I found out this morning that I was one of the lucky lottery selections to run the 2011 ING New York Marathon on November 6th. 145,000 people registered for the lottery for what I estimate to be 25,000 – 30,000 coveted slots (about a 1 in 6 chance), so I feel very fortunate to be accepted. I’ve been trying to get into this marathon for a couple years, so I’m overjoyed to finally be able to run the largest marathon in the world with 2 million New Yorkers lining the course cheering you on along with 130 bands playing live music. I’m trying to envision how the last few miles will feel when the race enters Central Park for the finish. It should be a great experience and I plan to bring my “A” game when running this race.
This won’t be a cheap endeavor, but they say you need to run this marathon at least one time in your life. The entry fee is a pretty steep at $196 and if you throw in the $11 that I had to pay to just even have my name in the lottery, that brings it to a total of $207. Since I’ll be traveling from Japan I’ll also need transportation and lodging. Fortunately, I was able to book a direct flight from Tokyo (Haneda) to New York City (JFK) using my frequent flier miles on American Airlines (only 50,000 miles), so out of pocket expenses for my flight will only be $44.50 for taxes – saving me about $1,300. Just in case, I also got traveler’s insurance for $25, something I normally never get, but since I’ll be involved in somewhat of a high risk activity, I figured it is a nominal fee for some peace of mind. All I need to do now is arrange my hotel accommodations for 5 nights and that should take care of the bulk of the expenses. I’m not exactly sure if I’ll stay downtown or someplace like Queens. As nice as it would be to stay Manhattan, the hotel rates are averaging about $300 a night, so if I can’t find something decent for about half that price, I’ll probably look to staying in Queens, which from what I’ve read is only about a 10 minute subway ride into Manhattan. Bottom line, it looks like the 5-day trip will cost me well over $1,000, but could have been a lot worst if I had to buy an airline ticket – so I guess I’m getting off relatively cheap.
This will be my next marathon and I’ll begin training for it 15 weeks out, which is the week of July 25th. Not a great time of year to train for a marathon in Japan with the high heat and humidity, but I have done it before and survived. I intend to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon with this race, which means I’ll need to run a sub 3:15, but will probably train as if my goal is 3:05 to 3:10 to give me some insurance and confidence heading into the race.
Getting into the New York Marthon has presented a dilemma, since I also put my name in for the Kobe Marathon lottery. The Kobe Marathon is run two weeks later on November 20th, so I may end up running two marathons in November. I have run marathons two weeks apart before, but is not something I would recommend unless you plan to leisurely run one of the two marathons. Since this is will be the inaugural Kobe Marathon and I have never been to Kobe before, I’m really looking forward to running this marathon as well, so if I do get in, I intend to run it, but maybe with a less ambitious goal. But I’ll cross this bridge when I find out the Kobe Marathon lottery results at the end of June.