Passing Marathon backmarkers advice

Passing Marathon backmarkers advice

I am doing the New York marathon on the 4th of November and this weekend found out my starting wave and corral: wave 3 corral 44****

Looking around various forums and NY related blogs this would appear to be a for people aiming for an expected time of 4:15-4:30. Before reading this i was aiming for a sub 3:30 - and depending how well the race went a 3:20.

Right now i am feeling miserable: the thought of running in a crowd going two minutes per mile slowly is making me feel that the past 12 weeks of training was for nothing, that the race is going to be a huge frustration. If this race was 'my local' Edinburgh race - I would quite my taper plan, do the Jed Ultra the weekend before [it's the weekend before NY: but you know what i mean]- and probably not bother running the Edinburgh one...

If the race had become gridlocked but i had started in a corral area of equal runners then - hey so be it: part of the experience. But this feels like my race is over before it starts...

What time can i realisticaly expect to do?
When are the crowds going to thin enough so that i can get up to speed?
How hard is it really to get through the crowds - and what strategies? where to run -edge middle? lots of weaving?
What can i do to help prepare for this? I'm into the taper - this weekend has a 15m run at marathon pace - so i can't really practice starting really slow and then running a much faster second half - or i can? and what distance..

basically i am looking for advice and help getting my mojo back - so any and all encouraging words are welcome!


  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Maybe someone who has done NY can chime in but if it's anything like London and Paris (the only two major city marathons I've done) you may be able to get a pen upgrade at the expo, or contact the organisers to see if this is possible.  Take along some proof of recent race times as back-up.  Worth asking?

  • I did NY a couple of years ago and ended up in a corral about 30 mins slower than I was aiming for. A couple of things:

    You leave the corral and walk in a long snake to the bottom of the bridge before the start so effectivley are out of the corral system here. There's the opportunity to politely push pass people and make up a few places.

    Its fairly crowded up until Mile 4 or so, then I found it thinned out and I had space to run. This worked for me, gave me time to warm up, then settle into my  pace.

    I managed a PB, slighthly ahead of what I was hoping. Don't forget, although there's almost 50000 runners, you are in three waves, on three starts on roads that are twice as wide as London - there's room.

    Only other thing, if you're in the Orange start I think, on the bottom of the bridge - run in the middle, not the outside image

  • Rafiki wrote (see)
    Only other thing, if you're in the Orange start I think, on the bottom of the bridge - run in the middle, not the outside image

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  • image we shouldn't spoil the surprise for him image

  • i think you are talking about 'rain on a sunny day'?

    Cheers for the reminder!

    And one tip that i've been given at work: take my own waterbottle so i can skip past the more crowded areas around the water stations/refreshments. And as i have been carry my own water and gels on all my long runs - not a problem.

    And it is definately worth get in touch with the organisers - thanks for the tip [sports tours say 'don't even ask us']; i'll try email and take evidence to the expo... and they can only say no... 

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    I think as long as you can prove your wins/race times either upfront/at the expo - you should be fine. For Paris - if you want elite/fast start you need to send them proof.

  • Just in case you do get stuck in a lot of traffic, is it better to relax and go with the flow for a couple of miles, to let things thin out a bit, or is it worth the energy used in weaving through it all?

  • Sounds like its less crowded than London then with the waves and the wider roads ? 

    I've done just over 3.30 from the fancy dress pen at the back of the VLM. Only cos it was my first marathon and i had literally no idea of how long it might take me when I entered.  

    I think you'll be fine - but try the upgrade if it puts your mind at rest.

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