With the TCS New York City Marathon just one week away, more than 4,800 runners warmed up the roadway in Central Park at the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff (5M). The five-mile race offered marathoners and weekly racers alike a chance to tour Central Park before 50,000 runners take on its rolling hills on Marathon Sunday.
The race also came a day after more than 3,000 young athletes opened up the race-week festivities at the NYRR Youth Jamboree Presented by Tata Consultancy Services.
The five-mile route, which started just outside of the newly opened TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion at West 67th Street, bringing runners around the southern part of the park, up East Drive, and back over at the 102nd Street Cross Drive before finishing on West Drive at 69th Street.
At each mile, runners had Poland Spring 100% Natural Spring Water at the ready to rehydrate; next week, marathoners will have nearly 62,000 gallons awaiting them at each mile marker.
In the race up front, Ted Doyle of Jersey City, NJ, broke the tape on the men’s side in 26:35, while New Yorker Leigh Gerson from Black Roses NYC won the women’s race in 29:51.
For Jeffrey Wollman from Weston, CT, the race served as one final speed workout before the big day next Sunday.
He’s prepared for the 26.2-miler with the 16-week NYRR Virtual Trainer program, and conveyed confidence before taking on his first marathon: “I’ve been able to speak to the Virtual Trainers to ask them advice on different things, and then we have a Facebook group of all the Virtual Trainer runners,” adding, “Everybody’s been the most fantastic and supportive group.”
Three NYRR Team for Kids runners shared similar sentiments, racing five miles in the signature bright green singlet before their 26.2 next weekend. Eliza Mejia of Yonkers crossed the finish line today alongside her Brooklyn-based TFK teammates Christy Emmond and Taina Losasso.
While Mejia and Emmond both ran last year’s Marathon with TFK, Losasso will be making her debut at the distance next Sunday. Still, she said she’s feeling “fully prepared” for the run. Mejia commented that although she’s been through the training before, “It feels new again” this year, thanks to the support of her TFK coaches and teammates.
The pre-race excitement will continue at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion, with programming for runners of all abilities throughout race week. Runners will also have one more opportunity for a speedy tune-up at next Saturday’s Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K, offering the chance to cross the Marathon finish line a day early.