big hill that comes up and spits you out, but then you find yourself at the bottom of an even bigger hill that has two tight curves.

These hills were from mile 4 – 5 1/2(ish) and they were as fun as hills can be during a race. I remember them well from last year and I am always surprised at how random they are in Central Park. They come out of nowhere! But I do appreciate that they were a nice challenge.

The hills always separate the runners from the non-runners, don’t you agree? The worst is when you are barreling up a hill and then someone stops to walk right in front of you. That’s a man down situation.

March 305

After killing the hills the race takes you through right where you started in the corrals. Between miles 6-7 you pass by where you waited in the morning.

Then I got to see Aileen again! She was waiting for me around mile 7, right before I was able to exit the park!

PS – Check out the “recreation lane”! Does that make sense to anyone? We paid all this money to run this race and they can only shut down half the road for thousands of people? So weird!

March 310 

And then I was off, headed for Time’s Square…

March 313

After seeing Aileen around mile 7 there was still another mile or so that we had to repeat before we were out of Central Park. Still crowded!

March 344

I took some pretty pictures to entertain myself.

March 345 March 346 

Then before I knew it, we were exiting the park and hitting the city.

March 348

This is when the crowds get a little better. I must admit that running through Central Park during the race is lonely. There aren’t that many people out cheering you on. It’s awesome you get to see your friends and family a few times (like I got to see Aileen 3) but the rest of the time there isn’t much to look at.

March 349

Running from Central Park through Times Square is another story completely. I love this part of the race because there is so much going on and so many people out to watch.

March 351 

The energy from the city and the spectators made this part of the race fly by, which is always awesome, because between mile 8-10 it starts to hurt a little. I love running through Times Square, but it is over so fast! It only lasted about a mile and a half, and I wish more of the race was through more of the city.

March 350

After making my way through Times Square the race route takes you out to West Side Highway.

This part of the race is my arch nemesis.

I hate the last 3 miles of a Half Marathon with the fire of a thousand suns. Is that dramatic enough for you? They are always the worst mentally and physically for me. As I have said before, 10 miles are my happy place.

Like Central Park, the West Side Highway is kind of dead in terms of spectators and race entertainment, and for me personally, this is when I need that the most. At this point, the last 3 miles, I start to do crazy math in my head to see what I need to do to finish at a certain time. Like I said before, I wasn’t trying to finish at a certain time, I only wanted to beat my previous NYC Half time from last year.

March 352

    While I was struggling the last few miles, Aileen was taking some amazing race pictures. She snapped the below picture of this guy running towards the finish with a bouquet of flowers and a Tiffany’s bag! We like to think he was proposing to his girlfriend at the end! So cute right! What else could he be doing with that stuff?!  

March 314 

Do you see the difference in space and amount of people from the earlier pictures in the race? Crazy right?

March 316

After a painful last two miles or so I ended up seriously surprising myself and crossing the finish line 2 whole minutes faster than my previous PRs at the  Disney Princess and Philadelphia Half Marathons.



It has always been a little tiny secret goal of mine to get a sub 1:50 Half Marathon time. I honestly didn’t think I could go any faster than Disney/Philly. I didn’t think it was possible, but apparently it is! I was on cloud 9 as I crossed that finish line and checked my Garmin!

March 320

I want to give a shout out to Aileen for coming to support me at the race. Fiancé and fiancé’s family were supposed to come but he and his mom were randomly sick at the same time, and my other friend was going to come watch and cheer, but she had to cancel last minute. So I went from a cheering team of 5 to 1, but I am so grateful Aileen was there for me. She’s my original running buddy, so I can’t think of anyone else I would rather have there with me at the race. She’s the best friend and sports photographer ever!

March 321

Aileen: Superfan!

  March 323 

At the finish line I also got to catch up with Dori and fiancé’s sister, (my future sister in law!) Kate! Both did awesome during their first Half Marathons! Congrats ladies!

  March 327

What do you do after running 13.1 miles in NYC? Brunch of course! Kate, Aileen and I were in search of mimosas and bloody mary’s to celebrate our race!  We hit up Hi-Life on West Side to satisfy our food and drink cravings post-run!

March 324

Cheers to another great race in NYC!

March 328

After ordering food and drink I checked out my newest medal. I can’t wait to add this to the race board.

One side of the medal says:

  New York City, March 21, 2010March 334

The other side, which is hard to read in this picture, says:

13.1 Miles

Through the Heart of the City

I like this medal better than last years, what do you think?

March 335

Back to brunch – we enjoyed some bread for the table, complete with raspberry butter…can we say, YUM!? It was delish!

March 336

Not much is better after a killer race than spinach and cheese omelet and some potatoes. It was the perfect post race meal!

 March 337

And then we got some beer! It was such a beautiful day out in the city and we were so pumped about our run, we wanted to continue the celebration!

 March 338

It was a great end to a lovely weekend in NYC! I had so much fun and got to hang out with so many awesome people! I can’t wait to go back and visit soon!

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  • Reply Kelly March 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Awesome job! I would love to run the NY Half next year!

  • Reply Melissa March 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Congrats on your PR! I'm really surprised the park didn't shut down for the race. When I did a half in central park in the fall we had the entire road – but the race was part of a festival that was going on throughout the park, so maybe that is why? Plus, we went around the park twice so the race went on there for 3+ hours I'm sure.

    Are you planning on running the half in Philly on Memorial Day Weekend? The info is here

  • Reply Kelly March 22, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Congratulations on a totally awesome time. And I loved all of the pictures. Great job!

  • Reply Genesis March 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    you're such a running rockstar. congrats on the new PR and congrats to your future sister in law.

  • Reply Meghann March 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Congrats on the PR!!! My new secret goal is to get sub 1:50 too! 🙂

  • Reply Katie March 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Good job on the PR! That's an awesome time!

  • Reply Meghann March 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    hi! this is random, but…that guy DID propose and the NYRR cameras caught it:

  • Reply ernise March 22, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Congrats again! That is a great accomplishment!

  • Reply ~Mrs. Guru~ March 22, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Congrats that is so exciting!

  • Reply Fattie Fatterton March 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Congratulations!!! 😀 So happy for you!

  • Reply Evie Clercx March 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    It's so great to see other runners enjoying the post-race cocktails! That is my favorite part of race day! Well done, Leslie.

  • Reply Rose March 22, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Congratulations! SO proud of you!

  • Reply ladypurpl March 23, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Looks like a fun time! Congrats on your new time – you're a race machine. Aileen did a great job as a photographer, it was fun to see your future sister-in-law, Kate, too!

  • Reply Rachael March 23, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Congrats on your new PR!! That's so weird that they kept half of the road closed at that one part…seems silly. But, you killed it anyway 🙂

  • Reply Dori March 23, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Congrats!!! You are so amazing, you just might be my running idol. So great seeing you before AND after the race! Hope we can run another together!

  • Reply A Toronto girl out West March 23, 2010 at 2:06 am

    You looked so strong and happy out there!!! Congratulations on an awesome run!!!!

  • Reply David Yingling March 23, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Nice job on the PR and like always, great pictures! You had perfect weather and it sounds like a perfect race too!

  • Reply Ashley March 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Your race recaps are always so inspiring. Way to go!!

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