This Sunday RCTC runners Lauren Barth, Emmeline Chuu, Alejandro Fallas, Steph Norris, and Stephanie Ross are taking to the streets of New York for the NYC Marathon! We sat down with Chuu (left), Barth (center), and Ross (right) to get the lowdown on what NYCM means to them, thoughts on training leading up to the race, and more. We wish the best of luck to them and everyone taking part in one of the greatest marathons in the world!
What does running the NYC Marathon mean to you?
Lauren B: This marathon is going to be especially amazing because it’s ON MY BIRTHDAY! And on this day, 28 years ago, I was born during the NYC marathon! I’m also from Western Mass (about 3 hours from the city), so I have a bunch of family and friends who either live in the city or will come in to spectate. After a mess of a Boston marathon following a near-perfect buildup, I am excited to get back on the marathon horse and see what these legs can do with TWO great cycles of marathon training in them. So, this race should be pretty incredible.
Stephanie R: The history of the race is important to me. I’m a huge running nerd, so getting to run in the footsteps of so many famous runners before me is a big deal.
Emmeline C: I’m really excited to be running the NYC marathon. It’s been a goal of mine for a long time. I grew up in NJ and remember the runners I looked up to (my older sister and my brother-in-law) training for the NYCM yearly. My brother-in-law has run every NYCM since 1987!
Will this be your first time running NYC? First marathon?
Lauren B: This is my first NYC! It’s my 5th marathon, and my second since I really buckled down and starting training seriously. The first was this year’s Boston (with the freezing cold windy rain, for those who don’t have the pain of that day forever etched into their memory/IT bands), so it should be an excellent test of the progress I’ve made over the past 3 or so years.
Stephanie R: I’ve been to the NYC Marathon twice before, but have not run it myself. In 2007, I went to cover the men’s Olympic Trials Marathon for FloTrack, and in 2010 I went with my husband when he ran it. I have always wanted to run it myself, but wasn’t ready for marathons back then. I have since run 8 marathons, including Boston 3 times, so I’m definitely beyond ready now.
Emmeline C: This is my first marathon! I’m excited/nervous/ready!
What has your running journey looked like leading up to the marathon?
Lauren B: The time between Boston and now has probably been the busiest, craziest few months of my life. Just a week or so before Boston, Brooks and I decided to buy a house in Portland. I had not seen this house, as we were living in Houston, Texas. I frantically applied for jobs (and mourned the loss of the amazing one that I had) while packing the house, finishing a semester of classes, putting the final touches on wedding planning, and trying to see all of my Texas friends before we left at the end of May. Then we drove across the country and started an entirely new life in Portland, a month after which we flew back East to get married. Follow that with trying to settle into a new house in a new city, some work travel, and a few weeks of poor air quality and things started out inconsistently to say the least. But starting with a great effort at the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon over Labor Day Weekend, I got my act together and have had some great workouts and good mileage. It’s been a bit less hyper-focused than the lead up to Boston was, but I like to think that’s healthy and will give me an even better chance of excellence come race day!
Stephanie R: The hardest part of a marathon isn’t the race itself, it’s the training leading up to it. It’s a huge mental, emotional and physical commitment. This training cycle has certainly been a roller coaster for me. I had been planning to run it for so long, but when the time came to train specifically for it, the stars did not exactly align. Life does not always adhere to our racing schedules. This year has been tough on a personal level as I have lost 4 loved ones, including my grandmother. Running has always been cathartic, but there’s only so much it can do. Eventually I lost motivation and joy from my training. My body followed suit and some ongoing injuries popped up. This was a blessing in disguise because the time I took off was beneficial to my mental health. The taper came just in time because I am finally feeling excited for the race, no matter the outcome.
Emmeline C: I ran x-c in high school and loved it, but didn’t develop any regular running routine as an adult until 2013 when I started training for my first half-marathon. When I moved to Portland for med school, I found out about RCTC through instagram and I’m so happy I applied and found an awesome team to train with!
What part of the course are you looking forward to the most?
Lauren B: Ummmmmmm the downhills??
Stephanie R: It’s hard to know without having run it before. While there is no specific location I look forward to the most, everyone I talk to who has run it before says the crowds are the best part. I plan to lean on their support, as well as the runners around me. It’s amazing to think about these thousands of runners and what brought us all together.
Emmeline C: The views from the Verrazzano Bridge and then the finish line 🙂
Do you have any certain goals going into the marathon you would like to share?
Lauren B: I’d like for this to be my first sub-3 marathon, but that’s not my A goal 🙂 Also, I’d like to stay positive through the final miles – that’s always a big struggle for me. I think that with a birthday hat on and a singlet that says “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY” I have the best possible chance of making that happen this time around. Marathoning is hard enough when you don’t make it tougher for yourself by being negative, so if I’m able to shake that bad habit the day will be a success!
Stephanie R: I’ve run enough marathons to know they can be a crapshoot, so I prepare for that. I’m competitive, so the top goal is always to PR, but after the year I’ve had, I know that’s not necessarily the most important thing. I want to get through the race without further injury and without negative self-talk.
Where will you be celebrating post-marathon?
Lauren B: Clinton Hall on 36th! It’s 0.5 mile from the hotel I’m staying at and it seems like an EXCELLENT place for friends to come and go so PLEASE STOP BY AND SAY HELLO!!! I’m going to bring a cake if they’ll let me. And if they don’t, I saw waffle sundaes on the menu. Win-win.
Stephanie R: First, the shower, then probably a nap. After that, I usually end up at Rosie O’Grady’s.
Emmeline C: I’m hoping to make a post-marathon stop at Breads Bakery near Columbus Circle before catching a subway back to the West Village to hang out with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew!