Friday, March 24, 2017

Details about the NYC Half Marathon and Expo

 Before I get into my United NYC Half Marathon race recap, I wanted to share some details about the race and the logistics of it. I had quite a few people ask me how it worked out using the travel provider so I wanted to share those details. I also wanted to share a bit about the expo because I thought some details of it were unique compared to other race expos I have been to. 

Hopefully this information will be useful for anyone thinking about running the United NYC Half Marathon.


 How I got in

I mentioned in a previous post that I did not get into the United NYC Half through the lottery. I was gifted the registration as a Christmas gift by my husband who went through the travel partner that this races uses which was Anthony Travel.  In my opinion, this was the BEST way to do this race if you are from out of town. You have to wait until the lottery is over before booking a guaranteed entry into this race. Also, to guarantee your entry, you must book a package at the hotel that Anthony travel uses as their ”host” hotel.  In this instance, it was the Millenium Hilton on Church Street in the Financial district. Of course you have to pay for the hotel room and then the price of the race gets added to that. I am not sure what the actual cost of this race is but I did have someone tell me that if you are a NYRR member that it was somewhere around $150. I will tell you that my race registration was more than that so perhaps the Travel partner charges extra because it is a “guaranteed” entry.



The Expo 
I have to say that the United NYC Half Marathon expo was a bit underwhelming.  If you are expecting an expo like Disney or even a Rock n Roll race, you will be disappointed. I wasn’t disappointed as I didn’t really need to buy anything at the expo but I was hoping to see a few of my favorite vendors there. The lack of vendors made it easy for us to get in and get out. The expo was at the Metropolitian Pavillion on 18th street. The subway stops are on 14th street and 23rd street. We got off at 14th street and walked 4 blocks to the expo. 

Bib Pick up



 I thought bib pick up was odd as runners could go to any booth and pick up a bib. Again, it was not like Disney or Rock n Roll where you have to go to the booth that corresponds to your last name. I just got in the shortest line and when it was my turn the lady at the booth just picked a random bib (based on the wave I was in), scanned it so it was assigned to me, and I was on my way.

Race shirts



 I really love the race shirt, although I would say they do run a tad small.  Another thing I thought was unique to this expo was that there were volunteers that were holding the shirts up all along the wall where you picked up your bag and race shirt. I thought they were just showing you what the shirt looked like but in reality they wanted you to try it on before you picked up your own shirt.


When I went up to pick up my shirt, I went to the booth that said “small” because I just assumed that was the size on my registration, but the lady asked me what size I wanted. I still said small.  After getting my shirt, Scott convinced me that I should try it on. I had a cami on under my sweater so I just slipped the shirt on over the cami. The shirt fit, but I wondered if a size medium would give me a little more wiggle room.  I went over to one of the ladies holding the shirts to be tried on and asked if I could try on the medium shirt. At that point she told me that I couldn’t exchange my shirt even if I wanted to because I had already tried on the shirt that was in my bag. Ooops, I had no idea I wasn’t allowed to try on my own shirt.

As far as official race merchandise, there really wasn’t a whole lot of “stuff”.  I saw hats and water bottles but that was about it, the rest was clothing. I saw a jacket online that I was considering purchasing but when I got to the expo there was only one left and it wasn’t in my size. I wasn’t extremely upset as it saved me $100!  They also had these rain jackets that were going for $125 and I am not kidding you when I say that they were as thin as a Dollar Store poncho and had no pockets on them. Completely worthless if you ask me.

The expo did have a few good spots for photo ops, so that was a good thing but overall it was too hot and crowded in there and we were glad to not have to spend a whole lot of time there.



The Hotel

Like I mentioned above, the hotel that we stayed at was the Millenium Hilton. It was in a perfect location in the Financial district in Lower Manhatten (near the finish line). It is located right across the street from the "E" subway (the blue line), which is the one you would take to get to the expo (it's only 4 stops away).  It is also right across the street from the 9/11 Memorial. We had a view of the west side facing the river and Scott said he could even see the runners out the window when he got up on race morning. By booking through Anthony Travel we got a late check out at 3:00 pm, However, we had to valet our car (the only option for this hotel)  which cost $60 a day and they charge you by a 24 hour period. In this instance we had to remove our car by 1:45 pm or we would be charged an extra day. I know that is such a small detail but it's important to note for anyone looking to stay at this hotel and drive their car.   The hotel also has a nice restaurant with a great view but has limited options. It was convenient for us to go there for a post race lunch once I was all cleaned up though.

The hotel also had a runner's breakfast they were offering. I believe it was a piece of fruit, a granola bar, a Gatorade, and a water for something like $14. I opted to not take the breakfast as I had already packed my own fruit and granola bar. 

Transportation
One of the best parts about booking through Anthony Travel is that THEY provided me with transportation to the start of the race which was in Central Park. Even though I was in a later wave and my start time wasn't until 8:10 am, I still had to be on the bus at 5:45 am and we left the hotel at 6:00 am. The bus then dropped us off right outside of race security in Central Park. In my opinion, that was the best way to get to the race.


I hope these details are helpful to anyone who is considering this race in the future.
I'll have my race recap up next week. I do hope you check back then to check it out! -M

I am flip flopping the the Friday 5 themes this week and I will be sure to post my "Food" post next week!


45 comments:

  1. This is all really great info! Thats annoying about the shirt. You would think they should let you exchange it if you just tried it on really quickly over your cami! I do hope to do this race someday. I've never run in NYC!

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    1. The good thing is that the shirt does fit. I hope you get to run this race. It's amazing!

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  2. That is such a sweet gift to receive! Well done hubby! At least they allowed you to swap shirt sizes but they definitely should have been more clear about how to go about it. I suspect I'll be going the tour company route to secure a spot in London.

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    1. I told him that besides Baylee, this was the best gift ever!

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  3. Wow, sounds like it wasn't such a great experience pre-race. I hope that didn't set the tone for you and that you had a great race.

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    1. The expo experience was not bad by any means, it was just not what I expected of a race of this size and popularity. Actually everything "pre-race" went quite smoothly!

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  4. That is so cool they provided the transportation to the start! Definitely lowers the stress level, I'm sure.

    Too bad about the trying on shirt snafu. That is weird.

    And you drove INTO NYC? I'm impressed. I would never, ever drive into the city! I can remember driving my then fiancée through DC to get him to what is now Reagan National . . . that was bad enough (and 3 decades ago).

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  5. The transportation to the start line was a huge stress reliever for sure!
    Driving into NYC was not bad at all. When I visit just for the day, I usually park in NJ and take the ferry over.

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  6. I had no idea there were ways to get in to bypass the lottery. I'd love to run this race sometime thanks for the info

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    1. This is the only "lottery" race I've ever done so I am curious if other races offer this too?

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  7. That's interesting they had one shirt for everyone to try on, but wouldn't let you exchange the one you had already tried. I am seeing so many blue race shirts lately! I love the graphics on this one ;-)

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    1. Yea, I REALLY like this shirt. So many people were wearing them on race day too!

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  8. Thanks for all the info on the travel agency. I want to run this race and I never get into the lottery so I may do this next year.

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  9. Great info! Funny how every race is different and we get certain set things in our heads. The transportation to the start had to be sweet- that is always a stressor for me! Interesting that the travel agency is part of it- the things we learn! Looking forward to seeing the recap!

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  10. Totally agree with everything. I had a bib for this race, but didn't run. I still went to the expo to get my bib and shirt, etc. I went to the expo last year so I knew what to expect. It's definitely very small. I hope that they decide to go to move the expo to the Jacob Javitz Center in the future.

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    1. Yea, I wonder why they purposefully make it small like that?

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  11. When picking up the race shirt they did mention they run small and they gave you the opportunity to try on different sizes :).

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    1. Unfortunately this information was not given to me until afterwards but it was so crowded in that area that it was easy to see where they may have missed telling some people. It's okay though as I am happy with the shirt I got. I just thought it was worth mentioning to others who may do this race in the future.

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  12. I had no idea something like this existed - thanks for all the details! It would make planning for a NYC runcation a lot easier, knowing you had a bib for the race and didn't have to depend on getting in through the lottery.

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  13. What a great way to experience the race-- especially in an unfamiliar big city! I'd totally do this!

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  14. Reading this makes me want to do the Half marathon!! Even though is not the race recap! I might look into it.

    I think Rock and Roll races have ruined me for other expos! I want to see the same excitement and vendors in all of them!

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    1. OMG, RNR and Disney expos are the epitome of all race expos! I don't think any can compare! I hope you enjoy my race recap!

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  15. I've never done a travel package, but transportation to the start is quite nice. That's the one thing that is sure to add stress. Thankfully CU has paid permits for Bolder Boulder, and I bought mine yesterday. One less thing to worry about.

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    1. Yea, it's always nice when you don't have to worry about transportation or parking!

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  16. I love this race but I'm not a big fan of the expo. I like freebies and to try things. Some of the United stuff is fun, but... a little Nuun or water would be a big help. I like the shirt. I got a medium (my usual size) and it definitely runs a bit small!

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  17. I hate when they make race shirts small. Or any shirt - why cant a size be the FREAKING SIZE!! UGHHHHH
    I did a race where they did that with the bibs too. makes me feel a little iffy & feeling like its not going to be correct in getting my time.

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    1. Haha, to be honest, until I read everyone's comments here, I wasn't sure if the shirt actually ran small or if I had gotten a bit bigger...lol

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  18. Wow, this is interesting. I would've thought, being NYC, that it would be a much bigger deal than that, with the expo! But it sounds like they're pretty efficient at getting people in and out. ~Jessica Marie @ flashfittrainer.com/blog

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  19. Great info, the shuttle to the start is an awesome thing... one less thing to stress out about race day morning!

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  20. I *did* find all of this interesting! That is so weird they would not let you exchange shirts! Why would anyone care that you tried it on? Normally when I get a size small shirt, it fits perfect, but both times I ran that race in RB Winter park, I got a small shirt and it is TOO small. Now if I run it next year, hopefully I will remember and not make that mistake for a 3rd time!

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  21. What an awesome idea for a gift! And great information for out of towners. I've always wanted to do a NY race!

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  22. Great info! I had no idea that you could book a guaranteed entry through the travel partner - does that work for other lottery races I wonder? Looking forward to reading your race recap!

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  23. You mentioned the travel package on my blog when I was upset about not making the marathon lottery. I was curious about that because I thought it was only international travel or something. I'm going to look into that for next year. I don't really have the $ at this point to book our whole trip if I could do this year (if it's even still available). The cost for us to sign up if we got in was $295 so I wonder if the hotel charges just that or even more? Anyway, sounds like that was a great way to go!

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  24. This is really good info! Duly noted about using a travel partner...

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  25. So glad to hear about your experience! I have no idea how much I paid for registration - I'd have to find my credit card bill, which I think is part of their plan (you forget how much it cost). I walked to the start, which also was a good way to get there. :-) I was eyeing a hoodie at the expo but the $75 price tag got me to look the other way.

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  26. Wow, this sounds right up my alley as far as expos go...I personally don't care for all of the hustle and bustle of those massive expos. I'm going to bookmark this so I will remember this 'Anthony Travel' ..sounds like a great option, especially for a couple. That's always been my concern about entering the lottery ...what if only one of us got in. So this would solve that problem. Can't wait to read the recap!

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  27. They have done bib pickup like that for the last two races I have done, it's so nice! No waiting while they try and find your name and number just grab a bib and scan it. Great job to your husband with the gift, that is a sweet one!

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  28. That's really good info about how you got into the race. I didn't even know that was an option!

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  29. That's interesting that you couldn't exchange your shirt after trying it on. How else would you know that you need a different shirt size?!?

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  30. The shirts are really cute, I like that color. Sorry they would not let you exchange.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.