Week #9: NYC Marathon – The Queensboro Bridge

First I would like to say that my faith in NYRR has been restored. The bag check is back!!  Justice has been served. Thank you NYRR for listening.

This week I am highlighting the second most popular bridge in the NYC Marathon…the Queensboro Bridge aka the 59th Street Bridge.  The Queensboro is 103 years old and is just about as famous as the Verrazano Bridge.  Simon and Garfunkel  have a song about it, the movie “Anger Management” filmed on it and the TV show “King of Queens” referenced it in the theme song.  A few years ago it was renamed the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge but I don’t go for re-naming things so to me it is the Queensboro Bridge, although I will call it the 59th Street bridge from time to time.

The first time I ran the NYC Marathon in 2007 I really thought the race ran on the upper level of the Queensboro Bridge. So you can imagine my surprise when the course took a few turns and wound up on the lower level of the bridge.  It was a bit of a disappointment but I really should have done better research on the course.

I am going to be brutally honest here, while I spend most of Queens thinking about this bridge, I am not a huge fan of it.  I actually do like bridge, I just don’t like running on the lower level.  The lower level is dark, it is quiet (no spectators) and it has little to no view of the Manhattan skyline. The upper level of the bridge is open to traffic so you hear the rumbling of the cars above you and if you are lucky you will even hear the subway passing by overhead. I think my disappointment with not running on the upper level had more to do with not having a view of the Manhattan skyline than anything else.  But then again I got that back at mile 13.1.

So the mile you spend on the bridge is one of those mentally tough miles. You just need to buckle down and run strong for the half mile uphill. Then relax and make back some time on the downhill.  The extra work is totally worth it to me because I love what awaits me on the other side…Manhattan and loud spectators.

If you have run Boston then you know about the Wellesley scream tunnel.  When you come off the bridge in Manhattan you are greeted by NYC’s scream tunnel which is pretty awesome.  The greeting you receive makes it all worthwhile.  After you descend off the bridge you will officially be in Manhattan and just pass mile 16.  For me this is the first time in the marathon, the finish starts to feel within reach.

It’s official!  I am halfway through training.  Eight weeks down, eight to go.  I am really starting to feel almost marathon ready.  This week my training started to incorporate marathon paced mid-week runs.  The first workout called for a mile warm-up, two miles at marathon pace (10 minute miles) and a mile warm down.  I thought “No problem, piece of cake”.  I can easily run two miles at marathon pace.  So I went out easy for the first mile. As my watch beeped for mile one, I looked down an realized I just warmed up at a 9:30 pace.  Oops!  I will take that as a good sign.

Thanks for following.


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