After a discussion with my pack members the night before we came to a consensus that we would take the ferry to Staten Island later than our scheduled 6:30am departure. Since we were all in the 3rd wave our start time was 10:30am. We figured we could get some extra sleep and also spend less time outside at Fort Wadsworth (FW) waiting around in the cold if we got a later start. We chose to meet at my friends’ hotel at 7:30am and take a cab to the ferry. Once we got to the ferry we had to wait inside with a mass amount of runners for the next ferry to arrive. I’m not sure exactly how long we waited, but I’d guess around 20 minutes give or take. We enjoyed a nice ride on the ferry, took pictures with the Statute of Liberty in the distance and struck a few group poses as well.
When we arrived on Staten Island we were all slowly corralled outside to the massive line for the busses that take all the runners to FW. Again I’m not sure on the exact time frame because I was so jacked up on excitement, but we probably waited a good half hour. Once we got on the bus we noticed the bathroom in the back and we all took advantage of the short line and the relative cleanliness of this facility. The ride to FW seemed to take longer than I thought it should, but the views from the bus window of NYC were appreciated.
When we arrived at FW our bags were casually viewed and we were frisked by police officers. We followed the signs to the area where our wave was to be organized and we set up camp. After all the time it took to travel by cab, ferry and bus we were dangerously close to the time we needed to be ready to get into the starting corrals. This is when I started to feel rushed. We had no time to hang around. I quickly shed unnecessary layers, tried to organize my running belt with my music and fuel and we headed to the gate of our corral. It was 10:15am when we got there and they were not letting any more runners into the 10:30am wave. Supposedly they shut the gates at 10:10am and we missed our opportunity. It looked like there were many other runners with bibs similar bibs numbers who were lamenting about the same thing.
We waited in line outside the gate until they let us in for the 11:00am wave. Once we were let in we were caught in a slow moving line before we were divided up for the top or bottom of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. It was at this point that I called my daughters to tell them I was about to start the marathon. Hearing their cute voices wishing me luck and exchanging I love yous with them warmed my heart. We were directed to the bottom of the bridge where we waited a little while longer. It was wonderful to be with so many great running friends on this adventure. We commuted to the start via three different modes of transportation cab, ferry and bus. Now we were going to run 26.2 miles all the way to Central Park…