Friday, November 8, 2013

NYCM: Opening Ceremony & Expo

About a week before marathon weekend I found out that a spot was open to represent the United States in the marathon opening ceremony. Although I knew absolutely nothing about the opening ceremony at the time I gladly took the spot.

To rewind a little, my dad and I arrived in New York around 12:30. My uncle lives on the upper west side and he was letting us crash at his apartment for the weekend so after arriving at Penn Station he headed to his place. We unpacked before wandering down to Columbus Circle for the opening ceremony. Along the way we stopped for lunch at this cute little restaurant that had smoked salmon & goat cheese pizza. Delicious!

Our walk was around 2 miles but it was really nice out so it was a really enjoyable walk. We made it to Columbus Circle around 4:30, with the opening ceremony starting at 5:30. We took in the sights for a little before parting ways so I could line up with the rest of the representatives from the United States. Although we were waiting for a pretty long time it was really fun. We met and talked to so many people from around the world who were just so excited to be there.

Each country was announced and walked in one by one right in front of the finish line. By the time the US made it to the finish line area the energy was outrageous. Everyone was on their feet dancing and jamming. After each country was called in, the pros were announced. I ended up getting high fives from Meb, Amy Hastings and last year's winners. Even though they were all racing on Sunday they were up for a little dancing and picture taking with runners. It was so cool seeing them there as it made them seem so much more real and normal.

I left the event beyond ready to run this race. I love when there is so much energy that it gets you pumped up for the rest of the weekend. After the opening ceremony my dad and I walked back up to the apartment, stopping for dinner along the way. It's no secret that I love New York and this is why. I love walking and exploring my surroundings.

Saturday morning a family friend picked us up and drove us over to the Javits Center for packet pickup. When we got there around 9:30 I was able to just walk right in but when we left the line was out the door and down the street. There was plenty of security and they were checking everyone's bag before entering.

Luckily it didn't take long before I picked up my bib and shirt. We walked around and explored the expo for a little but didn't want to stay for too long since the race was the next day. I only ended up getting two Sparkly Soul headbands. There was a jacket I really wanted but they were all sold out.

After the expo we spent the rest of the day relaxing, with a picnic in Central Park and a delicious pasta dinner. Before I knew it it was time for bed. I was so grateful we gained an extra hour of sleep but still went to bed around 9:30. Up next, 26.2 from Staten Island back to Central Park!

1 comment :

  1. Love this, that is so cool you were able to participate in the parade!