It's seven weeks. For marathoners-in-training, from first-timers to seasoned veterans, this is the time of peak weekly mileage, long runs, and all the other elements that go into producing peak fitness and race-readiness on the big day. The heat and humidity of July and August are in the past (though today's temps were a bit above normal for mid-September), the taper and final tuning up are in the future.
And so, today nearly 4,800 runners completed three (count 'em) six-mile loops of Central Park, braving the hills, testing their fueling and hydration strategies (not to mention apparel and footwear choices), and most importantly, assessing their stamina, with an eye toward determining their pace and finish-time goal for November 3.
Assisting in those all-important pacing efforts were members of the NYRR Pace Team Presented by Biofreeze, who carried signs displaying both their per-mile pace and corresponding goal marathon finish time. Each pacer, wearing a distinctive blue, green, and white Biofreeze singlet, ran at a steady effort over the course, providing valuable assistance to runners, who have a tendency to run too fast in the early miles, only to fade in the later stages.
"I could not have held my pace today without my pacer," one runner said. "They did all the thinking for me, I just ran."
Though today's effort was a training run for most participants, there was a finish-line tape, and it was broken by Marie-Ange Brumelot of Queens Distance Runners for the women in 1:48:43 (she was also the overall winner, with an average pace of 6:03 per mile!) and Luciano Medina, also of Queens Distance Runners, for the men in 1:50:16 (6:08 per mile).
Many of today's finishers are set to continue their journey to the TCS New York City Marathon starting line by running one or both of the final two races of the 2019 NYRR Five-Borough Series: the New Balance Bronx 10 Mile on September 29 and the NYRR Staten Island Half on October 13. These races are sold out, but other racing opportunities are open on our 2019 calendar. You can also check out training options and free programs at the NYRR RUNCENTER. Come run with us!