Tag Archives: NYC Marathon

Chaya Wolf’s NYC Marathon Recap

Meb + Chaya = BFFs (Photo Credit: Chaya Wolf)

by Chaya Wolf

Race: New York City Marathon

When: Nov 5, 2017

Where: New York City, NY

What a day! What a weekend! Still riding high and processing it all.

In the days leading up to the race, I had the privilege to hear from and meet Meb Keflezighi and chat with Bart Yasso. I’m not one to gush over celebs, but these guys are humble, have a wealth of knowledge in the sport and are such down to earth humans. It took star struck to a new level. They each shared different advice and words of encouragement and I had faith that Sunday would be a good day. After pseudo-injuries and heightened anxiety (thank you taper) were put to rest with kind words by my PT, I had a good feeling about taking on NYC for the second time. I had utilized the taper period and really made sure I was on top of my nutrition. I slept, stretched and foam rolled (btw – sleep is not overrated). I felt really ready for race day.

Going into the race I had two goals, which based on most of my training runs, I knew I could attain. My original plan was to find the pacer in my corral and hang with him. But I somehow managed to lose him before the corrals even moved to the base of the bridge. He disappeared out of my sight and into thin air. So we went with plan B and ran solo.

It’s funny actually. Somehow my entire day turned into a day full of plan Bs, and no not the one from the drugstore, more like the plan you choose when the first one fails. Yet I didn’t seem to mind. It all started in the morning when I thought I was going with a bus to Staten Island and ended up in an Uber heading to the ferry terminal in Manhattan. It continued when I ran solo and finished when I dropped any goal times I had and ran for fun and redemption. Why redemption? Well, two years ago I ran NYCM as my first marathon and it derailed on the Queensboro Bridge. My only focus after that was the finish line. I didn’t see anything, I didn’t remember anything. So when I finally did finish, stressing on the word finish, and got my medal, I promised myself I’d be back. And so on Sunday, I was back.

The race started out well. I stopped on the Verrazano Bridge for a photo and then realized I had just added on 2 min to my finishing time, but I didn’t care. I was going to enjoy the course, take in the sights and see what NYC was all about. Knowing that the PPTC cheer crew was at mile 7 and my #wolfpack was at mile 8 gave me good vibes all through Brooklyn. I actually noticed the diversity of people as we moved up the avenue. Hearing “Go Prospect Park!” by random strangers, scattered PPTCers shouting my name and so many little kids high fiving was so energizing. But it was humid and my breathing started to get labored. Somewhere over the Pulaski Bridge, I missed my halfway goal time and knew that any other sensible goals I had for the race were the out the window. Adding to the humidity that was already plaguing me, I realized I was blinder with my glasses than without and decided to just stick them in my armband. My apologies to anyone I didn’t respond to past the bridge. Chances are I probably didn’t see you 🙁

After deciding to ditch my goals, I took a page out of Bart Yasso’s book and just ran happily. I took in the sights and the people. I took it slow on the Queensboro Bridge, mentally prepared myself for the crowds at the turn and just had fun. I enjoyed the music, the cheering, and the insane crowds along First Ave, 5th Ave, and Central Park. I boogied in the Bronx, silently cheered YMCA and thanked Gd when my mile 17, 19, and 23 peeps were still there when I reached them. I didn’t really stop for anyone, but noticed many of you, in the rain, cheering. Some of you saw me at my lowest points, hurting and walking; some of you saw me determined and chasing something, not sure what. Somewhere on the Willis Ave Bridge and then again in Manhattan around mile 21, I felt like I wouldn’t finish and wondered why I was doing this again. So I walked, let my breathing regulate, looked around and let everything and everyone remind me why I signed up for this. I thought I picked up the pace again, but those last few miles turned out to be my slowest. Somehow I found some mojo on 59th street, pushed myself up the final hill and finished while it was still light.

In 2015, I sat in a medical tent at mile 20 and painfully and slowly walked the last 10k. I finished with an official time of 6:24:59. In 2017, I enjoyed the course and the people. I realized what a beautiful and diverse city we live in. I appreciated the immense support and camaraderie that exists in NYC. I valued how our city came together to encourage 51,000 stupid people who thought running 26.2 miles is fun. I finished crying because I didn’t stop for medical support and I succeeded in achieving what I set out to do 2 years ago. I finished with an official time of 5:19:41. It wasn’t my best time but it definitely was a good time.

You’d think that meeting Meb and Bart was enough, but my star-studded and fun-filled weekend actually ended when I went to get my medal engraved. As you walked into Jackrabbit there was a sign that said Shalane Flanagan and Geoffrey Kamworor were going to stop by for an hour. I had already taken the day off, so I hung around a little longer than expected. I bumped into some PPTC marathoners, heard both NYC marathon winners speak, got my medal ribbon autographed by both winners and took a picture with them. So let’s just say NYCM Class of 2017, you rocked!

2017 New York City Marathon Race Recap & The Last 10 Miles with a Side of Picnic

On an overcast and humid day on November 5th, after an early morning wake-up to go to Staten Island by ferry or bus (or Uber and ferry), over 50,000 athletes cruised over the Verrazano Bridge to start the NYC Marathon.

Here is PPTC by the numbers:
169 total PPTC members in NYC Marathon
16 PPTC members BQ’ed
15 PPTC members completed their FIRST marathon.
Of those, 4 PPTCers BQ’ed in their first marathon (Do we call this a running hat trick – PR, BQ,  & first marathon?).

Top 3 Men in PPTC

  1. Shan Haq (2:52:47)
  2. Ben Collier (2:57:20)
  3. Sean Quealy (2:58:05)

Top 3 Women in PPTC

  1. Jana Trenk (3:07:50)
  2. Katie Poor (3:10:47)
  3. Mary Johnston (3:15:40)

Congratulations to our Michael Ring for completing his 30th marathon with his son, Nicholas!!!!!!!! It was over 3 years ago when he became paralyzed by Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). After years of excellent medical treatment, hard work, and some setbacks, Mike realized his dream of once again crossing the finish line in Central Park.

Shoutouts

Marcia Brown
3:44:28
BQ
4th in her age group (60-65)

Ben Allison
3:16:01
27-min PR

Nicholas Cohen
3:22:07
0:02:23 PR and BQ
I raised $3,000 for my friend Mateo’s prosthetic leg

Julie Raskin
5:25
First marathon PR
PPTC IS AMAZING! I am so grateful for the support of the club- from the training to the magical tree all the way to the finish line. And walking into PS 87 to the cheers (and the beer) was moving beyond words!

Crystal Cun
3:31:42
50-min PR & BQ
Raised money for $4876 for Legal Services
Crystal was too modest to say,  but she was the fastest fundraiser that Legal Services has ever had.

Mey Chery
4:03:44
25-min PR & 6-month post-surgery

Sam Smullen
4:05:55
PR

Jimmy Leung
4:04:30
PR & completed 3 of the 6 World Major Marathons

Jennie Matz
4:02:25
PR

Noah Devereaux
3:02:18
PR, BQ, & first marathon!

Shane Shifflett
3:09:20
First marathon PR

Katie Daddaria
4:32:05
5-min PR on her birthday
I’ve been dealing with/recovering from PF most of the year. I cannot fathom how I did so well. Also, it was my birthday! Really amazing day. 🙂

Jana Trenk
3:07:50
PR & BQ
Not only the fastest PPTC woman, but 4th fastest overall in PPTC, & 125th American female finisher in the race

Isabel Santiago-Gordon
4:20:33
9-min PR
I found NYCM so amazing that I want to do it again.

Jack Coogan
3:44:48
PR, BQ, & first marathon!
Thanks to the Tuesday morning MTG and the Last 10 Mile Run for getting me as ready as I could be.

Mary Johnston
3:15:40
PR & BQ
14th in her age group (20-25)

Hilary Lawton
4:20:58
First marathon PR
Huge thank you to Tony and Charlene- their class was great for helping with my speed work and for meeting other wonderful PPTCers!

Kirsty Carroll
3:54:05
29-min PR & BQ
I ran my last marathon 11 years ago.

Aung Barteaux
3:33:05
PR, BQ, & first marathon!

Mike Roberts
4:20:12
First marathon PR

Michael Ring
9:52
Completed his 30th marathon

Robert DeMasco
3:49:42
32-min PR

Stuart Kaplan
3:30:50
First marathon PR
Even though I hit the wall, if it wasn’t for Matteo and Melissa pushing me along, I might not have finished.

Ricardo Dias
4:04
PR

Pamela Ritchie
3:53:59
PR, BQ, & first marathon!
Shoutout to Isaac Josephson for being my running ambassador, and Kristen Uhrich who I feel is my running soulmate.

Adam Iannazzone
3:22:17
First marathon PR

Melissa Lee
5:04:43
First marathon PR

Patrick Huang
4:20:30
20-min PR
Thanks for the support from PPTC and teammates

Eric Levenstein
4:59:25
First marathon PR

Lisa Maya Knaur
Almost 14-min PR

Carlos Vasquez
3:33:11
20-min PR

Isaac Josephson
4:24
3-min PR & 7-min course PR
I beat Ethan Hawke’s time.

Sara Devine
5:27:26
First marathon PR

Rachel Pennycuick
4:34:04
PR

Emily Rinehart
3:30:24
BQ

Sarah Singer
3:30:47
BQ

Holly Chase
3:34:49
BQ

Michael Trenk
3:36:17
BQ

Rosalba Perna
3:38:00
BQ

Maggie Carr
4:32:10
First marathon after 2 years of injury
Seeing PPTC all over the city, whether as spectators or fellow runners, made my first marathon even more special. Special shoutout to Coaches Missy, Adam, and Michael for organizing MTG – that preparation was key to fighting through the last few miles!

David Hantman
5:44:48
9.5-min course PR
He raised $1,600 for the MVRP Foundation and is still accepting donations until 12/31/17 (donate here: https://www.crowdrise.com/nyc-marathon-david-runs-for-mvrp)

Shan Haq
2:52:47
BQ

Mary Turnbach
5:26:20
4.5-min PR

Sarah Bass
6:38:04
First marathon PR

Gabrielle Napolitano
6:41:56
First marathon PR

Jackie James
4:38:46
First marathon PR

Acknowledgments of the volunteers and sponsors
Thank you to PPTC for funding the Fall Picnic, to Peter Forgach of Saucony for providing blankets to PPTCers on marathon morning (he drove from Manhattan at 3 am to deliver them!), and to Jackrabbit for letting us use their store.

Fall Picnic Organizers
Crystal Cun
Adam Iannazzone 
Lillian Park

Last 10 Miles Volunteers
Sherry Wang
Murray Rosenblith
Roshan Leslie
Adam Devine
Melissa Morrison

NYC Marathon Volunteers
Janet Gottlieb
Anh-Tuan Tran
Murray Rosenblith
Emma Walker
Geoffry Gertz
David Coleman
Isaac Murchie
Fanny Greene
Amy Sowder
Jane Yau
Roshan Leslie
James Israel
all photos on this page were taken by Marek Stepniowski
and of course, to all PPTC members who stood on the sidelines to cheer and cowbell.

Comments and thoughts from our participants

I participated in the Last 10 miles and found it so helpful! Thanks PPTC for all your support and amazing members that inspire us!  ~ Isabel

I also ran the last 10M – it was so helpful knowing what was to come in the later parts of yesterday’s race.  PPTC pacers and volunteers were awesome! ~Kirsty

I thought the Last 10 Mile Run was really helpful. At least during my last 800 meters, I knew where the finish line was going to be and that helped a ton because I knew when I could pick up the speed at the end. ~Aung

Last 10 miles was so useful. 5th ave and CP hills sucked, but I knew they were coming and so I found a final push to get over them! I’ve been amazed how open, friendly, and encouraging the club has been to all newcomers, knowing that I’m sure most of us will disappear into the ether post marathon. I’m very much going to try not to be one of those people. ~Mike
For the “last 10” I led a pace group (the last one, which collapsed 13:00 and 14:00). I’d originally volunteered for 13:00 but no one volunteered to lead 14:00 so I tried to incorporate anyone who was slower than 12:00, basically. I’d never paced before, and I think I led us a little too fast (our average pace was 12:38 according to my Garmin). So maybe some tips on how to be a successful pace leader would be helpful. Our group did spread out a bit in the last three miles and the person who’d fallen the farthest behind took a wrong turn in the park, but everyone did finish. What I’d have done differently would have been to give out my phone number to everyone in the group in case anyone fell way behind or decided to drop out so that I would know. ~Lisa
I also participated in last 10 mile and the picnic and have to say that both events were awesome.  The last 10 was a great way for me to know what to expect in the Marathon. ~Stuart
I participated in the last 10 miles also. It really helped me learn what to expect, especially the elevation changes. I believe it was part of the reason I didn’t hit the wall. ~Carlos
re: Picnic

It’s been a bit less than a year since I joined PPTC, and this was the first event I’d organized for the club. In many ways, I still feel like a green member, but it was nice to see so many familiar faces and reflect on all the new runships I’ve formed over the last year.

re: last 10 miles
He doesn’t know it, but my marathon training strategy has basically been: 1) Show up every Sat at 8 am. 2) Follow Oren for 20 miles, or until I can’t keep up. 3) Repeat.

At the last ten miles, Oren steered our 8:30 pace group like a metronome, nailing every turn in the Bronx and telling us where to conserve energy. He wins my vote for Marathon Sherpa of the Year.

…Also, we can’t forget the poncho. When Murray held up a brightly colored wrap and said, “Who wants a serape?” my hand immediately shot up. Now that marathon training is done, my biggest dilemma is whether to use the poncho as throwaway clothing or keep it. #ponchostruggleisreal ~Crystal

Meet the #PickMePPTC Winners

by Jana Trenk

PPTC was offered three guaranteed entry spots for the 2017 NYC Marathon. Using the hashtag #PickMePPTC, interested members were asked to submit a selfie and write up via social media explaining why they wanted to run this year’s marathon.

Congratulations to our contest winners: Noah, Jennifer, and Carlos! Wishing them the best of luck for an amazing training cycle and marathon.

I asked each of them to tell us a little more about themselves.  You can read about them below:

Noah Devereaux

Noah Devereaux

I’ve been a runner for a little over a year but really started getting serious after I impulsively joined Oren and Leiba on a 15 mile run to the Rockaways last July. Somehow it seemed like a good idea even though I’d never run more than 10 miles in one go before. After surviving that I started to get ideas that maybe I could actually do a marathon myself. A year later running has become such an important part of my life that it’s been easy to get motivated even before I got chosen to run New York. But now that I do have the marathon to train for I have a better excuse to run so much with all my friends in the club.

The part of the marathon I’m most looking forward to is passing Peter Pan Doughnuts in Greenpoint. Back when I lived in the neighborhood I would sit outside the shop and watch the marathon with my friends and wonder why all these people were choosing to suffer so much. Funny how things change. It’ll be hard to resist the urge to stop and get a doughnut in the middle of the race.

Jennifer Bolstad

Jennifer Bolstad

I started running when I was in 6th grade… so… over 30 years ago. I competed in cross country, indoor and outdoor track from junior high through college and between college and grad school. Then I took a 10-year hiatus from all athletic activity because I didn’t have the time or the will to train hard enough to stay in competitive shape, and — hubris alert! — I felt that “recreational” running was beneath me. I started running again in 2008 when a friend dared me to sign up for the Brooklyn Half with her. Soon after I got back into running, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the tender age of 32. I kept running all through treatment and it was my way of making friends with my body again; of showing myself it could do good things, too, when it wasn’t trying to kill me. That experience really got me over any feelings of being ashamed that I’m not as fast as I used to be (it’s pretty humbling to come in close to DFL in a giant NYRR race!) and helped me to just accept that running is its own reward, independent of the time on your watch or your place in the pack. Now I run to maintain my healthy relationship with my body and my healthy relationship with running itself.

I’m most looking forward to training with my fellow PPTCers. There’s really nothing I enjoy more than long runs, exploring the five boroughs with my teammates. I recently read an article about how difficult it is to make true friends, as opposed to just mere acquaintances, as an adult. Most people don’t find the time to just hang out for long stretches with no agenda other than talking to each other. As I was reading, I kept thinking… none of this is true! I definitely have many deep friendships that have developed in just this way: through the luxury of lots and lots of agenda-free conversations. Then I realized that almost all of those conversations were with my PPTC teammates on our runs.

Carlos Vazquez

Carlos Vazquez

I started running in 2005. My girlfriend at the time (who is now my wife), told me about a local 5k in Orlando and how much fun they were. I looked up a training plan, similar to Couch to 5k, and trained for a couple of months.  Not knowing my pace, I ran it conservatively in 35 minutes, with tons of energy to spare.  After that, I never ran slower than 25 minutes and I was hooked.

I realize when I stop running, or do nothing physical, I feel restless. Running keeps me both mentally and physically fit. Signing up for races also motivates my training. Plus, being part of a running group, like PPTC, keeps me socially active.

Besides running over the Verrazano and the cheering crowds, there is that brief period in Queens, where we will run where I grew up as a kid. I went to school a few blocks away from the Queensboro bridge and it will add to the memories growing up there.