For 2 summers in the early 2000s, my roommate Heather and I worked tandem to head up the Powergel stop on the elusive New York Marathon route. We were recruited by the New York Road Runners and flew up to NYC in early November for a long weekend of runner relations.
We were responsible for driving a box truck through the rough and tough streets of NYC to pick up all our equipment at a warehouse in the Bronx. For these two quiet females, it was feat in itself that we didn’t sideswipe anybody or thing. To make things even more interesting, the radio was stuck on high volume so navigating an unknown city and having to scream at the top of our lungs to communicate was exhausting and downright hilarious.
And another “twist” in year one happened while walking through Central Park. Being very accident prone, I stepped on a pile of leaves that was hiding a huge pothole and face planted. My ankle ballooned and I had no choice but to suck it up the rest of race weekend with two wraps and tons of Tylenol holding me upright (barely). Only me.
I vividly remember the vibe in this city was electric. We were used to Disney races, where most of the course was backstage and inaccessible to many spectators. Quite the contrary here, as every balcony was full with cheering fans, roadways were lined 5 people deep, restaurants were hopping, music of all kinds blared at every street corner…. it was over the top exciting!!
Even though I can’t stand the goo, we had the most popular stop on the course and most runners were in good spirits halfway through the race. Our volunteers cheered on our guests and made the whole experience amazing. Empty gel packets littered the streets as far as the eye could see and our crew picked up every last one. We worked our asses off for like 60 hours straight.
I remember staying an extra day to sightsee and take in all the grandeur of city life, but was so ready to return home and crash.
NYC was larger than life.