Five tips for Back of the Packers at the NYC Marathon
- You are not alone — There are thousands of people like you. Not everyone is a sub-5. Many of the people I saw were actually walking. I intentionally did the Galloway run/walk/run method and found many others doing the same thing. I felt grateful because I thought I would be all alone.
- Bring Hydration With You — You will be told that you don’t need hydration because there is water and Gatorade on the course. There was plenty of fluids in the beginning of the course, but if you are a back of the packer with a post 5 hour time, water stations will be closing up or gone by the time you get there so be prepared.
- Don’t listen to the NYRR coaches when they tell you there will be hoards of people on First Avenue in Manhattan — At the expo, the coaches explained that the best part of the race was coming off the 59th Street Bridge into Manhattan as you hear the roar of the people watching. If you are a back of the packer, the crowds will be gone. There may be some people left but not a lot. Be prepared to dig deep and get through it to finish the last 10 miles.
- The race becomes a sidewalk race — If you are in the last wave and after five hours, you will be told that there are no more police escorts and to move to the sidewalk. Personally, I thought this would happen later and was disappointed when it happened on First Avenue as I entered The Bronx.
- You will finish in the dark — Be prepared. It gets dark early. There are very few lights in Central Park and on the road. If you know you will be a back of the packer, bringing a forehead light or some type of lighting with you can be very helpful. (To be honest, I was afraid I was going to kill myself, running in complete darkness.)