Run the NYC marathon like a pro, even if it's your first time, says Megan Singleton.
I write this advice based on my brother's experience of running the New York marathon, not my own. I don't even run for a bus, but for those who are training for November 2 in the Big Apple, here's what you need to know on race day.
1. Wear trackies to be donated
At 6am when you head down to Battery Park and Staten Island on a chilly November morning, wear cheap and warm outer clothing that you can strip off and discard at race time (or during). These are collected up and donated to the homeless. Shops like Old Navy are great for track pants and sweatshirts that don't cost much.
2. Write your name on your shirt
There's nothing as heartening as the sound of strangers calling out encouragement from the sidelines when you're flagging. Write your name in bold print across the front of your shirt and count how many of the two million spectators cheer you on - and keep you going.
3. Start on the top of the bridge
A trap for young players is to start on the lower part of the double-decker Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn. If you can finagle being in the corral at the top of the bridge, that's ideal. It can be a long wait and with the Portaloos some distance away, not to mention 50,000 runners waiting their turn, things can turn nasty for those warming up underneath.
4. Get your friends to download the app
Whether they're following you around as part of the throng or at home silently cheering you on, your friends can follow you thanks to a chip in your shoe. Each time you hit a marker your time and location will be updated. Just make sure your friends who are in New York have wi-fi or are roaming to keep it updating.
5. Plan your final meeting spot in advance
Central Park is where it all ends and the roads for several blocks are closed. You'll head to your designated truck, which has your personal effects that were transferred for you, pick up your medal then head to a planned meeting spot to see your friends. People are everywhere, fences block roads, cops wave you off. It's a throng. I'd suggest meeting about two blocks away from Central Park for your high-fiving.
Read Megan's blog for more tips regarding the New York Marathon.