I am not sure exactly when the planning for this race actually started, but I was roped into it last fall after a group ride with the Central Ohio Triathlon Club. As is typical, my friends Rocco and Aaron were planning their next adventure and when I asked what they were planning, they said "you should come, it will be a blast." I believe my response was something to the effect of "no way I can keep up with you kids." And they then said JFM, Terri and Tani are also going. Of course at this point, I said ok and signed up for it shortly after that. And once again I had committed to something prior to doing any research on the course...
Elevation profile for the course
Once I found out about the course I wondered what exactly I was getting myself into, but trusted my friends and past training and decided I would just have as much fun with it as I could. As the months crept closer our group kept growing and eventually reached 14. We opted to all drive out as it would be cheaper than flying us and our bikes out to NYC. 8 of us rented a driver (complete with 15 passenger van and trailer to haul the bikes) and the other 6 drove themselves. I have to say, hiring a driver was an excellent idea and I thought this worked out really well.
|Inside of the trailer|
World Trade Center Memorial, bike in Central Park and along the the Hudson River Greenway to Battery Park, explore the Chelsea Market, the Highline, Times Square at night, and in general eat our way through the city. We also had to go down to the 69th Regiment Armory for the expo to check in for the race. This was actually pretty fun as they had a sign in sheet and "podium girls" just like they would for a real pro race!
|Podium Girls + Todd|
|John signing in...|
Race morning came early, we had two options to get to the start of the race: 1) Ride our bikes down (9+ miles to get there), or 2) Ride the subway with our bikes. The majority of our group chose the subway. To give ourselves plenty of time, we woke at 4am and were on the subway by 5am.
|Subway crew, bikes in hand|
|Made it, only us and about 5,000 other riders!|
|Found John at the first stop|
|Little Bear Mountain...to the left!|
|Practicing my camera skills and took a selfie on one of the climbs|
|Just one of many views on the way up Little Bear Mountain|
|My new friend Suri, from Brooklyn|
|Found Tani and Terri! |
|If you look really closely you can see Terri riding away from me!|
The last segment was mostly flat but there were a few segments that were still hilly. I saw several people walking these, but I never got off my bike and kept moving forward. Until I got a flat tire with 5k left on the course. And I got frustrated, I know how to change a tire, but for some reason I couldn't get the tire off my bike. My tired hands couldn't budge the tire lever. As I stood there trying to figure out what to do, someone finally pulled over and offered to help. His name was Nigel and he had one of the nicest smiles I had seen in a long time and he was really cute, although, at first I thought he said his name was Angel (wouldn't that have been perfect). Nigel had no trouble getting the wheel off and changed the flat for me. He then accompanied me all the way to the finish to make sure I got there safely. A great end to a fantastic ride. And wouldn't you know it...he is also a triathlete and also from Brooklyn.
|Nigel and I at the finish!|
|Terri and I at the finish area|
|Terri and Molly, this time we had our gear as well.|
|Over the shoulder shot!|
|Finally made it back to the bridge, this time we rode the foot bridge back over the top. We were able to catch some amazing views of the city this way as well!|
Price of GFNY: $199Price of Transportion: $220
Price for Lodging: $300Price for food/drinks: $no idea
Total GFNY Experience: Priceless