Who Am I?

I am an avid runner and have been running since I was 15 years old. I began running low to medium distances while on my high school track team, running the 800 meter and 1600 meter races (I was a sub 5 miler and a 2 minute 800 runner). In addition to the track team, I also joined the cross country team. After high school I still wanted to run and decided to start doing road races. I have probably ran a couple hundred 5k races (16.29 PR)along with many 10k's as well. In 2009 I decided to step up my game and try to tackle my first marathon. I will be honest; the only reason I did this was because my father ran a few and I wanted to show him that I could do what he did. I trained poorly for my first one and regret it. If you are going to run a race, train like you want to win. I still continue to run marathons and other distances as well, and every race is a chance for me to better myself.
I started this blog to hopefully communicate with other runners and to shed any knowledge I may have about the sport that can help other runners. I believe running is the best sport and can be a great stress reliever. I encourage all runners to spread the word of our sport and show people why running is so good and why the community of runners has such great people. You can follow me on twitter @byrne1324 or find me on facebook- Shaun Byrne

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Traveling for a race can always turn into a stressful situation. You are running around frantic hoping you packed all of your clothes, shoes and miscellaneous gear for the race. There is always a good chance when you arrive to your destination you realize you have forgotten something or you wish you would have packed something else. Each city and each race is different so there are things you should probably know about the destination and the race itself. This will help you be more prepared and will help you decide on what items and gear you should be bring for the race.

Last year when I ran the New York City Marathon I wish I would have asked more questions to alumni runners. There were certain things that if I knew on race day would have made the day a lot smoother. With New York being one of the biggest races and most traveled to races in the country I am going to share some helpful things that might be able to make your travels a little less stressful. First the main thing, if you are flying to any city for a race wear your running shoes on the flight. You never know when the airline is going to misplace your luggage. You can always buy new shorts and a shirt at the expo, but you will never be able to run a good race in new shoes that aren’t broken in. I like to put all my clothes in my carry-on bag, this way I am in control of what happens to it. If you have never been to New York and have decided your marathon experience is going to be your first time to see the big city, I suggest going a few days early or staying a few days after the race. Last year I arrived early Friday morning for the Sunday race and I still didn’t have enough time to see and do everything I wanted, and I have been to New York before so I should have planned better. The last thing you want to do is try to cram everything into a one day sightseeing fest. The city is way too big and you will probably be doing a lot of walking from sight to sight. You will want to relax the day before the race and have fresh legs for the big race. Also if you are anything like me and feel the need to try all the different foods I would wait until after the race to binge eat. New York is known for some of its great restaurants and there are so many good ones you can go to.

THE EXPO: Give yourself plenty of time to go and enjoy the expo. There will be a lot of vendors and I suggest stopping by all of them and see what they have to offer. I saw so many things that were not on the market yet that were just being introduced at the expo. One thing you will see in the expo is the official NYC Marathon jackets for sale. I did not purchase one at the expo and as I was walking around the city I saw everyone wearing the jacket. I got real jealous and needed one, you can buy the jacket throughout the city at other stores, but the price will be a lot cheaper if you buy it at the expo. Take the time to look over the time schedule for the expo, they usually will have elite runners there from certain times that you may want to meet.

Whenever you register you will be given your choice of transportation to the starting village. If you are like me and picked the bus option, make sure you look at the map and try to pick a hotel that is close to where it will pick you up from. (If by now you don’t have a hotel, I don’t know how to say this but, your screwed my friend) I got lucky and was only about a half mile away from the library, but I heard some people on the bus say they had to walk over a mile to catch the bus. Once again you will want to have fresh legs for the race. The bus ride took about twenty minutes if I can remember correctly. When you arrive at the starting village you will go through a few security check points, and then directed to your village based on the color that is on your bib.

THE STARTING VILLAGE: This is where I really wish I would have had some useful information. In each village you will find water, coffee, bagels, and some sort of nutrition bar. I am not big on eating or drinking too much before a race, but I had a few hours to kill before the race started. (I don’t drink a lot because I don’t want to wait in long bathroom lines before the race, but with more than enough toilets this was not a problem) One thing I can remember was how cold it was last year on race morning. I was wearing warm clothes that I would throw away, but the problem was where do I sit? I found a small curb and sat with my back against a fence for about an hour drinking my coffee in hopes of staying warm, but my butt was starting to hurt and the cold from the cement was not helping. I found three tents that were partially enclosed. They sat on grass so I figured the grass had to be better than the cement. I found a spot and laid face down on my stomach for good bit. One thing I noticed was people brought small swimming rafts to lay on or brought a blanket to throw away to sit on. I highly recommend doing one of these things. You are going to be in the village for a good bit of time and will want to be comfortable while you wait for them to call you to the corrals. There will be a big screen in your village that you will want to watch so you know when it is time to make your way to your corral. If you can’t see the screen listen closely because it is a short time span in which you have to get into your corral. If you do happen to miss your time frame you will be directed to the next corral. You shed your clothes before you enter the corral, so if it is cold during the morning you may want to leave something on that you can toss once the race starts. I was luckily enough to be in the first wave of runners and was positioned on the bottom of the Verrazano bridge, so the wind was not as bad for me as it was for the people on top.

THE RACE: During the beginning of the race it will look confusing because each color coded section will be running a different course for the first 8 miles. So if you see people running on a bridge above you or on a road below you don’t get worried, they are probably a different color than you and at mile 8 you will all meet up. The course if packed with people for the entire race except a few times when you go over bridges. Let the crowd help you when you are tired. There were so many times when I was beat down and wanted to stop and it was the crowd that pushed me to keep moving. It is by far the best crowd you will probably ever see in a race.

THE FINISH: Whenever you finish the race you will get your medal and then walk a few feet and be handed a recovery bag. The bag has Gatorade an apple and some other things in it. Then you will be told to keep walking. Depending on what you picked for baggage will determine your walking distance. After the race I was tired and wanted to sit down, but you can’t sit until out of the finish area or you will be told to go into a medic tent. I chose not to check in a bag so I had to walk about a quarter mile to exit the finish area then I had to do a U turn and walk back the same way in the street and head for the family meeting spot to meet my wife. If you do check in a bag you walk a bit farther inside the finish area and exit from the other side of Central Park. If you don’t have to check in a bag I wouldn’t just because you will want to get out of the crowded area as quick as possible and you are also given a nice fleece throw over to wear as you walk to meet your family.

Most importantly enjoy the day and take it all in. You are in a low number of people that can say you ran the NYC Marathon. Welcome to the group.

I hope this can help you if you are traveling to the race and didn’t know what to expect, feel free to ask any other questions and I will try my best to answer or I will find someone who can help you.



  1. Good info Shaun. Do you happen to know if sport creams/gels are prohibited in the start villages? Nursing a major back issue and need to use max freeze during warm ups and carry an Icy Hot roll-on during the race. Thanks

    1. Ya you should be able to bring them in. Last year we just had to show everything we were bring in at the security check points.