Chicago Marathon 2018 – Application

As I mentioned in my previous post I’m planing to run 2 World Marathon Majors in 2018.  You can read about my Berlin application and acceptance in HERE.

The application opened up on the 24th of October 2017 and it was closed on the 30th of November 2017.

If you planning to run the race there are a few options to enter the race. Loads of options for Guaranteed entries are available and there are also the Non-Guaranteed Entry ( Lottery ).

 Guaranteed Entries:

  • Time qualifiers who have met the event’s age graded qualifying standards (not me ).
  • Legacy finishers who have completed the Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years ( not me ).
  • Runners who cancelled their 2017 entry through the event deferment opportunity   ( not me ) .
  • Charity runners who are fundraising for an official charity as part of the Chicago Marathon Charity Program ( could be me ) .
  • International runners (non-U.S.) participating in the official International Tour Group Program ( could be me ) .
  • Runners who have completed the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K four or more times since 2008 and have signed up for the 2018 Shamrock Shuffle ( not me ).

Non-Guaranteed Entry:

If you don’t qualify for any of the above or just simply don’t have / want to spend money on fundraising / tour operators then your only option is to apply for the Lottery.

I was really hesitant about what to do. I knew well that I want to run the race no matter what. I was thinking about signing up for the lottery and if I don’t get drawn out then I will sign up with the same travel agency I used for New York ( 2:09 Events ). But unfortunately when the announced their 2018 prices I was surprised that they not offering the ” flight + entry” option any more. It turns out there was some changing in the rules so they only can offer ” hotel + entry” or the full package. I’ve done some calculations and for me and hubby the full package would have been well over £3000!  £1941 for me and £1599 for hubby for 4 nights, this price includes flights, hotel and my entry fee. Plus all the spending money we wanting to take. I really can’t justify spending this much money just to run the race and just for 4 nights :/

So after being disappointed I’ve decided to try my luck with the lottery. I’ve applied for it on the 24th of November.

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I was thinking if they draw me out I only have to pay $220 to register , which is not too bad at all. They are notifying the runner about their results on the 12 of December. Which coincidently is my Name day. maybe luck will be with me this time.

But then after the application the more I thought about it the more worried I become. What if they don’t draw me out? I dint have luck with London x2, Tokyo x1 and Berlin x1. So as you can see I’m not succesful at all.

At this point I started to look into the Charity options. Most charity takes on International runners and their pre-lottery fundraising minimum is only $1000 (£750) which will increase to at least $1500 post-lottery.  In the next few days I was calculation which option is the best, should i risk not getting in with via the lottery then I will need to pay out $1500 for the charity. You read it right, I pay out the charity funds, wont do any fundraising. The reason behind this is I feel really bad about asking money from others for my races. I have 10 months to save up the $1000 which is easy doable, I can easily pay in over $100 / month. I could pay it off right now but I’m not in the rush.

Whilst I was searching for the perfect charity I came across Team Paws. everybody who knows me they know that i love  animals, especially dogs. If i see any video on Facebook about homeless or injured dogs I’m starting to tear up. So after reading up about Team Paws I knew that they are the perfect charity for me.

TEAM PAWS Chicago is a charity racing and fundraising team benefiting PAWS CHICAGO, the Midwest’s largest No Kill humane animal shelter. With TEAM PAWS Chicago’s support, since PAWS’ founding in 1997, the number of homeless dogs and cats killed annually in Chicago has dropped by more than 80 percent.

I’ve applied to be a charity runners for Team Paws on the 28th of November. Their sign up fee was $100 which includes loads of great stuff. Will explain it a bit later.

So because I already had my name in the ” lottery ” I had to ask the charity to contact the organisers and cancelled my lottery application and transfer it to the charity panel. Within a few hours I’ve received the below email stating that I am running the marathon 🙂 The fundraising minimum need to be reached by the 18th of September 2018.

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They are raising funds for an incredibly thing, and it really worth every penny for me.

As I said earlier I had to pay a $100 registration fee, but for that I’ll receive the below perks:

  • Guaranteed Charity Entry into the 2018 BOA Chicago Marathon  After you register with TEAM PAWS Chicago, you will receive a link to claim your entry with the BOA Chicago Marathon.  Your spot in the marathon is not complete until you complete this step and you will have one week after receiving the link to complete.  Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of your spot. 
  • Official TEAM PAWS Chicago Singlet  All TEAM PAWS Chicago members receive a TEAM PAWS Navy singlet.
  • Official TEAM PAWS Chicago Fan Club Shirt  Use these shirts to easily find your biggest fans along the race route!  The quantity of shirts you will receive is dependent on your entry type as follows
    • Self-Secured Entrants = 1 shirt
    • Pre-Lottery Entrants = 3 shirts
    • Post-Lottery Entrants = 3 shirts
  • TEAM PAWS Chicago Marathon Gift
  • TEAM PAWS Chicago Finishers Medal
  • 2 Tickets to the TEAM PAWS Chicago PAW-sta Party Held on Thursday, October 4, 2018 (BOA Chicago Marathon Weekend)
  • PAWS Professional Board Membership Fee Waived for One Year  TEAM PAWS Chicago members will receive waived fees for one year if they join the PAWS Chicago Professional Board (value $250).  To see a listing of requirements and more information, please visit our website HERE. 
  • FREE Entry into the PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/Run  All TEAM PAWS Chicago members will receive one complimentary registration into Chicago’s largest dog-friendly walk.  We will also have a group photo and members get to start at the front of the runners’ corral.  
  • Social Events  Meet fellow team members on fun runs, happy hours, dog-friendly events, and group fundraising opportunities. 
  • Guided Mentorship  Receive personal guidance from our seasoned pros, our Shepherds, who are not only past TEAM PAWS Chicago participants but also top fundraisers.  
  • Training Enjoy training and nutrition resources from our coaches and discounted training from our partners.
  • Fundraising Tools  Fundraising is easy with a personal fundraising web page, coaching, and resources to help you reach your fundraising requirements.

As you can see there are loads of stuff for that $100 and it’s totally worth it. It’s great that they are paying for my race entry fee ( $220 ) and I also looking forward to their Paw-sta party. Hubby can get of the supporter Tshirt and cheer me on all the way round.

Some people would say that I’m crazy spending this much on for races but I only live once. I run whilst I can and I spend the money whilst I can easily afford it, without using any credit cards and go into debt.

Hotel already been booked via booking.com and we are staying in the Chicago Lake Shore hotel for 4 nights, from the 4th of October 2018.  The price for that is £388 ( $522)  which induced all the local taxes already.

Flights hasn’t been booked yet, but they are currently on £710 for 2 people. Will buy this after the new year, we are not in a rush at all.

Just a quick summary of the costs for the different options, it’s for 2 people but only 1 running.

 Lottery  Tour Operator  Charity
 Entry  £163 ($220)  £382 ($500)  xxxx
 Hotel  £388 ($522) xxxx £388 ($522)
 Flights  £710 ($954) xxxx £710 ($954)
 Tour operator fee:  xxxx  £3118 ($4191) This includes the hotel and flights x2  xxxx
 Charity fundraising   xxxx xxxx  £750 ($1000)
  Total £1261 ($1695)  £3500 ($4704)  £1848 ($2476)

As you can clearly see the Lottery option is still the cheapest option, but then if I wouldn’t have get drawn out then the charity fee goes up from $1000 to $1500,  but still wold have been cheaper than the tour operators. Don’t get me wrong I loved my New York experience with 2:09 events, this time I simply didn’t chose them because of the massive price difference, from that money I’m saving for not using them ( £1652 ) we can use that for race merchandise, spending money, food money whilst we there  or even use some of it to pay off my Berlin entry.

As soon as I have any more update about Chicago I’ll let you all know 🙂

Love,

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Berlin Marathon 2018 – Application

My plan is to run all 6 World Marathon Majors by the end of 2019. Completing London and New York this year I’m well on track. My plan is for  2018 to run Berlin and Chicago.

This post will be about Berlin and the application process.

The lottery application opened up on the 18th of October 2017 at 12pm CET.

I didn’t rush filling out the application form because it’s going to get decided via a lottery system. So as long as I applied between the 18th of October and 8th of November 2017, my name was in the pot.

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I had to put in my Bank Card details, but they not charging anybody till the lottery been drawn. but if you get drawn out your card will be charged straight away. So will have to make sure there are enough funds on it.

I had options to choose extra stuff, but if you didn’t want anything ( finisher top, jacket, video, photos ect) then the registration fee was only €108 plus €6 for the timing chip.

I had to decided if I want the ” bag drop off ” or ” post race poncho “. After running New York I knew well I need the poncho.

I’ve also opted in to buy the adidas Finisher-Shirt, I do think it’s better to pre-order it. Just in case they run out of it at the expo.

Also selected to get my Medal Engraved and getting my Race Video.

DETAILS OF YOUR REGISTRATION

Booked Services Selection Quantity Price
Participation fee 1 108,00 Euro
Rental Chip (ChampionChip®) 1 6,00 Euro
Clothing Drop-Off or Poncho I want to order a poncho (free of charge, instead of clothing drop-off) 1 0,00 Euro
adidas Finisher-Shirt Women L 1 30,00 Euro
Personal best time * Enter personal best time 1 0,00 Euro
Medal Engraving 1 9,00 Euro
MySports HD Race Video 1 4,99 Euro
Privacy settings for the tracking Public 1 0,00 Euro
Kreditkartengebühr 1 4,74 Euro
Total 162,73 Euro

They started to announce the results from the 30th of November. So by the looks of it Berlin done this much faster than London. I kept refreshing my email system all day long, I was hoping for a “You are in ” email.

My email arrived at 20.45 GMT and unfortunately it was the refusal one 🙁

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Well I’m clearly not one of the lucky ones.

  • 2x refusal from London
  • 1x refusal from Tokyo
  • 1x refusal from Berlin

Because I really want to run this race I spent all night thinking about my options. There were 3:

      1. Donate and Run

On December 7, 2017, we will open up 1000 additional spots for 168 Euros as part of the RTL Donation Marathon for children in need. 60 Euros of the payment for those spots, which are limited at 1000, will go directly to the RTL Donation Marathon. The amount of donations will be donated in full to a charity project for Berlin children.

     2. Tour operators

 2:09 Events Ltd , Sports Tours International , Running Crazy Ltd. , Swinley Travel Ltd

The problem I’ve found them that  almost all of them only offered the full package, Swinley travel offered just the bib for £259 but I never heard of them so didn’t want to risk it. Done my calculations and money wise it would not worth for us (me and hubby). Really expensive hotels, plus paying for the registration fee and then was supposed to buy our own flight tickets.

    3. Charity

The official charities can be found on this website. 

      So I have spent a few hours going through them , till I’ve found the cheapest one. Someone would say it’s bad saying I choose the cheapest, but it’s still money for a charity.  I’ve signed up with Prostate Cancer UK, their registration fee was only £20 with a minimum fundraising target of £500. The fundraising money need to be paid by the end of October 2018. So it’s not too bad at all, I can easily save up for it. If you want to sign up with them click on this link. 

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So I’m running the 2018 Berlin Marathon. World Marathon Majors #3.

When I applied for the ballot I’ve already booked in our hotel via Booking.com so we got a really great deal. Only £315 for 3 nights ( Friday to Monday ) for 2 people. Also the hotel is not too far from the start and finish area, it’s only 3km.

Astrid am Kurfürstendamm

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The only other thing I need to purchase is the flight tickets, currently its £75/person. But hopefully it will go lower a bit.

Total cost of the races is without the optional extras are: £985

As soon as I have more information regarding starting times, bib numbers I will make a separate post. You’ll find it under the ” World Marathon Majors ” – ” Berlin 2018 ” tab.

Love,

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New York Marathon 2017 – Race Day

When I went  to bed the night before I knew that I will have a really long day in front of me on Sunday, so tried my best to be in my bed by 9pm.

Set my alarm for 3.45am, so I’ll have time to dress up, check my gear, have breakfast and make our way to the subway station.

Good night ZzZzZzZz

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I woke up at 2.30am on sunday, which was supposed to be at 3.30am but because the clock had to go back an hour on sunday I was wide awake  an hour early. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t. So decided to stay in bed as long as I can and tried not waking hubby up. When my alarm went off I had my breakfast ( porridge ) and braided my hair as well. Just had to do a final gear check and dress up. We left the hotel way before 5am and got on to the number 1 subway to the ferry station without any issues. The subway was almost empty, 4 other runners were in the same carriage as us.

When we got to the Staten Island ferry station there were only a few runners, but loads of NYPD officers with dogs. Went through them easily, they just wanted to see my clear bag.

Staten Island Ferry Station – Manhattan 

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When we got in around 5.20am we took a seat, because my booked ferry was the 6am. It turned out they were running ferries in every 15mins.

Waiting patiently for my ferry 

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When the 5.30am ferry left a volunteer lady were walking around and telling people that they can get onto the earlier ferry, not a problem if our booked times is later on. I had a feeling that they just wanted to get rid of as many people as they could, so maybe this would be prevented the chaos later on. So we boarded to the 5.45am ferry.

By-bye Manhattan, see you in a few hours time. 

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The ferry was almost empty, probably max a hundred runners on it, so not many at all. When we arrived to Staten Island I said goodbye to hubby, and he walked back to take the ferry back to Manhattan and I followed the others to the buses. Took us maybe 5-10mins to get to the buses, as soon as the bus was full the driver have closed the doors and we were ready to leave. We arrived to the starting point just before 7am. Another security check and I was in the starting village.

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Have to say the starting village was huge, and thousands of runners everywhere. Seen some nervous faces but others looked totally chilled out and happy.

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Absolutely breathtaking view

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When I walked into my start area ( green village ) I was greeted by volunteers and got a Dunkin Donut hat straight away. Which I was carrying all around the 26.2 mile course.

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In the starting village there were loads of things to do, or just simply chill out.  Picked up same bagel, coffee, energy bars, energy drinks, went to stroke puppies, and kept repeating this because I had 3 hours extra hours before start.

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I was able to get into my start area just after 10am. whilst I was waiting around there I went to the loo quickly, because I really didn’t want to go at the first part of the race. As we approached 11am we slowly started to walk to the start line. This is when i met a guy called Simon, it turned out he’s from just outside of Basingstoke. What a small word! I never met him here, but when we both travelled to New york and bumped into each other there. I still can’t believe it. 50000+ runners and we met there. Because I was in the Green area I was running in the bottom part of the bridge. I didn’t really mind that because at least it wasn’t as windy.

Promptly at 11am the  shot the cannonball and the race started. Whilst I was standing there I was thinking about all the past months. I felt ready because my training went much better than the training for London. But I still questioned my sanity. But I knew already then that I will give my best, no matter what going to happen during the 26.2 miles.

Course map

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The race itself was totally awesome, the first couple of miles wasnt many spectators due to the bridge and road closures but soon we reached into Brooklyn and the crowed appeared. Completed the first 5k in 36:20 and I felt really happy about that. I was following my ‘ jeffing ‘ strategy, which meant I run 1 minute then walked 30secs. Some people think it’s bad that I can’t run a marathon without stopping but this was my race so I really don’t care what others think.

WOW

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Somewhere in Brooklyn.

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When I got to the 10k check point my time was 1hr 14mins, which is roughly my normal time, and I was happy because I was well on track 🙂

Just before I got to mile 10 I had my meeting point with hubby, and it was really good to see him. I knew I still had a long way to go but seeing him gave me a big boost.

Which didn’t last too long :/ Roughly around mile 11 at one of the drink stations I have slipped on the paper water cups and felt my knee jumping in and out. I knew that feeling well because years ago I dislocated my other knee and I needed to have my ACL replaced. I tried to keep up my pace but it became harder and harder. I realised that I won’t be able to keep up my pace so have to give up my ideal finish time. so tried to re set my mind to the ‘ just get around ‘ plan. Which was hard because that’s not what I trained for. But sometimes life has different plans. When I reached 1st avenue just after mile 16 I desperately needed to visit the medical tent. The paramedic was lovely there, and bandaged up my knee and also got painkillers and ice spray. He asked me if I want to pull out and I said to him that I travelled thousands of miles from England to gere here, I wont quit now when I had 10 bloody miles to go! He smiled and wished me luck.

Silly melted slipper paper cups 

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The bandage helped a bit, but I was still in so much pain. 🙁  But hat to say the view at 1st avenue was awesome. IMG_3103

By this point I walked so much that I had no idea how much time I’ve lost. I kept my friends and family updated via my Facebook live videos, and I have to say I’ve got loads of support from everybody. Also on the different Facebook groups ( Run Mummy Run, UK Mudd Queens, and R.U.N. Marathon training & support) total strangers and friedns were cheering on me and probably got thousands of comments telling me to keep going and I’m awesome. My friends and family , and people from work who posted on my facebook wall or sent me a text message saying keep going, and the other tracking messages. Due to the time difference it was getting really late in england but these people ( Jodie, Claire, Bev, Sue, Niki, Katie and loads others ) kept me motivated and cheered me from thousands of miles.

I knew I had now less than 10 miles to go, so even if I had to crawl though the finish line I would have done that. My 16 mile spilt was 3hrs 27mins, which is still not too bad. but after that I didn’t run my hardest I tried to take it easy. To be honest it was soul-destroying because I really wanted this race to turn out well and beat my London time. Probably loads of people would have quited by this time but I promised myself that i would never do that. As my name bib motto was ” PR or the ER ” so there was no option for quitting haha.

The miles slowly went by and when I got to the Bronx, I was knackered, but I knew I had to go. Mile 20 split was 4hr 49mins, which was supposed to be roughly around 4hrs 5mins, so as you can see I was way off from my time. At one point even I sat down to the pavement and just burst out crying and totally believed that I can’t move anymore. But somehow managed to get some last energy and stood up and started really slowly running. Probably I was slower than a sloth and tortoise together but I was moving towards to the finish line.

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At mile 21 we got back to Manhattan, at this point I tried to visualize the route map and kept telling myself that only a straight line down and 2 right turns and I’m at the finish line. Run Gabi Run!!!! I tried to high 5 as many people as I could and say thanks to as many volunteers as I could. Even high 5d Darth Vader, the force had to be with me then.

It’s started to get really dark now, so my plan to finish in sunset failed, at 4.45pm I was nowhere near the finish line.  By this time I was really questioning my sanity, and kept asking me why do I sign up for things like this. I must be mental or idiot?

Just before mile 25 I seen hubby again. Bless him he waited for me for hours and tried to cheer me on. But at this point I just wanted to finish, and I was a bit grumpy as well. He started to walk on the other side of the fence and he’s walking was faster than my running. Ohh dear me, I was in a complete mess 🙁

I think the last 800 metres was the hardest. I knew that I’m absolutely close but still really far from the finish. C’mon Gabi left-right-left-right Keep going. When I finally seen the finish line it was really hard not to bust out f crying. I managed to hold myself up and crossed the finish line in a massive smile.

As soon as I crossed the line i got my space blanket from a volunteer sop that was keeping myself warm. From another volunteer I got my beautiful and hard-earned medal.

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After this I received my goodie bag, which was really heavy. Well it felt like that after completing a 26.2 mile race. Roughly had to walk another half a mile to collect my post race poncho. Which is awesome and comfy and beautiful.

I finished the race in 6hrs 32 mins 14secs. 

Which I still don’t know how but it’s still 25 minutes faster than my London time. So even with a knee injury I got a massive PB. Not a few minutes, not at all, a 25 whole minutes. I can’t believe it.

Physically I was in so much pain in the second part of the race. but it turns out I’m really strong mentally. It definitely wasnt an easy ride, but I haven’t given up. Found the way out of my darkest thoughts, and quitting wasn’t an option.

It was a long walk back to the subway station but after that an easy ride to the hotel. Have to say New Yorkers are awesome!! THE subway was full but when we got on a lovely guy gave me his seat so I could sit down after the race. Loads of people congratulated me and it made me smile. It didn’t matter that I was slow at all, they just seen I completed the race and was so happy for me.

Hmmm what’s the chances for this? Someone else called Gabby lost her name bib and I stood next to it at the subway

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Slowly we got back to the hotel and finally I had a chance to check out my post race goodie bag.

Goodie bag

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My split times

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The most beautiful medal ever

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Found my name on the Marathon Wall

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Beautiful present from Hubby

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I have run 2 marathons in 2017, London and New York are completed. Now only 4 more to go to get my 6 star finisher medal.

2 down 4 more to go

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How awesome are these ? 

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This race wasn’t totally how i planned it out, but that’s life. I’m happy I completed it, not in the time I really wanted but it’s done and dusted , and I’m proud. Was really hard but I didn’t give up.

Please see my race recap video below, on YouTube

Thanks again for the support everybody it really meant a lot to me, and because of that I was able to dig deeper and complete the race.

I’m not the fastest but I’m crossing those finish lines, so if you ever worried that you are slow and people will laugh at you. DON’T! You run your own race, you compete against yourself and you beating your own times.

Now I have a few weeks to chill before I start my training for the biggest challenge of my life, an Ironman triathlon.

Love,

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New York Marathon ’17 – Opening Ceremony

This blog post will be about my experience as the Hungarian Flag bearer at the New York Marathon’s Opening ceremony. If you want to read about my time at the Expo you can read it on here 🙂

So it’s all started a few months ago, in the summer time I’ve found an application form at the marathon’s website about becoming either the flag bearer or a delegate. I thought I’ll try my best and apply for the Flag bearer position. In September to my surprise I’ve got the email that they have selected me as the Hungarian flag bearer.

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Hubby and I decided to get to Central park way before the suggested time, which was 4pm. Because mainly we wanted to have a look around at the Pavilion. Just before 4pm I said goodbye to hubby and sent him towards to the spectators area. We got him a free ticket to the grandstand seating at the Expo so he will be able to watch the whole ceremony in the first row 🙂

He had an awesome view 🙂 

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So 4pm came and i was petrified, I never done anything like this before and had no idea what to expect. Never met with the fellow Hungarians so I was even more nervous.

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As the flag bearer I wasn’t able to carry a bag with me, so was great that I had my new York marathon pouch, my passport and phone fitted in perfectly. Hubby had the camera so we were all set. At 4pm promptly I was able to go into the starting area, had a passport check and they made sure I was on the list. Went to find the volunteers with the massive flags. Told her many name and she crossed me off from the list and gave me my flag, oohh and also received a surprise present. All flag bearers received an Official Opening Ceremony Scarf. You can’t buy this at the shops so I was even more happy. When I got my flag I went to find our country sign and smaller flags. Still no other Hungarians were around :/ Met with a lovely guy from Honduras , he was by himself as well. So we took photos of each other and had a great chat about the marathon.

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Slowly the Hungarians started to appear and it turned out it was 14 of us, 1 flag bearer and 13 delegates 🙂

The whole ceremony didn’t start till like 5.30pm so we had a long time to wait, but at least we had the option to chat with each other and get to know each other.

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When it started the countries were going out in alphabetical order, and the announcer guy announced all flag bearers and had an interesting story about the country.

Ready to march. 

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Hungary ‘s interesting story was:  that we will have 30 runners on the day, and every summer olympic we attended we got at least 1 gold medal 🙂 Impressive, I think.

So when we marched down till the end , the delegates had been sent to a seperate area to continue their street party with the other nations. Me as the flag bearer was sent back to the top and been told to send on the side of the marching route and wave the flag as the rest of the countries walking down. Have to say it was totally amazing.

It really felt like we were famouse people and got loads of love from the spectators.

USA marched in last and they got the most and loudest roars, but I’m not surprised because it’s their home.

When they were done the massive fireworks started and they played Alicia Keys – New York song. Amsolutely amazing! Everybody was singing and dancing along.

When it was all done I had to go back to the starting area to return my flag. When i was done with that I got a unique pin badge saying ” New York Marathon 2017 Opening Ceremony, Participant “. All these little presents here and then made the experience even better.

Scard for the Flag bearer, flag for the spectators, Pin badge for everybody

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Close up photo of the pin badge.

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When they hit the gong, the marathon weekend officially started 

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It was a long and tiring day but if I can give you one advice, please apply to be part of the opening ceremony if you running the race in the upcoming years. It was awesome and you definitely wont forget it 🙂

I’ve made a short video about the whole opening ceremony, which you can watch below.

 

My next  blog post will be about the race day it self, so please keep tuned and thanks for reading.

Love,

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New York Marathon ’17 – Expo

After a long journey from London to JFK we finally arrived to New York just after 1pm local time on the 2nd of November.

W decided to check into the hotel and drop our bags off before we went to the Expo.  Our hotel was located on the 29th street and the Expo was on the 34th street, so we decided to walk there. Had enough sitting on the plane. The location of the Expo was in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St, New York, NY 10001, USA.

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We arrived just after 5pm and have to say it wasn’t busy at all! Security was top job, with bag checks and sniffing dogs 🙂 Have to say this place is MASSIVE and need to spend a few hours there just to check everything out.

Who’s ready to pick up their number ? 

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So as soon as we got in we tried to find the bib pick up section, but as you can see in the photo above it was easy to find. My number was 71222 and there was absolutely no queue there. When I got there were loads of trainees because there was a main volunteer and she showed the other 4 people how to check my paperwork and passport, then gave me my pouch and showed me to the free t-shirt pick up section. I was done probably in like 5mins, so absolutely not a long wait at all. If I can suggest, then visiting the expo on the opening day is the best day.

My collection point with 5 volunteers 🙂 IMG_2619

The free long-sleeve technical top 🙂 I’m in love with it. 

The only negative thing to say about the technical top is the sizing, I’m a size Large but I had to get an XL, because they haven’t fit over my boobs :/ But luckily they had a trying on station so got the good size at the end  🙂

After the bib pick up we went to the shopping part of the expo. Ooohh dear me, all those things for sale, it was hard to say no lol. I knew that I wanted to get the official jacket, because I already had the one from London so definitely needed to get the New York one as well. New Balance had a massive stand with all the official merchandise. I wish I could have bought everything, but you can easily spend over $1000 just on merchandise.

But I was good, and only bought the official jacket, I have opted to get the red/black one. The reason being is that my London jacket is blue, so definitely didn’t want to buy that.

The jacket was $120 plus tax, and I also bought a New York marathon sew on patch. Not too sure what I’ll do with the patch as of yet but i couldn’t say no for $6.

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I have to say I’m LOVING this jacket, loving the colour and way it fits. Also this one was okay to get a size Large, no fitting issues at all. Also I was wearing the jacket all week-long, and was awesome to see other runners wearing theirs.

At the expo we tried all the freebies we could. we had free coffee, free beer, got a free photo printed, a photo emailed, and loads and loads of photo taken. See some of them below 🙂

The only time I was on the top part of the bridge. 

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Hello New York 🙂 IMG_2631

 

Left a note to the fellow Hungarians 🙂 IMG_2635

2 majors down, 4 more to go.

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Being silly with hubby 🙂

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What was in my starting bag? Also you can see the Marathon patch as well. 

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Font of the  top and jacket. 

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Rear of the top and jacket. 

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My next post will be about the opening ceremony, that will include a short video as well. But to start with it was a totally awesome experience. 🙂

Love,

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NYC Marathon Tracking

It’s almost race day and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Today I finally managed to check into my flight and selected my seat as well. I’m flying with Virgin Atlantic  ( flight nr. VS 3 ) , leaving Heathrow at 8.50am and should land in JFK at 1pm. Before I selected my seats I had a read about the aircraft, it turns out seat 61K has a slightly bigger leg room and it s a window seat, so will be perfect for me. Being 180cm tall is not the best when you have to sit still about 7-8hrs.

So back to tracking, you can track me on the official app or on the official website.

My race number is  71222 so please search for this 🙂

For iPhone users: 

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For Android users: 

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If you don’t like using apps and would prefer to follow me on the website, please use this link below

 http://liveresults.nyrr.org/e/NY2017?_ga=2.70025424.1386026848.1509537204-1931568342.1492335420#/tracker/RYLZNRSU

This link will get you straight to my tacking page so you won’t need to search for my name or race number  🙂

Also if you will be home and want to watch it on the TV , please see below the channels which will televise the event. If you are in the UK you’ll be able to watch it on    FreeSports ( Freeview + TalkTalk + BT : Ch.95, SKY Ch.424 , Freesat : Ch.252 ). It starts at 1.30pm ( UK time ) and broadcasting till 4.30pm ( UK time ).

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If you are in HUNGARY you’ll be able to watch it on Eurosport, not sure whats the channel number. It will start at 15.15 ( Hungarian time ) and finishing at 18.15 ( Hungarian time )

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All other Countries with suitable channels are listed below, hopefully you’ll find the channel and you’ll be able to watch the race 🙂

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I do feel ready for the race, now I just need get over the flying and get to race day 🙂

This is my last post till after the marathon but you still can follow me on Instagram or on Facebook. Please wish me luck and think about me on race day 🙂

Love,

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NYC Marathon – pacing strategy

A week from today I’ll be already in New York , hotel checked into and if everything goes well collected my race pack. New York will be my second marathon and I’m getting incredibly nervous. I think it’s totally normal but still worrying about the smallest things. It’s my first overseas marathon, how will I recover about the time difference, will I find my way around New York and specially to the start?

I’m trying to be positive and keep myself calm, but it’s hard.

Today’s post will be about my pacing strategy. I started my training sometime around may, a few weeks after the London marathon. Luckily this time my training went really well, no slips or falls, and specially not a torn ankle ligament.

I followed almost the same plan I had for London. Downloaded an app called ” My Asics ” and was following that throughout the training. Usually I done my runs on Wednesday, thursday, saturday and the long runs on sunday.

As i said I do feel my training went well. Had a few trial races and I managed to do it in my expected time. As you all know now I’m not the fastest but I’m slowly getting there.

  • Basingstoke Half Marathon:  2:43:45
  • Great South Run – 10 miles : 2:04:27

 

A few weeks ago I’ve seen something awesome on one of the running groups on Facebook. There’s a company ( Races2Remember )  in Kansas City, USA who makes loads of different personalised items for runners and supporters

First I have ordered a ‘ name bib ‘ . At least with wearing this I won’t need to get a personalised t-shirt which can be much more expensive. I do think it looks awesome as well. Arrived to the UK in 7 days, so I think it’s a really fast shipping service.

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After this arrived I came across their ‘ smart pace bands ‘. These are totally custom-made and the splits are following your estimated finish time, and also I was able to select the New York course.

First I had to select my ” pacing strategy” , I choose the  ” warm up” option.

Our Warm Up strategy starts out 60 seconds slow the first mile, 30 seconds for mile 2, 15 seconds for mile 3, goal pace for mile 4, and then settles into a faster than average pace until mile 20 to make up time and build a modest cushion for the end.

Then I choose my course  ( New York ) and they adjust the pace accordingly.

For each course, we carefully review the elevation and make adjustments for the terrain. We will consider how big the hills are, how steep, whether a mile is all up, all down or a mixture, and whether the hills early or late. It is a mix of art and science.

Typically, we suggest 5-10 seconds for a 50-75ft climb over a mile and 10-30 seconds for 100-150 feet. We start with the uphills and then find where to make time back up – starting with obvious downhills.

Finally I had to tell them my estimated finish time, a set of 3 pace band cost me $7.50 plus postage to the UK. I don’t think that’s expensive at all.

Also I choose a funny quote what will keep me going for 26.2 miles.

This one arrived in 7 days as well, so really please with the shipping time. They also offered me to post it to my hotel just in case it’s not arrived to England.

So back to my pacing strategy lol.

The pace bands I ordered are: 5:25 and 5:35 and 5:45

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As I said my training went really well, so feeling really positive about my chosen finish times.

I would love to finish around the 5hr 35mins mark, which I think is totally achievable according to my training. I’ve chosen the 5hr 25mins just incase I’ll smash the course , and being under 5:30 would be great.  If I struggle on race day I will try to follow the 5hr 45mins pace and I still be happy with that.

The fastest pace is 1 minute faster than my last half marathon ( Basingstoke ) and the other 2 is 5-8 mins slower. So all should be totally okay for the race.

I also love the fact that I was able to choose to have mines in KMs and not in miles.

But to be honest I’ll be happy with any time as long as I finish the race and if everything goes well I can get a new PB. The London marathon was slow and painful due to my ankle injury so fingers crossed NY will go better.

Love,

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Great South Run 2017 – Portsmouth

Last October I was at home and flicking  through the tv channels  I came across a running race called ” Great South Run “. I never heard of that before, and it was in Portsmouth. Which is about 50 mins drive from Basingstoke. Seeing all the amazing runners I’ve decided that it’s time for me to run this race. It’s a 10 mile race around Portsmouth and surprisingly really flat, but can be really windy.

the race this year was on the 22nd of October, but I travelled back to Hungary on the 16 just for a short holiday. Whilst we were away they announced it that Brian the storm is coming to england, so there’s a risk of cancelling the event. It’s by the coast and the sea can be temperamental. Unfortunately they had to cancel all saturday races, but luckily they haven’t cancelled the main race which was on sunday.

Because my expected finish time was over 2hrs I’ve been placed into the green wave, and our start time was 11.05am.

Woke up nice and early to eat my usual pre race breakfast, which is porridge. I usually eat just a plain one, because I haven’t found a great tasting one. Even when i bought the most expensive ones they tasted bland. So whilst I was back home I’ve bought my favourite porridge ever. it was roughly about 30p/bag so not expensive at all and also this only needs water , no milk required. If any oy you can suggest a great tasting porridge please let me know and I’ll try it out.

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Went to pick up my sister at 8am and we were off to Portsmouth. Could of left a bit later but didn’t want to risk not getting there. They closed down most roads from about 9.30ish. So after that we couldn’t park at the shopping centre’s car park.

Got to Portsmouth nice and early, after a coffee break we started to follow the other runners and walked to the starting area.

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The wind was really strong so I was worried that my race will be hard and I wont be able to keep my pace up, but at least the sun was shining 🙂

Was debating to wear my jumper or not during the run, but knowing myself I had a feeling that I’ll be sweating after a mile, so left my jumper with my hubby.

11am came quickly and we were off with my sister. She’s a much faster runner than me but she didn’t feel too well so decided that we will try to run together as much as we can.

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The start was awesome, I never seen this many spectators cheering on a 10 mile course. But have to say the spectators were awesome all around the course. The only part without spectators were the dock yards, but that was only for a few hundreds of metre.

W started a bit faster than we were supposed to , ended up next to the 1h50 pacer bunny. But managed to keep up with them till around mile 4ish.

At the start area we have seen a few T-rexs and a whole squad of police force with ‘prisoners’. I managed to catch the police force and couldn’t say no for a selfie 😛 By the looks of it they clearly had loads of fun.

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So the race was mostly uneventful, I managed to keep up my pace and we got to mile 5 in spot on 1hr. I knew well that eventually I’ll be a bit slower so there’s no chance that I’ll get under 2 hrs, but I wasnt worried or stressed about that.

Quick selfie with my sister.

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The first water stop wasnt till like around mile 4 mark, but i didn’t want to get a drink because I really needed the loo by that time. But the queue at he loos were massive, if I’d stopped I would have lost about 1o mins and that wasn’t really worth it.

I’m pretty chuffed with my pace, other than a few 8mins once, most of them were in the 7mins mark. Can see it that I’ve slowed down a few times, but I mostly just wanted to enjoy the race.

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from around mile 6 I was running alone, my sister decided to walk because she got stomach cramps and told me to go and concentrate on my own race.

By this time there were still loads of spectators out and also loads of runners as well. managed to get some jelly babies from strangers and that kept me going. Have to remember to take some sweets with me for my runs. Used 2 gels out of the 4 I had, but it felt more than enough for the 10 miles. Usually I take one every 30 mins, but somehow I didn’t need them on the day.

The last 2 miles were the hardest part, we were out on the coast and the wind got really strong. Stopped for a bit of walking bread and then seen the 2h5mins pacer running past me. that gave me a massive boost to start running and also managed to take him over. After that point I haven’t looked behind me, I just tried to be as fast as I can to stay front of him. Seen my husband at the 400m to go sign, that gave me the finally boost to run the last part of the race. When I got there I’ve changed my tomtom’s display to show just the time with seconds. I think it was roughly around 3h3 mins, I really wanted to be under 2hr 5 mins so tried to sprint off the last few hundreds of metre. The spectators must have thought I’m crazy cos sprinting off the last bit. But I have crossed the finish line in   2hrs 4mins 27secs. I felt awesome that I managed to get under 5mins. i know others running much faster than me, but this is still an achievement for me. My next goal is to get under 2hrs.

 

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Shaving off 4.5mins is a hard job, need to keep up my faster pace longer and make sure I still have the energy for the rest of the race. I don’t have a set date to beat this time, so hopefully by the end of next year I’ll be under 2 hours.

After crossing the finish line I went to collect my goodie bag, at first I was worried that I have missed the medal collection point but after looking in my goodie bag I’ve found my well earnt medal. the goodie bag had some great items in it, loved the chocolate and also ordered the newspaper to get it delivered to my address.

Have to say I loved the race! It was nice and flat, the supporters were awesome, great medal and goodie bag. Perfectly organised race. I have a feeling that I’ll be running it next year as well. Because I have a time to beat now lol .

This was my last long run before the upcoming New York marathon, I’ll have about 5-6 more runs before the 5th of november but all those will be about 3-4 miles long.

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final 2

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Love,

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Why so negative?!

I was thinking about this in the last few days to write this post or not. but at the end this is my blog and I can write about negative stuff as well.

So I’m part of loads of Facebook groups, about running and recently joined a few triathlon and specially Ironman ones as well.  Most of these groups are in english, either based in England or at the USA. Only a few of them are based in Hungary, which is where I originally from before moved to the UK.

So back to the main question, why so negative?!

When I told others on the English Facebook groups that I’ve signed up for my first triathlon they were surprised, when I also told it’s not any kind of triathlon it’s gonna be an Ironman then they were even more surprised. But they were supportive. Got loads of newbie tips already, and added a few people as friends on Facebook as well. So we can keep ourselves motivated. Also have been added to a totally new group, it’s for ladies who attempting Ironman UK Bolton next year. Totally newbies in the Ironman world , with or without any prior triathlon experience.

As you can see it’s all supportive and motivational. I havent been called crazy or stupid. Maybe some people think that but I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of comments all of them being supportive.

But at the other hand, I’m part of 1 hungarian triathlon group. When I joined I thought it will be nice to introduce myself, and tell the others my story. Who am I  and why I’m trying to complete an Ironman race. As soon as I mentioned that I’m a total newbie , I haven’t got one supportive or positive word from them.

I’ve been called in all kind of  names, been told that I don’t respect the sport and that I am a joke. According to them only people who training for at least 4-5 years should attempt an Ironman, or any even worse any kind of triathlon. Me being only 9 months away from Ironman Bolton I am a total JOKE and not respecting them.  They said there’s literally no chance that I will complete the race.

I’ve tried to explain to them that I’m not trying to break any record or even be close to be 8 Hours, I just want to complete it. I’ll have 16 hrs 59 mins 59 seconds to complete it.

I am strongly belive that I CAN and I WILL do it. I do believe that 9 months training is more than enough to finish and Ironman race. I already have a begginer plan, which will start ont the 18th of december, and I’ll follow an awesome triathlete training plan, which is the ” Be Iron Fit: Time-Efficient Training Secrets for Ultimate Fitness ” written by Don and Melanie Fink.

Probably if I want to be close to 10 hours then I will need to train for years and year to achieve that.

I really don’t understand why my own kind of people are so narrow minded, compared to the rest of the triathlon / running community. Of course there are others who don’t believe in me but they not slating me off on Facebook.

But to be honest it doesn’t bother me at all. I’ll keep sharing my stuff , training, struggles and everything else. If I fail at Bolton next year I will know that I given my best and try my hardest. But please remember my lovely naysayers even pro athletes pull out from races for whatever reasons they have and they do train days and nights.

Also I’ve noticed the same negativity in a few hungarian running groups as well. Somehow back at home people don’t agree with the run/walk method and been told off that I’m not a proper runner because I have walk breaks. But just remember I doing my OWN race, and I don’t compare myself to others. I’m breaking my own PBs and not yours.

So watch this place – if you still want to – and see where I end up in July next year.

Love,

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New York Marathon – Confirmation Form

Few days ago I was checking my NYRR profile and noticed that they have added a new tab onto my home screen.

It said ” Download my confirmation form ” or ” Email my confirmation form ” .

I got super excited about this, because it means that from now on I’ll know my start time and starting coral.

 

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As you can see my race number is 71222, so if you want you’ll be able to track me on race day. There’s no app / website been released yet, but it will be available at the end of October. Please keep an eye one this web page .

I’ll be starting in Green Wave 4 and Coral E, and  my starting time will be at 11am. I have put down a slow finish time so i assume that’s why I’m starting at 11am.

I was a bit disappointed that I’m starting from the Green area, because that means I’m running at the bottom part of Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It still okay, but I won’t have as awesome views as the people running at the top part.

See the starting colours below, GreenOrangeBlue

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The website been updated with a few other bits and bobs.

Start time line:

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The race village and starting area : 

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Ps, have you noticed the doggie paw sign?? It means they will have dogs and puppies and runners can stroke them to make them-self feel calm. I think I will spend my morning there cuddling puppies.

The finish line and finishing area: 

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I have chosen to get the post race poncho, so after I’m finishing the race I’ll be able to leave Central park at the 73rd street. Saves me walking a few miles to collect my bag.

Will need to plan my meeting point’s with my husband, because I really would love to see him at least 3-4 times during the race.

As soon as I have more information about the race I’ll post it up into a new post.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Love,

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