The Staten Island Ferry sometimes gets a bad rap. Let’s face it, the big orange boat is not very pretty and it is not exactly embodying luxury. It has been the butt of several jokes including one on “The Jersey Shore”. Although, to its credit, it has been prominently featured in quite a few movies and TV shows, such as “Sex in the City” and “Working Girl”. However, when it comes to marathon transportation, it ranks #1 in my book.
The boats in the fleet can carry several thousand passengers. These are some serious ferries. Now picture this. It’s 6 am and you are heading out to the start line of the NYC Marathon and you are hanging out on the big orange boat with a few thousand other people who are also voluntarily going exactly 26.2 miles away from where they ultimately want to be. Cruising the NY Harbor with a few thousand other runners, what could be better? I do realize one may argue the boat should dock at a mental institute. However, I argue this is the best marathon transportation ever!!
Although it is not part of the course, I decided to highlight the ferry because it is part of the marathon experience. Once you enter the ferry terminal you will feel the excitement. Runners are everywhere. Some are stretching, some are napping and some are fueling up on bagels and bananas. When you board the ferry you will notice some people getting a bit antsy. Chances are they want to get in line for the bathroom. Yup, some people start their bathroom routine on the ferry. Me, I just like to chill out and take it all in. It is a great place to people watch and observe everyone’s pre-race routine. You even get a view of the Statue of Liberty out the right side of the boat. As you are traveling in the early hours of Sunday morning you are bound to see a person or two doing the “walk of shame”, or shall I say “ferry ride of shame.” So my advice is to take the ferry, not the bus, to the start of the NYC Marathon. Take it all in and enjoy the ride. The Staten Island Ferry is a big part of NYC and is a bit of a tourist attraction.
As for training, week one was pretty uneventful, as it should be. My distance run was eight miles. I am actually getting ready to run the SF Half next weekend so this, technically, was a down week for me. I did 10 milers in the prior two weeks. I have to say, running in this heat is making me flash back to this year’s Boston Marathon. NYC generally gets great weather but after watching Boston, I have a big “what if” in the back of my mind. You never know when it comes to Mother Nature.
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