Race day in New York brought high winds and cold temperatures that resulted in a course change for Mike and Ian with the pushrim and handcycle starts being relocated to Brooklyn, which meant a shortening of their course to 23 miles. It also created chaos to the Staten Island start, with the amount of signage and tents being reduced.
Sideways wind on Verrazano Bridge made for an exciting start to the marathon, but once clear it was possible to settle into a rhythm and begin to enjoy the miles that began to slowly tick away. The sights, sounds, sheer volume of runners, spectators and paper cups were way beyond the expectations of many of us and left us speechless as we soaked up the atmosphere.
The cold meant gloves, beanies and layers stayed on for the duration. After half way a marathon really begins; and it took strength and determination to keep one foot in front of the other. Our athletes face challenges that would make the staunchest person think twice about taking on 26.2 miles, but they never complained and they stuck to the task in hand.
Yvonne, Rob, Kirsten, Lindah and Keryn and Cathy (NY based friends of Achilles NZ) were there to meet the team as they finished, providing congratulations and transport back to the warmth of the hotel.
The team is now back in NZ, their lives enriched by their New York experience, with fond memories of their time out on the course which covered 5 boroughs and their new found friendships forged through their shared achievements.
Achilles NZ is now looking forward to 2015. Our next goal is the Cigna Achilles Half Marathon on Sunday 22 February and that will be a great lead up event to the New York Marathon on 1 November 2015, where we’ll be looking to help more disabled athletes achieve their life time goal of completing a marathon.
Update by Kiri Price, New York Team Manager, Trainer and Guide