Thursday, December 29, 2011

my dream marathon: part 3 | “empire state of mind.”

Part 3 of 4 | "EMPIRE STATE OF MIND."

Pejam celik pejam celik (a popular Malay saying which means “Before you know it”), the day finally came for me to pack up my bags. Destination: New York City, baby!

I opted for Qatar Airways which took me from Changi Airport to JFK via Doha. The great thing about Qatar is that the planes are super-duper new, and the seats are tres comfortable. And I was lucky enough to get my tickets on a promo price of SG$1,550 return. Pretty affordable if you ask me  ;)

The crappy thing was that I had to endure a torturous EIGHT-hour layover in Doha’s tres sucky airport all alone. What made it worse was on that fateful day, the wireless internet over there wasn’t working. Thank goodness I didn’t die of boredom, for serious.

Anyway, almost 40 hours after leaving home, I finally reached Park Central Hotel where Nana and Shanaz were staying. I had to bunk in with them for four days (long story!) which was perfect for me to explore this unfamiliar city—that I've been dreaming of visiting since forever!—with friends.

The OG's very first shot together in NYC  ;)
Times Square, yo!
Freezing my ears off at
the Empire State Building
Making like Lady Liberty  ;)

We visited many places together: Liberty Island, Times Square, Top of The Rock. We had a blast camwhoring everywhere—even on the subway, which, consequently, made us miss our stop, hehe. And, of course, we did our final training runs at the gorgeous Central Park.

Everywhere the three of us went, our excitement only grew stronger as the whole city was filled with Marathon decos. They were EVERYWHERE. Even shops and cafes put up posters to welcome us marathon runners.

Pre-marathon training run at Central Park
The beautiful autumn leaves made me so happy  :)

Posters such as this was
scattered all over the city
NYC really welcomes marathon runners

Lots of time (and money! hehe) was spent at the expo

Us with Bart Yasso, the man behind the 'Yasso 800' 

The next thing we knew, it was time for us to collect our bibs at Jacob Javits Convention Center. I gotta say that it was the best racekit collection I’d ever been to. Even though they were expecting over 47,000 runners, the process was smooth and quick. As for the retail part, well, Shanaz, Nana and myself spent over 3 hours looking at and buying stuff. It was runners’ heaven, I kid you not!

I must, however, highlight that I’m not much of a shopper outside the sports stores. My sweetest non-running memory of NYC actually involves Food Glorious Food. I swear, every single day I ate as if there was no tomorrow! It’s a miracle I didn’t end up looking like pancakes, cupcakes or pasta at the end of my trip...

Speaking of pasta, I still can't believe that I actually stepped foot in Anthony Edwards's tres chic Upper East Side apartment. The actor was kind enough to host Shoe4Africa's pasta party in his private home, believe it or not. Running for S4A totally rocks!

New York Cheesecake Pancakes from IHOP. To-die-for!
Sprinkles's Red Velvet as well as Vanilla Cupcakes
are the best in the world
Pasta party for Shoe4Africa, the charity I represented 
at NYC Marathon. Anthony Edwards (Dr Greene in 'ER') 
was generous enough to host us in his private home! 
Also pictured here are running celebs Toby Tanser 
(aka founder & CEO of Shoe4Africa) and 
Sally Kipyego (holder of various running titles)


No comments: