Andrea Lowery, an Au Pair in America Community Counselor, reflects on her experience of running the 2019 NYC Marathon:
This whole experience has felt surreal; the NYC Marathon for seasoned marathoners is the pinnacle (even more than Boston). I still feel I am on clouds and this truly has not sunk in!
The week of the marathon started with my diagnosis of bronchitis and a stern warning from my doc who was concerned over pneumonia. He rolled his eyes and said, “you’re gonna run anyway, aren’t you?” To which the look I gave him was “duh, yes I’m gonna run!!” So he sent me on my way with a z-pack and prednisone.
I arrived in NY and was instantly overwhelmed by the size and noise—complete sensory overload. The weekend was an experience of luck, such incredible luck. It started Saturday morning with a stroll on 57th Street to get coffee and fresh air when I happened upon the New York Road Runners HQ. I walked in and was invited to sit in the intimate audience for their Facebook Live cast of the elites talking about marathon tips and experience, followed by the amazing Carrie Tolleson and Paula Radcliffe (her marathon world record was broken in Chicago this year). I mean, holy moly! They were the nicest people, just incredible!
I made friends over the weekend with whom I shall stay connected forever—one invited me for dinner! New Yorkers are the nicest, kindest people! I was greeted with hellos, good mornings and told they appreciated my smile!
Sunday morning came around very quickly, I taped and spandex-ed these ready to go legs and headed to the train to get the ferry to Staten Island. The start was incredible and before I knew it, 3 miles were done and I was running through Brooklyn (yes I was thinking of the Beastie Boys songs “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” and “An Open Letter to New York”).
I have run all over and have never encountered such incredible support! Here’s a video of the crowd outside of the YMCA at mile 8. Queens was loud and coming off the Queensboro Bridge did not disappoint. I can only describe coming off the bridge onto 1st Avenue as a wall of noise. I was lucky that my cousin was waiting for me to cheer me on!
The Bronx was cool and Harlem was beyond cool. Then came Manhattan—holy hills Batman! This is where the cheering became personal; spectators know you’re hurting, re-thinking your life choices and ready to be done. I got to high-five Santa outside the Plaza. Then came the last sprint and while I was lightheaded from bronchitis, I turned the corner and ran!
I still can’t believe I did it. Crossing the finish and receiving the medal was incredible. I will forever treasure this experience. I feel I am forever changed and perhaps a little braver stepping out of my comfort zone. The boy on the train to Long Island asked about my medal and told me that he wants to be a runner and hopes he can run the NYC Marathon one day (his mom was beaming at how curious he was)! I told him to remember me when he was an elite runner!
I shall hold this experience close to my heart forever.
Great job at the NYC Marathon, Andrea! Learn more about Au Pair in America.