With the TCS New York City Marathon just six weeks away—and other fall marathons even sooner—more than 4,500 athletes tested their fitness over 18 miles in Central Park at the TCS New York City Marathon Tune-Up. Runners practiced their race-day routines, spectators lined the course to provide inspiration, and volunteers marshaled the three-loop course and handed out fluids and fuel.
For some participants, today’s 18 miles represented their longest run to date. For those training for their first marathon, today’s run did wonders for their confidence. Many first-timers ran with NYRR Pace Team leaders, who held a steady speed for paces ranging from 3:05 to 5:15 marathon finish times. Pace Team leaders, wearing distinctive blue-and-white striped singlets and carrying finish-goal signs, will run the TCS New York City Marathon on November 1, holding pace for 3:00 to 6:00 finishes.
First-time and experienced marathoners today embraced the opportunity to practice even pacing, running uphill and downhill (the course was three full 6-mile Central Park loops, including the challenging Harlem Hills), drinking at aid stations, and staying mentally focused mile after mile. “This is a great event for anyone training for a marathon,” said Elizabeth Emerson, who is preparing for her seventh marathon as a member of NYRR Team for Kids, which raises funds for NYRR youth and community services programs. “It’s the best possible way to stretch out your distance and get the organization of a big race—mile markers, fluid stations, and plenty of company. I get so much out of it.”
Some competitive runners challenged themselves by gradually increasing their pace throughout the 18 miles. “We did the first loop at a moderate training effort, the second loop at a harder effort, and the third at our goal marathon pace,” said Michael Basen of Central Park Track Club New Balance, who ran with several teammates. “That’s hopefully what you want the marathon to be like—getting faster in the final miles.”
Strategies practiced, techniques perfected—that’s what tuning up for a marathon is all about. Now it’s up to TCS New York City Marathon Tune-Up finishers—and other TCS New York City Marathon entrants—to keep following their training plans and preparing for the big race. May November 1 be everything they’ve prepared for, and more!