Saturday night we were in bed by about 9PM. I wasn't expecting a great night of rest but I did drift off eventually. I woke up approximately every hour, looked at the clock, and fell back asleep.
Our alarms were set for 5:15AM. I woke up at 5:14AM.
I taped up my ankle with KT Tape. I typically apply it crooked and end up with wrinkles all over, but Sunday morning it was like I was a professional. It was a work of art. Good omen? I really should have taken a picture of it. Perfection!
I had a 7AM bus out of Manhattan. Since it was advised to arrive a half hour early, we left the hotel at about 6:15AM to walk to the bus stop. Along the way we saw an abandoned New Balance running shoe in the middle of the street. Bad omen?
I got in line for the bus. The huge line was always moving. Volunteers were directing everyone and wishing us all a great race. I got on my bus at 6:52AM and arrived at the start line area by 7:36AM. Super smooth and much faster than expected (we were told to allow 90 minutes!).
Bag check and security screening was fast and efficient too. I had heard that the start area might be muddy so I brought extra shoes to throw away, but I didn't need them. There was very little mud and a lot of hay laid down to cover it. The waiting area was mostly paved. I made my way to the Green Village (essentially the waiting area for Green Wave runners). I got my free pink and orange Dunkin Donuts fleece hat. I grabbed a complimentary bagel and a bottle of water and found a nice spot to sit and wait.
All around the villages there were a lot of informational signs with maps and timelines. Announcements were made in several languages about corrals opening and closing and bag check.
I was in Wave 4. We could hear the cannon go off for the other wave starts and see the runners heading over the bridge. When the corrals opened for Wave 3 I got up to use the portapotty (no lines!), doff my throw-away sweatpants, lube up my blister-prone foot, and change into my race shoes. I said thank you and goodbye to my old favorite running shoes and took one last photo of them in the bin. There were lots of blue Goodwill bins for donated clothing in the villages and on the way to the corrals, all stuffed full of sweatpants, ugly sweaters, hats, blankets, and other throw-away garments.
The village emptied out...
... and it was time to get into the corrals!
The 11AM start for Wave 4 was coming up! Our National Anthem singer for wave 4 ran with us. Next post: race report!