A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NYC Marathon! Drafting Off Runners, Official Pacers, and Mile Markers

Good luck to all those doing the NYC Marathon tomorrow.

From the weather forecasts, it's going to be a bitter wind from the north. Since the first 20 miles of the marathon has runners going generally northward, this is going to mean a nasty headwind for the runners for the majority of the race.

The best thing a runner can do is to slip in behind a taller runner who is running the same pace as you and let him or her break that cold wind.


If you're the tallest person around, well, it basically sucks for you. lol.

Here are some good articles on drafting that shows it benefits runners as well as cyclists.



Anyway, this is the simple most effective strategy I can give you for tomorrow's NYC Marathon. If you're going to try for a PR, I think you're going to need help from that guy in front of you to do it.

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One other thing that I've seen recently in marathons and in half marathons are the increase of official pacers. These are the sorts of people that carry signs like this for the race...


I think they are a welcome addition to these races and can help a lot of people keep their bearing during the race. The only downside, a small one, is that if you choose to run with one of these pacers you willing choose to give up your own strategy in the race. You also basically give up your chance to run a lot faster than the pace given by these pacers.

But a lot of the people in big marathons such as the NYC Marathon are settling for a certain pace anyway, so these pacers are a godsend. They get to be with other people with similar goals and will have company for the entire race, which sure beats running alone! Plus, they can probably pick up new friends in these groups.

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I will be working in Brooklyn at the NYC Marathon tomorrow moving the mile markers into place. I will be on my bicycle moving from marker to marker. These are what the mile markers will look like...


There will be an opposite marker like this on the other side of the street. The white thing in the center records the timing chips for the runners that pass by these markers. This then goes to a central computer to produce real-time feeds to friends and family of the runner on the internet. Technology is grand, isn't it?

After my job is done, I will hightail it over to the 12 mile marker at Bedford Ave. to cheer on people I know doing the race. I'll be in a Tilly hat and should be on the right side of the course. Anyone who knows me can definitely shout out a "hello!".

I'll probably bike it across the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park South to see the runners coming in to the finish. It might not be easy to find a viewing area there, especially with a bicycle in tow, but I'll see what I can do.




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