We had quite the adventure in New York City last weekend. We were in town for the New York City Marathon! Mark won a lottery spot last February, trained for the event and then he had to run it! After flying in last weekend and using the train from Newark airport to Penn Station in Manhattan, we spent one day at the 9/11 Museum. We did get tickets ahead of time so we had a time slot and the line was pretty short to get in and go through security even though it was crowded once we were inside. The museum is well-organized but it was hard for me to see some of the exhibits. I spent most of the visit in silent tears remembering all the events on 9/11 – waking up to the news, watching it on TV, cancelling class because no one was capable of learning that day. We had friends flying back from London and they were diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Another friend on his honeymoon was returned to Orlando and a colleague drove back from Columbus, Ohio dropping people off along the way.
Thanks to being a Diamond Member in the Hyatt Gold Passport we had coupons for 2 free drinks at Bar54 on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Centric Times Square Hotel on 45th Street in Manhattan. The hotel is a great location for all things marathon related since we could walk to and from Central Park and Mark walked to the New York City Library to catch the bus to the Staten Island start at 6:30 AM. His report – not many people on the street at that hour on Sunday morning! We timed our bar visit for sunset although we had to wear coats when we opted for seats on the deck outside.
The next event was the Abbot Dash to the Finish 5K on Saturday morning. The run (we walked!) started at the United Nations and ended in Central Park at the Marathon finish line. In between we got to walk down the middle of 5th Avenue on a Saturday morning. Now, I can say I’ve walked in the middle of the Champs Elysees AND 5th Avenue!
Mark ran the Marathon along with 50,000 of his closest friends and he finished – his goal! The atmosphere was electric – one big party for 26.2 miles with runners and spectators from around the world. One French tour company, France Marathon, brought 1000 French runners – and lots of them were staying at our hotel. I’m pretty sure we were in the English as a 1st language minority at the hotel. I used the New York Subway system to watch him at Mile 11 and Mile 23 and then meet up at the end at Central Park West.
Monday was our day to go walking some more and after we visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral we ran across NBC’s setup for broadcasting for the Presidential Election the next day. They had Rockefeller Center decked out in red, white, and blue including the ice rink. Fox News and CBS were further along on the walk.
I am happy to report we had no problem flying back to Denver from LaGuardia – no traffic and no long security lines – despite all the horrors we’d heard about the place.