One of the downsides to my job is that it’s very difficult to sneak away for travel on Fridays in the fall, so after a late night at work and a 1 a.m. wake up on Saturday Brooklyn and I took to the skies for NYC. A fairly seamless morning of travel with the exception of it being so early in the morning. I’m a big advocate of Global Airport Parking while flying out of an airport. They have great parking rates for nearby hotels that will shuttle you to and from the airport, I usually save $10-15 from parking at the actual airport.
We were on the ground in Newark shortly after 10 and had to take a train into the city, arriving at Penn Station. There was a quick walk up to 46th St. where we were staying for the weekend. I booked a one bedroom apartment on AirBnB that had a fantastic location! It was just a few blocks from Times Square, but also a few blocks from the Javits Center where the race expo was happening. After dropping our bags as quickly as we could we made our way south to the expo. For such a huge event and 50,000 runners I expected the bib pickup process to take a little time, but I have never gone through pickup faster. We walked right up to the counter was handed my number, sent to the shirt pickup area, grabbed it and was sent forward. The whole process took maybe 3 minutes. We walked around the expo and visited a few of our favorite companies booths. Of course I had to stop by and visit with the crew at Nuun, we also went to see the new runDisney Marathon Weekend medals at their booth, and we wanted to see how the guys at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons were doing. In typical fashion we stopped and took some photos along the way. We also met up with our friend Deleica, she’s the captain of our fundraising team for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. She lives less than an hour from us, but we had to go all the way to New York to finally meet her in person. We were on our way out of the expo when I spotted Bart Yasso at the Runner’s World booth. I have never passed up the chance to get a selfie with Bart, often times called a Bartie. 🙂
After leaving the expo we walked to Tommy Bahamas on 5th Ave to have lunch with Team Ritter. This is the charity team that I have been fundraising with for this race weekend. It was incredible to meet with survivors and their families who have all dealt with and overcome an aortic dissection. It can be a scary business, but one of the John Ritter Foundation’s goals is to spread awareness of the condition so that it doesn’t go unnoticed and untreated. The life of this group though is Amy Yasbeck who has done so much in John’s memory to help prevent others from facing a similar loss that she has. I am thankful to this organization for providing me the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon and look forward to future runs. (Oh yes, there will be more)
Remember, there is still time to donate to the John Ritter Foundation!
The rest of the day was spent visiting with a few old friends. The first was my friend Stephanie, we marched drum corps together back in 2005 & 2006. I’m fairly certain I haven’t seen her since 2007, but she has always been a supporter of my running and fundraising ever since I started back in 2012. We met up and three of us grabbed a few drinks to spend the afternoon catching up. Then Brooklyn and I went out to dinner with our friend Jen! We haven’t met up with her since the end of July. She’s from Oklahoma so her and her husband came out to visit on my graduation day from Basic Training at Ft. Sill. She was running the marathon the next day too and she was with a first time marathoner friend of hers, so great to see people getting prepped for their first big race.