Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


New York City Marathon – What’s in a bib number?

Starting area for NYC Marathon

So much to blog about but so little time.  A couple of weeks ago I ran 80 miles (130K), last week I ran the half-marathon and our Matthew House fundraising team set a personal best for funds raised ($58,000 and still counting) and team size (120). I’ve racked up a month or so of vacation time in the past weeks and have not been as focused on New York as I would have liked.  At the height of this and when I was feeling a bit drained I received this email which was a total pick-me-up. I had applied to be in the Competitive Start Corral with bib numbers from 500-999 and was accepted.

I didn’t know what to expect as I applied just before the deadline for submission and am not part of a team.  Last year over 45,000 runners finished the marathon.  To be in the first wave, just behind the Elite & Sub-Elite groups is a huge thrill.  My bib number is 757.  WooHoo! Price of entry: 80 miles a week 🙂

Dear Lynn,

Congratulations!  You have been accepted into the 2011 ING New York City Marathon Local Competitive Program.  Please access your new registration card by going into your marathon profile after Tuesday, October 25, 2011. You must print out a copy of your registration card and bring it with you to the Expo.  No Blackberry or I Phone versions will be accepted.

Your bib number will now be somewhere between 500-999.  If your bib number is not within this range, please email janetc@nyrr.org.  You can find your bib number information on your registration card.  Once you pick up your bib at the Expo, you should be all set!

Athletes in the Local Competitive Program will have exclusive access to the Local Competitive staging area located near the runner entrance by the Verrazano Bridge Toll Plaza.  Look for the “Local Competitive” sign attached to the fence near the entrances.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW START MAP.  Runners will be asked to show their bib number before entering this area.

Amenities in this staging area include:

  • Bottled Water
  • Gatorade                                             NOTE: Limited quantities available.  First come, first serve.
  • PowerBars
  • Coffee
  • Bagels
  • Toilets

The Local Competitive Program is designed to give a preferred starting position to those who meet a time standard based on gender and age.  Your starting position will be at the front of the green start, Wave 1.  This start is at 9:40 a.m.

Your UPS Baggage truck will be the very first truck in a long line of UPS trucks.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW START MAP

Look for the UPS truck that has a green sign .

Keep in mind that your baggage truck is approximately ¼ mile away from the Local Competitive staging area.  Please allow yourself enough time to check your bag and get back to your staging area before your group is moved to the start line.


6:00 am – Baggage Opens

8:10 am – Suggested baggage check

8:20 am – Wave 1 corrals open

8:55 am – Wave 1 corrals close.  Local Competitive athletes move onto the bridge, ahead of the general green start runners.  If you are not in the Local Competitive staging area at this time, you will not be allowed the preferred starting position.

9:40 am – Wave 1 starts, happy 26.2!!!

Thank you,

Ro and Skip on Behalf of NYRR Team Mailing

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R&R at a B&B – Stratford, Ontario

The week of September 20th to October 2nd was an easy week ending with an “R” for racing at the Stratford Festival 10K on Sunday. A couple of years ago we stayed overnight in Stratford to see a production of Julius Caesar. We stayed at a charming B & B called the Judges Quarters. We vowed to return soon. I was looking for a race on Sunday, October 2nd and one of the very few choices on that day offered us the chance to return to Stratford for some racing and that particularly sweet form of relaxation that comes after racing.

After settling into our B & B we got our bearings and discovered the race start to be about 400 meters away, via a footpath.  The morning of the race I was able to jog to pick up my race kit in less than three minutes, return to our quarters to pin on my race bib, warm-up and return again for a final pre-race pit stop a real bonus with the unseasonably chilly temperature of 0C (with windchill).

The first 200 meters . . . time to settle in

I ran the first half of this rolling 10K at a steady, hard pace determined by my heart rate monitor. Around the halfway point I was passed by a masters female. I wished her luck and decided to stick to my plan of running steady picking up the pace over the last 3-4K. Shortly after I was passed I noticed that my heart rate had dropped a bit so I pushed a bit harder and passed the same woman. The competitive spirit began to set in and I decided to stop watching my heart rate and rather than wait for the drama of a a finishing kick, began a long steady hard drive to the finish over the last 3K.  I was able to pull away from her successfully and finished 20 seconds ahead. This competitor it turns out was a fresh entry into the 50-59 age category.

The pain of being pursued by a 50 year old with 25 meters to go

My time of 46:18 on a moderately slow course in the wind was quite an improvement on my 23:08 time on a flat 5K course three weeks ago. According to the age-graded tables for runners my time is equivalent to  just under 38 minutes in the open category. So it looks like 46:18 is the new 37:52. We age-groupers get our kicks from these relative comparisons but as I get older and the gap approaches 10 minutes over 10K, the effects of aging become more glaring.  Moving on however –  it felt great to run strong and steady and see my fitness improve over just three weeks.

Age-Grading Calculator from Runner's World

Exactly three hours after finishing the race I was sitting in the Stratford Festival Theatre 50 meters from the start of the race to see the Misanthrope by Moliere. Another indicator of passing time was the program mentioned the debut of this adaption took place in 1973 at the Old Vic in London with Diana Rigg as the female lead. My mother and I saw that production of the Misanthrope in 1973 when I was 17 years old – 38 years ago. I highly recommend this production as entirely entertaining and with excellent production values. What a wonderfully enjoyable day.

We’ll be returning in two months, not two years for our next visit as we have booked tickets for Gordon Lightfoot’s farewell tour which ends at the cosy Stratford Festival Theatre.  No racing however as I’ll be enjoying my post-NYC marathon down time. Yikes, New York, New York . . . four weeks to go!