Step 2 is the hard part.

Matt Ginzton writes here.

NYC Marathon Results

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For the MMRF: They raised about $525K via this marathon, which is one third of their overall events-based fundraising for the year. (And this year was a record high.) $4300 of that was from you all, so one more big thank-you from me, the MMRF, and the people they try to help.

For the marathon as a whole: Conditions were great, and the top 3 men all beat the previous course record. You can find plenty of news stories on this if you’re curious.

For me: I originally started training for this marathon (my first) with a goal of finishing in under 4 hours, which is about 9 minutes per mile. Towards the middle of my training, it became obvious that I’d be able to exceed that goal and revised it to somewhere between a very optimistic 8 minutes per mile (3:30 total) to a more realistic 8:30 per mile (3:45 total). I ran with my friend Jeff pacing me (he’s run a couple marathons before) and we set out with a goal of starting with 8:30 miles and speeding up as we went.

Of course, at the beginning we felt great and it was hard to run the exact speed we’d planned. We did the first 6 miles a little slower than 8 minutes, then still felt strong so we sped up a little. Up through the first 16 miles (which is right where the course enters Manhattan for the first time) I felt great. At 16 miles I began to feel only good, but we kept the pace around 8 minutes per mile until mile 22, where a couple things happened: I began to feel not great at all, there’s a very mild but very long uphill leading into Central Park, and I decided I needed to slow down. Jeff stayed strong and went on ahead; I slowed down by about a minute a mile, did the last 4 miles at about a 9:30 pace, and finished in 3:37:19. (Jeff finished in 3:32:35, and I say thanks to Jeff for pulling me along at a strong pace and congrats for being able to stick it out the whole way.)

It’s funny, because during the first 16 miles I felt like I should go do this every day, and during the last 4 miles I never wanted to do it again, and after finishing, of course, my feelings (a little more detached and not in the middle of a runner’s high or extreme pain) are somewhere in between. During those last 4 miles, I knew I had to just keep slogging on to the finish; I couldn’t quite keep the 8 minute pace but I knew I had to keep running; slowing down any more wouldn’t have felt better; the only thing that would have felt good at that point was quitting, and I knew that wasn’t an option, not least because of yall’s support.

Anyway, I’m very happy with the result for my first marathon, and looking back, I don’t know if the pain and the subsequent slowdown in the last 4 miles is (a) because we went out too fast, (b) because I didn’t do quite enough training at a >20 mile distance, © lack of fuel, or (d) totally normal and that’s why they call it a marathon.

I also have to praise the marathon organizers — this race had the best organization (website, runner tracking, getting to the start line, knowing what to expect), the best infrastructure (timing mats almost every mile, drinks and food along the way), and the best cheering crowd of any race I’ve ever been involved in. That’s what I was told to expect ahead of time, but it sure lived up to expectations. If you’ve run NYC before you know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t and you’re a runner, do consider it. It really was a great experience.

If you’re curious for any more details, the marathon website has the detailed splits available — go to and search for Ginzton. Then click the + button on the far right, and it’ll turn my name into a link which you can click on for the details.