The 2017 season drew to a close in November with The Big One, the race so many had been training for over the past months and miles. It was time to put all of those early morning long runs to good use as part of the largest marathon race in the world ™, with 51,000 runners joining 50+ Harriers at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows bridge early on a Sunday morning. Clouded in mist Manhattan looked a long way away, but the promise of beer and food at Gebhardt’s afterwards was encouraging.
This year the Harriers managed some good advertising before the race even started: Ted and Jason appeared on TV lined up at the start, Ted jumping around to make sure the Harriers name was fully visible. With Michael Rodgers chaperoning Kevin Hart around the course the team was well covered on the day!
Race conditions were better than expected; the temperature had dropped from the unseasonably humid climes of late October with just a light drizzle in the air. The crowds were out in force as always – the one thing everyone always talks about with the NYC marathon is the noise, and it did not disappoint. From the cheering early crowds as runners came down from the first bridge, all the way through Brooklyn and of course, the huge and vocal Harriers cheer section in Harlem, the noise was constant and incredibly energizing.
Performances reflected the good conditions with some fantastic Harrier times. Special mention goes to Jenny Murphy, setting a PR as the fastest Harrier on the day at 2:57:05. Not far behind, also breaking the 3-hour mark, were Justin Perkins and Gary Frankland.
In the team results, both our Women’s and Women’s Masters teams finished an impressive 9th overall. Scoring for the women were Jenny Murphy, Morgan Lingar and Michelle Hillenbrand. The Women’s Masters got their points from Stephanie Hodge, Diane Kenna and Nancy Easton.
The Men’s team finished in 28th place overall, with the Men’s Masters coming in 14th in the rankings.
So the marathon is over for another year, with only 340ish days until we will all be back at the start again, listening to “New York, New York” and reminding ourselves not to go too quickly over the first bridge. Personally I can’t wait!
Congratulations to all of the Harrier runners, and a massive thank you to everyone who came out to cheer along the way!