To all FAT NYC Marathon participants.

This will be my 7th NYC Marathon and I would like to share with you all my lessons and experiences in making this race fun, safe and memorable. So if you don't mind I will share my ten most important tips for the NYC Marathon:

1) Arrive early in the starting area. The earlier you get there the lessstressed you will be. It is always much easier hangging out there andwaiting while lying down with the rest of the guys rather than stressing outin the bus, car or ferry.

2) Bring a large plastic bag, the black type used for industrial trash.This will serve as a mat, blanket and cover from the cold, mud or rain. Itwill be much cold in Staten Island than forecasted due to the close vicinityto the water. You are going to sit there waiting for at least an hour so youwant to remain warm during that period. You can bring a digital camera forthe staging area pictures and then store it in your finishers bag.

3) The weather on the course will be cold too so bring a set of gloves, hat,sweat pants, and a long sleeve shirt which you will wear after the race isfinished. The Finish Blanket will not be sufficient so have a set of clothesat the finish line that you put into your finishers bag.

4) Bring a second set of gloves, hat, sweat pants and long shirt that youwill use waiting in the start. This set will be thrown away eventually. Idiscard my jogging pants before the starting line and sometimes wear my longsleeve shirt until the second mile. Last year discarded my sweater beforethe start and regreted it because the temps on the bridge was so cold that Iwas shivering while running. Wear gloves and hat while running until youfeel comfortable discarding them.

5) Bring petroleum jelly to rub on your groin, armpits, feet and othersensitive areas. Blisters will slow you down and lubricants will help withany rubbing areas.

6) Bring warm food to eat while waiting in the staging area. Remember yourlast meal will be around 4:30 am and you will be running through your normallunch time. I bring a full meal of pancit, adobo and rice, which I eataround 8 am.

7) Bring your own supply of gel to eat while running. There will be no foodon the course except for the Gel station at mile 18. You don't want to bonk.

8) Run safely. There will be slippery sections and obstructions on thecourse from discarded clothes, cups, bananas, water bottles, etc. Be awareof your sorroundings all the time and try to avoid personal contact withother runners.

9) Don't compare times after the race. You all run the same distance andtime is irrelevant. Run it at your best and remember that everyoneregardless of their finishing time ran it at their best too. Your run may befaster than some but their reasons for running may be more noble thanyours. Every runner has a story to tell. Take it on as a personal challengeagainst yourself and not a race against others.

10) Have fun. The NYC Marathon is a majestic and fun race. There isnothing like it in the world so feel lucky that it is held in yourbackyard. Enjoy every moment, every mile and every smile. Get energy fromthe kids on the course by slapping their hands. Raise your hand and saythank you as spectators call your name. They only have good wishes foryou. Think about all the people who supported you during the year. Theysacrificed as much as you did.



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