WOW!!! I still cant' believe that I got the chance to run the NYC Marathon!! Every year many runners got rejected from the lottery system, I was very lucky to be picked on my first attempt. I didnt really expected to be picked cuz I know my chances were very slim, but I was glad to say "I'M IN!"
After I found out that I was accepted to run the NYC Marathon, I was thinking about postponed it until 2012 because once I got accepted, I could postpone it as many years as I want with quarantee entry, but I will still have to pay th entry fee. Because I have 3 other races in October that I have to run so I didnt want to travel too much and have to miss work. But my mind changed a few months later that I would rather run a double that weekend in Indiana and West Virginia, I registered for both races but haven't booked my flight and hotel yet.
THEN about 2 weeks before the NYC Marathon, I had my mind changed again and decided that I really should run the NYC Marathon, I would be stupid not to run it once I got IN!! Many people are dying to run this race and that is no way I would skip this opportunity, plus I dont want to waste my money to have it pushed till 2012, that would be REALLY stupid.
So just A week before NYC Marathon, I made my flight reservation and motel stay thru Priceline.com(for flight and Travelocity.com(for hotel). I did a lot of searching and finally found the flights, price, location that I wanted.
Catching an early flight from LAX to Philadelphia for a connection flight to New York at La Guardia Airport(LGA). When I arrived at LGA, it was around 5:15pm local time, I went to the Ground Transportation counter to wait for my shuttle from SuperShuttle to take me to my hotel, they are only $19 each way!! Way cheaper than taking the taxi, although they had to drop other people off on the way, it's still worth it. They got to my hotel an hour later, and I was glad I wasnt driving in NY cuz the traffic was INSANE!!
I checked in this Hostel call Gershwin Hotel, they are only $39 a night, but of course it's a dormitory style with bunk beds, so I had to share a room AND bathroom with other people, which I didnt mind since I wont be doing a lot of sleeping anyway. =-)
Woke up at 7:30am, left my hostel by 8am and walked to the convention center to catch my tour bus for the marathon course tour that I signed up a few days ago, it was drizzling that morning, plus a bit strong wind, my weak umbrella was blown out of shape!! The marathon tour lasted 4 hours from 9am to 1pm, the tour guide talked thru the whole course and told us the history behind all the popular landmark, It starts from Staten Island, then to Brooklyn, then to Queen, then to the Bronx, then to the finish in Central Park in Manhattan. It was a very fun 4 hours ride, I couldnt have driven the course myself if I was driving, plus the rain would make it even impossible.
Sitting at our tour bus
Passing by Chelsea Piers during the tour
After the tour I went to the expo and pick up my bib and everything. I was kind of suprised that the expo was as big as I thought it would be, I finished within an hour. All I bought was a apir of ASICS gloves with all 5 boroughs name on the fingers, and a few packs of Gel blasts from Powerbar, they actually came back with the cola flavor, which I LOVED!! I walked/ran back to my hostel afterward, which was only less than 2 miles. I didnt know how to take the bus since I dont know which bus I should take, so I just decided to walk instead.
Woke up early cuz I had to meet up with my friend Lan at her hotel, she just took an red-eye flight from CA, we went to get some breakfast at this restaurant call Maxie, our omelettes were really good, a bit over priced but it was worth it. I decided to check out my hostel and stay in her room till after the race, so that saved me $80. =-) They werent allow us to check in early, but we could leave our luggages with them and pick them up when we check in later on.
My plans for the day were to visit the Status of Liberty Island, plus the Ellis Island. Then attend the New York Knicks vs the Washington Wizards game at night.
So around 12pm I took the subway down to the Staten Island Ferry station and took the ferry to the Islands, but when I got there, there was a LONG line waiting for the ferry ride because everyone had to go thru the airport-style security check before hand, so we all have to remove our jacket and everything and go thru the metal detector machine. It was really a hassle but I guess it's better safe than sorry.
When I got back from to the Staten Island Ferry station from Ellis Island, it was around 5:30pm, I took the subway back to the Time Square station and walked back to my hostel and get ready for the Knick game. Since everywhere are so close by, I walked to the Madison Square Garden just in time for the tip off, they were passing out t-shirt while we were walking up to our sections. My seat was in the 1st row of the upper level, so sometimes people were walking by many time kind of blocking the view just a little, but I did have a good view of the court from the end. The Knick won that game 112-91.
To Be Continued......................