The New York City Marathon weekend is one of my favourite weekends of the year, whether I’m running it or not (although last weekend’s trip to the Chicago Marathon will definitely rival it!)
How to Make the Most of your NYC Marathon Weekend
Listen to the Elites
The New York Road Runner’s Centre is the hub for the weekend (aside from the official expo) hosting stretching sessions, shake out runs and most excitingly, live podcasts with elite runners.
The Morning Shakeout – hear podcast host Mario Fraioli chat with Jared Ward and Mary Ngugi at midday on Friday – the perfect lunch break if you’re a local, or post expo plan if you’re in town to race. Tickets are free and can be registered for here.
Lindsey Hein is live with Roberta Groner (6th at this years World Championship) and Sara Hall (6th fastest American of all time – and contributor to Cook, Eat, Run!) is at 1pm on Friday. Click here for free tickets.
Listen to Ali on the Run live with Kellyn Taylor, Mary Wittenbourg, Lindsey Crouse (the journalist that broke the Nike pregnancy clause scandal) and Jen Ator (Women’s Running editor-in-chief). Free tickets here.
Personally, my favourite high rise is 1 World Trade as you can clearly see almost all of the marathon route, in particular the Verrazano Bridge – a fun trip to the skies before or after your race.
Other awesome spots to see the city from up high are the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock. My other sightseeing faves are Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
The High Line is also one of my favourite spots in NYC, it can feel a million miles from the city, and is a really pleasant stroll with a coffee when trying to beat jet lag first thing, or with a smoothie in hand mid-afternoon. There’s also an entrance/exit right by a Lululemon, which is always on my to-do list when I go to the USA! Last year they printed really cute skyline long sleeves and tanks, the ideal souvenir.
Shake Out Run
Although you’ll run in Central Park on Race Day, I think it’s worth a shake out run in the park beforehand. (Those finally hilly miles can be quite brutal. And you might not be able to take it all in.) There’s an official 5K race in Central Park the day before the marathon. However, it isn’t closed to other runners so you can take full advantage of the paths pre-race too. I accidentally crossed the 5K finish line during my shakeout run in 2013! They also host official shake outs and historical running tours from the NYRR Run Centre.
My group and I will be hosting our own Central Park Run (which I’ve been calling the Central parkrun, those of you who are parkrun fans get it) running from Colombus Circle at 9am on Saturday 2nd Nov for a 2-3 mile shake out. All are welcome to join us!
Other great spots to run are Prospect Park, Brooklyn, the High Line or the West Side Highway. Don’t be tempted to run too many miles though. It’s likely that you’ll clock up quite a number just walking around the city!
Whether you’re making the most of the carb loading options that New York is famous for, or waiting until post-race to indulge, the options do not disappoint.
New York Pizza Co – swap your miles for slices at the pop-up pizza restaurant. It’s not too late to join the Strava club (also your 26.2 on Sunday do count!) I’m confident that I’ll have reached 100 miles by Friday, enough to swap for a full pizza! You have until Monday November 4th to claim your slices, plus they have all the post-marathon recovery tools you’ll need, including air boots, foam rollers and theraguns to enjoy whilst you indulge.
Levain Bakery – these are some of the best cookies I’ve ever eaten and well worth a visit either pre or post marathon. To avoid the queues, head to the Amsterdam Ave location or pre-order your cookies for pick up.
The OG Shake Shack – this is my go-to post marathon meal, and there’s nowhere better to enjoy a burger and fries than the location of the original Shake Shack in my opinion. While you’re in town, try an Impossible Burger (meat-free) from one of the great burger joints in the city.
Chelsea Market – this place is dangerous when you’re hungry but oh so much fun, and they decorate it brilliantly for Halloween.
Stock up on Stash
I have managed to block my bank card every single time I’ve been to the New York Marathon Expo. So bring cash or back up credit cards! They have almost every running/nutrition brand you can think of with amazing deals. I always stock up on gels, socks and check out the latest trends.
There are so many shops in NYC that we just don’t have elsewhere, like the TrackSmith Pop Up, Outdoor Voices, Lululemon Re:pair lab (check out this Strava challenge to earn yourself a free Swiftly tank or tech t-shirt), the official New Balance kit at all of their stores, the expo and the NYRR Run Hub (I love this red hoodie). Plus there’s usually free medal engraving at JackRabbit on Medal Monday!
Find out more about my embroidered NYC 26.2 skyline organic cotton t-shirts here.