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The Great New York 100

June 17, 2023

The great New York Marijuana Run
28:20, #61

Had to win the lottery to get entry in to this event.  So Sue and I entered thinking we would not get in this year but hopefully some year.  Well…we both got selected. This was going to be an adventure on foot.  Grateful to be traveling with my friend.  No matter what the event, time spent with Sue is wonderful. 

The course goes through four of the five boroughs in New York City.  Lots of pavement and a few miles on some easy single track during the first 20 miles or so.  Lots of hills in the first 20 miles with continued hills up to bridges later on in the course.  The most significant way to describe the course is that if you are in a park or running near a park you will smell marijuana.  Otherwise you will be running on a bike trail next to a highway with cars whizzing by. Lots and lots of miles along highways, on a bike trail or path but still next to many many cars.  Sometimes the course requires you to cross 3-4 lanes of traffic not at a signal, kinda scary.  Other times you have to wait for lights to change so there is some standing around which only adds to the time.  We ran through a Hispanic festival with booths and BBQs going strong.  We ran through a neighborhood where every block had parties going on and fireworks going off.

I started using the paper copy of turn by turn directions with little yellow arrows on the ground (most were difficult to see) and followed that for the first 20 or so miles. The paper map got wet from sweat and was difficult to read so I switched to the gpx file and followed it on Gaia (on my phone) for the rest of the run.  This worked well to keep me on track, I only really missed one turn and just for a 100 yards or so off track.  I quickly got back on course and paid even more attention to the route.

It was warm but from what people were saying we got a cool year, high 70s and low 80s.  Just right.  Ice cot on the back of my neck kept me cool during the heat of the afternoon.  I ran and walked with Sue for the first 24 or so miles.  She realized she needed to walk more to keep her ankle okay and so we decided to split up as I still had a chance of finishing within the 30 hour cut off.

After I left her I passed about 20-25 people which was fun.  I then started leap frogging with a few people.  This was good as we did this all night long so I was with someone during the dark of the night. 

Aid stations were every five miles which was perfect.  They had the minimal stuff for the first few., water and Gatorade.  Then the aid stations started offering a lot of snacks, pizza, fruit, etc.  One station had yams that were wrapped in foil, yum.  Another had rice balls and potatoes with salt.  I stuck with liquid calories for the first 40 miles which works for me in the heat.  Then started adding potatoes and snacks.  Later in the run I stopped at some stores to get sweet tea, Milky Way bar, banana, and pumpernickel bagel.  I was looking for a donut shop…

Didn’t listen to any books and only a little music as it was an extra challenge to try to stay on course so my focus was on the gps track and street signs.  It was a different kind of adventure.  Only saw one rat right at the beginning of the race when we entered Central Park.  It was shortly after the start so there was a big group of runners ahead of us.  The rat decided to cut across the group and you could see runners jumping and eeking.  Silly rat.

In the last five miles of the race you pass over the Brooklyn Bridge and I started taking pictures and having my ugly cry, emotionally drained at the end of a hundred. Very cool views of the city.  I started going up the streets to get to the finish.  I knew the finish was on 42nd, the first sign I saw was 19th, ugh 23 blocks to go.  Of course I have to stop at every street to wait for the light to turn, ugh.  It was taking forever and there were these chairs every once in a while so I actually sat for a minute with my feet up.

Finally the finish is in sight.  The ugly cry comes on strong.  Phil congratulates me and hands me a buckle.  I sit and cry.  Some lady sits next to me and tells me about her running career of half marathons..??…i call Sue to tell her I finish.  She did the 100k with new friends, so happy that she had no injuries and did her thang.  I thank her for finding a hotel two blocks from the finish. So happy.  Feet hurt so bad, concrete is evil, so glad to be done.  Got a shower and of course NY pizza, yum.

Hundreds are special events, where you push yourself to your limit.  It really helps to travel with someone who knows you well and who you can be completely honest with. Sue listened to all the phone calls I had to deal with regarding family and health issues.  Sue supported me and I appreciate how easy we travel together.  I am so grateful to have friends that like cray cray adventures.  Bring on the next one!

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