Here is Stephen Siller, the hero we were running in honor of and whose steps we were retracing....what a privilege. It humbles you to think about what he did.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation had sent about 20,000 emails leading up to the race encouraging people to arrive early because they were expecting record crowds with it being the 10th anniversary of 9/11. So we heeded their advice and arrived around 6:30am or so....by the time we parked in the garage and got to the shuttle buses it was close to 7. Jerry & I got on the shuttle bus which took us to Brooklyn while Sarah, Isaiah, and Sarah's friend Kate hung out close to the finish line in Manhattan. Thankfully Sarah, Zay and I have done this a number of times while Jerry ran so they were used to it. Kate went with us last year and loved it so it's a new tradition for her to go with us. :)
Jerry and I hung out in Brookln; after signing in and getting our bibs, we had time to have a snack - I came prepared with PB&J sandwiches and protein bars and waters. We just mingled with the other runners since the race didn't start until 9:30am.
Meanwhile, Sarah, Kate, & Isaiah went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and spent their time planking and meandering around Manhattan.
As far as the race itself, we did great! That being said, we couldn't push ourselves too much because of the sheer number of people - over 30,000 people ran or walked this year! It was insane, to say the least. We couldn't even get going running until after the start line and once you did get going, then you would have big slowdowns, particularly in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Of course there's only so much space and cramming all those people in is not easy! Plus the walkers were not very cooperative (at least some of them) and they were spread out instead of staying to the right (hello, this is fitness etiquette, people!) lol It was a good thing though, because with Jerry wearing his turnout gear, he couldn't go too fast anyway and it kept me at a manageable pace. I felt GREAT - though it was extremely humid and I was sweating buckets (okay -- who are we kidding -- I'm always sweating!), I felt awesome. I barely felt winded even when the tunnel started the upward grade towards Manhattan. I was SO proud of Jerry - he plugged right along, passing other younger firefighters running in their gear who had slowed down to walk - he ran the entire time. We crossed the finish line holding hands, he was just as excited as I was for me to accomplish such a huge goal. Surprisingly, I didn't bawl! Though I came close to it a couple times. lol
After the race we fought the crowds to get our t-shirts and got some food and hung out for a while. We had promised Isaiah we would get pizza at the same pizza place right by Ground Zero that we had gone to with Cheryl and the girls in July....so we did that! It was yummy -- how can you go wrong with New York pizza!
By that time, we were ready to head home....a bit more walking back to the garage and then home. Everybody was exhausted!
Looking forward to next year's! Isaiah said he wants to run it with us. We're also going to try to stay overnight in NYC the night before; we've always said that would be fun to do the night before the race and make it easier....I'm already planning it and wrote it in my planner at work so I don't book any parties on the night before! (like this year -- heehee).
So what's next? We're heading to Florida in the next week (Jerry on Monday, Zay and I on next Thursday) so what could be better than running a 5k in Florida!? That's what Jerry and I are planning to do Saturday morning the 8th - we found one in Tampa. :) I am officially a running fanatic! Haha