To the parents of the boy in the Gorilla enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo…
I hope you and your family are ok and getting past your traumatic experience in whatever way you see fit. I also apologise for the human race and their apparent lack of compassion throughout your public shaming of a global scale.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I, too, am extremely saddened by the events at Cincinnati Zoo this week… and deeply bereft that the beautiful Silverback Gorilla, Harambe,
had to lose his life. However, I also think that people (myself
included sometimes) can often be all too quick to jump on the bandwagon
of judgement in these situations.
I’m no parent, but I do know how difficult it can be to look
after my niece (and I only ever have her on her own!!) – young kids can
be extremely strong willed when they want (or don’t want) to go
somewhere… and I also know that taking your eyes of them for a single
second could cause all kinds of trouble!! Aside from the fact that the
kids parents had other children to look after on the day of the incident
at Cincinnati, we also tend to go to such establishments (particularly
in Westernised countries) safe in the knowledge that the zoo’s
themselves have sufficient safety measures in place to avoid such tragic incidents from occurring in the first place!
I feel, in the age where media rules everything, we, as a society,
can often be all too quick to judge others based solely on what the
newspapers tell us… Why do we feel the need to place blame onto people
and shame them??
I believe that this family went through a truly traumatic experience
and, without having a second to breathe and actually acknowledge what
went on in those moments – which probably felt like a lifetime to them –
they’re suddenly being bombarded with insults and admonishments
regarding their ability to look after their own beloved children!! I’ve
seen reports, in the media, which dig into the families personal past
and dramatise their history in the headlines – just to sell papers and,
thus, cash in at somebody else’s expense! As if all this wasn’t enough –
the police are, also, now investigating the parents for possible
criminal charges… does nobody have any compassion?? Surely this is
complete and utter victim-shaming?!
I’m certain that the parents of the young boy had no idea, even after
he’d fallen in, the zoo would go to such measures to protect their
child. I’m also sure the couple would never have wished for the gorilla
to be shot. If we wanted to, we could also blame todays’ greedy
society for putting the zoo in such a position where they have to shoot a
defenceless animal in order to avoid a potential court case and
probable suing had the zoo used any other measures and the child had
died instead. As it stands, however, there is really no point in
blaming anybody for an incident that’s already happened.
Since training for my first marathon, in New York City, I’ve
really started to get back into enjoying running again. Having grown
up in the countryside, I’m a bit of a country bumpkin at heart and have
genuinely loved my long training runs around the area I live… for that
reason, I’ve been inspired to write this post for you guys and give you 5 Great reasons to go countryside running.
Running in the countryside brings with it a certain serenity and peace…
The absence of busy roads with cars and lorries, rushing to get
everywhere they need to go, leaves your mind with a sense of complete
calm… Instead of noisy vehicles, you can listen to the sounds of the birds flying above, the wind blowing through the trees, water trickling/gushing down brooks/streams, or children playing and laughing
as you pass nearby houses. I prefer to run without music blasting into
my ears now, and I tend to find it quite a meditative experience!
On my last 30minute run, at dusk, I literally passed just zero cars and found myself to be much more aware of my other surroundings!! 🙂
a 5mile run from my house, and I’m up in the hills/fells that surround
the area I live. The views from here are incredible – I can see rolling hills and views over the nearby bay area. Right behind my house is a canal… and there are a few rivers, as well as numerous villages to run through or alongside.
If I go running at dusk, too, the sunsets you see in the countryside (IMHO) are much better than those in the big cities!! 😉
There’s something about jogging past fields full of curious, staring cows,
chewing grass as they watch you pass… or of sheep, each running away,
as they follow the one you startled, because it didn’t see you approach.
The elegant, gliding swans as they swim down the canal, ferociously protecting their family if anyone gets too close for comfort… or the ducks swimming along, looking slightly more frantic. Finally, the silhouettes of birds, graciously flying overhead – lone or in flocks – as they emigrate or fly back to their nests to feed their families.
When I did my final (UK) training run for the New York City Marathon (because
I was catching my flight out from Heathrow airport) I went for my run
in and around the Hammersmith area of East London… It seems that city
folk seem to have more on their mind than happy-go-lucky country folk…
Of all the people I attempted to smile at or say hello to – only 2
responded/smiled back!! The rest just avoided eye contact all together!!
In the countryside, the majority of people you come across will smile or say hello as you pass… There tend to be an abundance of happy and friendly walkers, cyclists and other runners if you choose popular routes into the fells or along cycle paths!!
when I take a new route into a place I’ve never been before… I find my
mind taking me back to a time when I felt like a real explorer.
I think back to when I was trekking through a Malaysian National Park,
in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo… I was alone, and so aware of all the animals and the nature
surrounding me – I was ducking between tree branches and squelching
through mud as I watched Probiscus monkeys and silverbacks swinging or
jumping from tree to tree around me. Now, when I run through new places
(particularly in the countryside) it takes me back to those precious
moments in Malaysia and reminds me to look up around me at the sheep in the fields, the birds flying overhead, and to be present in that particular moment – exploring the world again, like a child, looking at everything around me with fresh eyes. 🙂
Do you love countryside running?
If so, why? Do you agree with my reasons or have any of your own to
add? Please feel free to comment and join in the conversation!!
Two of New York states’ most popular travel destinations happen to be New York City, itself, and Niagara Falls…
so, it comes as no surprise that, most people, who visit the Big Apple,
would be eager to see both. Although the two sights are both located
within the same US state (Niagara lying on the border between upstate
New York and Canadian, Ontario), they are still a fair distance from one
another – so, getting to Niagara Falls from New York City can still prove to be somewhat of a mission!!
On the plus side, there are a number of options available to you –
dependant upon your budget, timescale and preferred travel experience…
Going it Alone
If, like me, you prefer to have the freedom of “going it alone” and
having options as to how you spend your time, there are 4 different
options available to you…
Recommended if there is more than one person and costs can be split!
There are plenty of car hire companies available at
JFK airport should you need a car when you arrive in NYC – they are all
in the same area (Federal Circle stop – from the AirTrain), making it
easy for you to get quotes for whatever you want/need
(one day and leave the car in Buffalo/the duration of your time
upstate AND the return drive/anything in between/extra drivers etc.).
Alternatively, you can book before your trip and, thus, hopefully get a
The drive itself took us about 7-8hours (with a couple of food/coffee/toilet breaks)
Pros: Toilet/food/coffee breaks whenever you feel
like it, freedom on location (should you wish to explore
Buffalo/Toronto/Lake Ontario – as opposed to just the Falls themselves),
easy to navigate along the Interstate the majority of the way (but more
scenic/cultural routes available if you wish)
Cons: Tiring, Car hire costs (if applicable), Petrol costs, toll costs, time
Recommended if you’re restricted by time rather than money.
Flying, to Buffalo (around 25miles from the falls), with a company
such as JetBlue means you can fly out of JFK early in the morning and
back the same evening – making a day trip to the falls a feasible, albeit ambitious, option!
The actual flight time is approximately one hour… however, once you
add up; check-in time at the airport, luggage handling, getting to/from
the airports at either end… you could be faced with a, more likely, 4-5hour commute. Still, this almost halves the time spent for any other form of transport…
Pros: Time, fairly relaxed journey, great views of Manhattan from the air!
Cons: Cost, other things to organise (such as
transport to/from airports), possible hidden luggage/tax costs, may be
unreliable in bad weather (check out my blog post from my journey here…)
Recommended if you like to sit back and relax.
connects NYC to the US side of Niagara by rail – with journeys leaving
three times per day, ranging between $65 – $155 or £43 – £103 (as at Nov
2015) per person, each way.
The journey takes approximately 9hours with a fairly
short bus journey to the falls at the end (and a little bit of walking
between each section). It’s fairly easy to check out the journey on Google Maps beforehand 😉
Pros: Fairly relaxed journey, toilet/food/coffee breaks whenever you feel like it, scenic Hudson River Valley views
Cons: Cost (if more than one person), Time, less freedom on location unless you hire a car
Recommended if you’re a budget traveller with plenty of time.
The Greyhound buses serve the area between NYC and Niagara, Ontario. The vehicles are equipped with an on-board restroom, as well as free wi-fi and individual power outlets.
The bus journey can take anything from 9-11hours and seems to be priced from around $47 or £30 (as at Nov 2015) upwards.
Pros: Toilet breaks, scenic views, cost (better if booked in advance), free wi-fi
Cons: Time, less freedom, Stock up with food/drink beforehand if you want a snack!
Recommended if you’re more limited by planning time than money!
If you prefer to have a ready made package, a tour could well be the
best option for you. Many companies offer both single day, and multi
day tours from NYC to Niagara Falls.
I prefer not to promote full travel packages if I haven’t used the
company before myself, however, I have been on a month long tour booked
through in Asia and thoroughly enjoyed the experience… otherwise, a simple Google search should do the trick for you! 🙂 Happy holidays!!
Have you ever travelled to Niagara Falls from New York City?
Any pleasantries or horror stories to share from your experiences??
(Check mine out here!!) Please feel free to comment below! 🙂
New York City is an absolute mecca for a wide variety of worldwide cultures
and communities… art, fashion, music, business and anything else you
can dream of will be alive and kicking on a street somewhere within the
big city… as Alicia Keys says – “if I can make it here, I can make it
One culture that was born on the streets of New York
City itself, however, is Hip Hop. The four cornerstones of the hip hop
culture (MCing, DJing, Bboying and Graffiti Art) first came together at
a party thrown by DJ Kool Herc on 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in The Bronx… making this, the home of hip hop.
From there, the culture spread far and wide, across the world!! Hip
hop has, since, formed an artistic outlet for youngsters (or otherwise),
often born and raised in more poverty-stricken areas (such as the NY
“ghettos”), to release their frustrations and/or personal disputes in a
more creative manner… as opposed to violently competing using the more
traditional, and destructive, ‘street gang’ methods.
Aside from the numerous regular sight-seeing activities available to explore in New York City, one of my main goals, whilst in NYC, was to find some notable “hip hop” locations…
perhaps a dance battle/class, or a famed graffiti wall within the
city. A failed internet search led me to a graffiti wall that has since
been knocked down… until I found Hush Hip Hop Tours– a
tour, largely based in Harlem and South Bronx, led by
notorious pioneers/celebrities within hip hop culture, such as legendary
MC’s “Grandmaster Caz” and “Kurtis Blow”.
This morning was the morning of “said” tour… and, as it was one of my main priorities for this trip (aside from the marathon, obviously), I was about as excited as these guys waiting for daddy to arrive home. The tour started out, in true “hood” style, with an argument over a parking ticket with one of the NYC parking attendants!!
N.B. I, originally, booked our tour for
the Saturday afternoon, just after we got into NYC – but on Friday, we
received an e-mail stating that the tour we booked would not go ahead
due to low sales, so, we were offered either; a different tour, a
different date (today), or a full refund. I’m mentioning this just
because I want people to be aware that this could happen – so,
if this tour is as high on your “NYC sightseeing” list as it was on
mine, I’d advise you book an earlier date on your trip so it can be
rescheduled before you leave if needs be!!
After the parking ticket had been rectified, we set off towards Harlem and The Bronx for
the first stop of the tour… all the time, being questioned and educated
on hip hop culture by our tour guide, Grandmaster Caz. After
establishing the four elements of hip hop, and learning about the
“street style” of those involved in the culture, we pulled up outside a
school playground in Harlem. The playground is a graffiti hotspot in NYC, and we were able to see some of the professional work produced by some of New York’s best graffiti artists.
paused for a moment in the same area for Caz to show us how the old
school DJs used to hook up their amplifiers to the public lampposts to
start block parties!! Across the street, we stopped at a basketball
court – readily prepared with some lino and a portable sound system.
Here, bboy Mouse, of Dynamic Rockers crew, was waiting to give us a demo and introduction to breaking. After the initial demo, we were called out to try to learn some basic breakdance
moves… this was the moment I was waiting for – so, the first time I
followed Mouse’s routine as he did it, the second I finished of with a bboy stance, and the third time I finished with a freeze!!
This was, apparently, all the encouragement Caz needed to pull me out n
ask for a “freestyle” from me!! Having not done any breaking in about
3-4years, I felt a little nervous, but did it anyway – and was surprised
to learn that I could still do most of my old moves!! 😀
Next stop, we jumped back on the tour bus and head towards the Apollo Theatre… boasting a rich history of performers, such as James Brown, Louis Armstrong, Lauryn Hill, the Jackson 5 and Aretha Franklin – the venue also launched the careers of the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Luther Vandross, Ne-yo and Mariah Carey, amongst many others!!
After getting a few pictures (and a quick toilet stop), we jumped back on the bus and crossed the bridge into the Bronx. Our first stop, over this side, was the Yankee Stadium, followed by a quick drive by 1520 Sedgewick Avenue
– the location of what is known as the very first hip hop party! On
the bus, we were surrounded by a full audio-visual display of hip hop
culture, as Caz talked us through the importance of this particular
address in the progression of hip hop within NYC. The bus continued to a
new graffiti spot and then onto the “Bronx Walk of Fame” – where Caz showed us the most visited lamppost in all of NYC… his own (since he has numerous tour groups to bring here)!! 😛
We finished the tour on Malcolm X Boulevard for some “soul food”
in Manna’s restaurant back in Harlem, before hopping back on the bus
towards our original start point. On the way back, we had a “freestyle”
sesh on the bus, where, if you wished, you could do a little improvised rap… one of the couples on the bus were a fantastic duo, but no one else on the bus dared to give it a go!!
Unfortunately, as the tour was running a little late and we had
flights to catch, we had to hop off the bus a little early in order to
get the metro back to our hotel, pick up our bags, and get to the
airport before check-in closed! As my parents flight home was before
mine, I went across to their terminal with them, we said our goodbyes
(and mum got all emotional – worrying about plane crashes etc. *rolls
eyes* 😛 ) and I ran off to my own terminal. We got on our respective
flights back to Manchester/London as I reminisced another incredible,
action packed holiday! 🙂
Check out my blog on this trip, from the beginning, here. 🙂
Have you ever been to New York City?? Did you go on any of
the more cultural tours? Are you a fan of any aspect of hip hop culture?
Please feel free to join the discussion in the comments section below!!
Aside from wonderful shopping opportunities, phenomenal theatre shows and an incredibly multi-cultural society… New York City is, also, an absolute mecca for some fantastic sight-seeing. As one of the first European settlements in America, almost 500 years ago, New York has a great number of historic sights following on from a European dream of the “New World” – and, later, a call for independence.
stop this morning, was a trip up to Colombus Circle on the South
Western corner of Central Park… I’d heard that there was a shop in the
“Time Warner Shopping Mall” (located here) which does free medal engraving for yesterdays’ marathon finishers
– so, first things first, I made my way to the shop, and handed my
medal in ready for engraving my name and official finishing time. (For other first time New York marathoners,
I’d recommend not booking any sight-seeing tours for this morning – as
the shop had a group of professional masseurs on hand to relieve the
marathoners aches and pains from the day before!! Although I arrived
super early, there was already a waiting list of about an hour for the
masseurs – unfortunately, I was already booked onto a Statue of
Liberty tour, so didn’t have the time to spare… Let’s just say stairs
were a major struggle that day – and there were plenty of them to
Statue of Liberty
I arrived back at the hotel to meet up with my parents again before setting off, on the metro, to downtown Manhattan ready for our boat ride across, from Battery Park to Liberty Island, for the Statue of Liberty.
managed to get some pretty good pictures of the Statue, looking at the
island from the boat, before disembarking and joining the queue to
redeem our (pre-booked) view from the pedestal. (Please note: when we
arrived, they were turning people away if they hadn’t pre-booked
because there were too many people wanting to go up – I would recommend pre-booking just
to avoid disappointment. If you want to go to the crown, as opposed to
just the pedestal, tickets often sell out weeks in advance.)
Inside the statue, we were able to see the original torch,
which has since been replaced, and replica’s of some of her body parts
to give the general public an idea of, for example, the size shoe she
might wear (just in case you wanted to buy her a present 😉 )… The torch
and the body parts are bigger than you could ever imagine when just
looking up at the statue from afar!!! There was also a lot of
information about the history/engineering background and much more once inside… Including a whooooole bunch of very. Painful. Steps. 🙁 (215 to the pedestal be precise!!).
Statue of Liberty – the Old Torch
Statue of Liberty – Foot Replica… in relation to my foot, and to me!
Walking around the pedestal, you could see a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline… And I also found it pretty incredible to see, from afar, just how far I’d run yesterday…
Looking out at the start line of the Varenzanso Bridge and tracing my
eyes right across through the entire of Brooklyn, into Manhattan, right
up to the Bronx and back down through half of Manhattan again – I felt a
real sense of pride and achievement that I don’t think I fully
appreciated yesterday!! 🙂
On the boat back, we had the opportunity to stop at Ellis Island
so we could see the old official immigration reception centre used in
the early 1900’s mass immigration – we chose instead, however, to use
our short, remaining time in New York to see the new “Ground Zero” and
pay our respects to all the victims of 9/11.
When we first arrived, we watched a couple of screenings, documenting different standpoints, on the events of 9/11
and the immediate aftermath. We spent around 2 hours or so, afterwards,
looking around the museum and reading about the events and the victims
of the tragedy… as well as at the destruction caused to some of the
original building foundations that have, purposefully, been left free
standing within the new building – it was an extremely sobering experience which left me feeling slightly depressed for some time after.
The 2 waterfalls outside, depicting the areas where the twin towers once stood tall above the Manhattan skyline, are a slightly happier symbol of resilience and remembrance… Each surrounded by a wall of engraved names, ensuring the individual victims of the tragedy will never be forgotten.
Grand Central Station
After picking up my medal from Columbus Circle, we made our way to Grand Central Station.
As America’s largest, most historic, busiest and most featured (in
film/TV) train station – Grand Central was always a must visit for our
trip to NYC. We walked into the main concourse via one of the large shopping corridors, and the first thing I noticed was the infamous clock
in the centre of the expanse… Commuters were surrounding it in search
of travel information, tourists were stood around taking photographs and
groups were meeting and chatting away to each other. I then looked up
at the roof to notice the fantastic artwork
depicting the astrology belt – being a bit of a stargazer myself, I was
able to really appreciate what the artist was trying to achieve.
Just as we were leaving, I noticed 2 friends go to opposite corners
of a particular alcove just leading off from the main concourse… They
both turned to face the wall for a moment, then turned around and
giggled at each other!! I thought this rather strange activity for 2
adults, so I thought about it a moment and came to the conclusion that
there must be something in it!! I told my dad to stand in the opposite
corner and (after some coaxing to get him to try out my silly
experiment, which he didn’t believe would work) started speaking,
quietly, into the wall “can you hear me?!” and sure enough – my dad’s
echo-ey voice came back, from across the busy hallway of numerous
commuters, telling me he could!! The architecture, of some of the
alcoves, is such that the sound can travel from one corner to the other
without shouting to each other!!
Following our interesting discovery in Grand Central, we began to
walk back to our hotel – looking for some places to eat along the way.
As we meandered, on one particular road we saw several police cars
lined up (if I were to guess, I’d say around 20-30 of them!!) – so,
after making up a number of humorous stories, regarding what they could
be doing there, between us (mostly involving pizza delivery, or our past
coming back to haunt us 😛 )… my dad finally asked one of the officers
what was going on… He told us we’d missed President Obama passing through just minutes before!!!
morning, we were up bright and early to jump on one of the cities’ bus
tours – and, by about 9:30am, we were already on the tour bus, heading
downtown from Times Square, past Macy’s and the Empire State Building!
It was a beautiful morning with clear blue skies, so we sat on the open
top bus as we listened to all the tourist information provided by the
guides through the headphones and took photos of the main city sights.
As we passed through Chinatown, I was trying my best
(as I normally do) to read as many of the Chinese characters as I
could on the shop windows (I tend to get stupidly excited when I manage
to read a full sentence – although that happens extremely rarely!!! 😛 )
swapped buses in Chinatown to jump on one which would then take us over
the bridge and into Brooklyn – we had a quick tour around the immediate
Brooklyn area across the bridge, covering sights such as the Memorial Arch for Soldiers and Sailors… The majestic Brooklyn Public Library – with its golden gilded entrance featuring a number of infamous characters in American literature… and Prospect Park, before heading back into Manhattan, past Wall Street, and up towards midtown again.
Next stop, Central Park – we all had the idea in our heads that, whilst in New York, we would like to hire some bikes and cycle around Central Park… so, that in mind, we arrived at Central Park
only to be bombarded by people wanting to sell us horse-driven tours or
bicycle rickshaw tours etc etc. We did meet a nice young man, however
who, eventually, showed us the way to a good bike rental shop so we
could make our own way around.
hired our bikes from a place just one street away, and head back
towards the, 843 acre, park – armed with a map of all the popular places
to visit. We stuck mainly to the South End of the park, starting our
exploration by cycling towards the Bethesda Fountain
(in line with 72nd street). The fountain is the largest in New York,
and boasts a beautiful view across the lake, where you can sit watching
the numerous rowboats – or alternatively, hire one out from the Loeb Boathouse just a little further round the lake!!
Next, we cycled, along the lakeside, towards Strawberry Fields (West 72nd Street) – this area of the park has been dedicated to John Lennon. Strawberry
Fields is located across the street from Dakota Apartments, where the
famous singer/musician/songwriter was shot dead just outside his home in
1980. The mosaic, pictured, is located in the centre of the 2.5acre region of the park, in memory of John Lennon’s most famous song – Imagine.
We then cycled all around the lake, stopping at one or two places along the way to marvel at the vibrant colours of the Autumn tree leaves,
and some pretty looking bridges, before heading back to the South to
take our bikes back before we got fined for a late return!!
Once returned, we jumped back on the tour bus towards Times Square to
get some dinner before heading back to the hotel – ready for our Hip Hop tour in the morning!!
Have you ever been to New York City?? Did you go to see the
same things? Any other recommendations for other places to go? Please
feel free to join the discussion in the comments section below!! 🙂
As one of the official Abbott Marathon Majors, the New York City Marathon is one of the six most renowned marathons in the world – making it an unforgettable
experience for both, runners, and supporters alike. In this post, I’ve
tried to encompass my personal experience of running in it…!! 🙂
New York City Marathon!!
Waking and Preparations
The day I’ve been preparing for, for the past 4, gruelling months of training has arrived… 400+ training miles have been logged, and now I’m ready and raring to run the furthest distance I’ve ever run in my life… 26.2miles of New York City – here I come!!
Having set my alarm, last night,
for 4:45am – I woke up and climbed out of bed and into my running gear…
I gathered my food/gels/protein shakes/phone/extra layers/race
info, all into my specified race bag, complete with race number,
and grabbed my breakfast and went down the hotel lift into the lobby –
when I arrived, the lobby was full of runners, all waiting for our marathon rep to take us to the buses. I stood, very nervously,
with my tub of raisin bran and milk – slowly munching away, despite the
fact that I really didn’t feel particularly hungry (but knew I had to
get something nutritious down me a good amount of time before the
race!!) I, eventually, tried to distract myself from
my nerves, and lack of hunger, by chatting to the other runners
surrounding me (whilst still shovelling my cereal down my throat!) –
many of the people I’d spoken to, that were also aiming for a sub 4-hour
time, had spent all day yesterday resting, carb loading and getting an early night… I felt like a complete novice when I told them I, too, was hoping for under 4 hours, but that it was my first marathon and I’d spent yesterday
doing anything but relaxing… I even found my confidence dwindling so
much that I started telling others “I’d like to get under 4 hours – but
it is my first marathon, so I’d be happy with anything under 5..!!”
As we started to navigate the streets of New York, following our marathon rep, towards the Central Library where the buses, taking us to Staten Island and the Starter Village, were located, I managed to finish off my cereal and force down a banana before reaching the queues
that stretched right up and down 42nd street between 5th and 6th Ave!!
After waiting in the bus queues for around a half hour, in the
extremely mild November weather, we finally boarded a
bus where I was able to sit down, relax, and have another short kip,
before reaching Staten Island about an hour later. Looking out the
window, into the starter village, I could just see a sea of people
wearing bright/luminous running gear… the majority of which wearing
orange and pink hats!
Staten Island Starter Village
arrived on Staten Island around 7:30am and, as I gathered my bags and
got off the bus, we were ushered towards the Starter Village security
check… as I got closer and closer, the song “New York State of Mind” by Alicia Keys
was blaring out of the speakers (reminding me to look out for one of my
biggest idols, who was also running this years marathon!! 😀 )… I
emptied my pockets into the bag provided so the officials could check
what I was taking in and went through the security check – thankfully
without any holdups!! 😛
I then began to wonder what I was supposed to do with myself for the
next 3hours until my wave started running… my initial answer – portaloo‘s… after waiting in line for around another hour, I head off, into my respective, orange,
starter village and sat down to relax, briefly, to put on my race
number and have a bit of my protein shake… I then wandered around the
village, grabbing a free bagel (which I only ate a couple of bites of
due to nerves!!), protein bar and water bottle, before wave 3 (my
wave) were called to our respective corrals… I promptly stripped down
to my shorts and running top, packed everything into my bag and
(apprehensively!!) left all my personal belongings with the luggage
trucks for transportation to the finish line… another quick toilet
break, and stretch out and I’m heading for my corral.
As we were waiting for entry into the corral, we heard a gun shot and the whole crowd cheered as wave 2 set off!! The atmosphere was a mixture of excitement and nerves as we ushered our way into our corral… All the way through, I was trying to stretch and do some dynamic warm-ups amongst the mass of runners, I guzzled down a single energy gel
with the water bottle I’d brought (so I could easily mix my electrolyte
tabs with water at each mile/water post) and stuffed the rest of my
gels in my flipbelt along with my phone – then, we were called forward
to the start line… I tried to push my way through the
crowds to get as close to the front as I could in order to not be held
up as we crossed the first bridge of the race.
we approached the start line, I settled where I was and returned to my
stretches whilst chatting to one or two other runners around me… No
turning back now!! The National Anthem was sung by an opera singer and the gunshot went off… we were actually doing this…!
As I crossed the start line, I noticed the clock on,
what I thought was, 41minutes (since all the clocks were programmed to
the first wave of runners) and made a mental note of it… the first
1.5mile stretch was running across Verrazano-Narrows Bridge,
from Staten Island into Brooklyn. As I crossed the bridge, I tried to
stick to the left hand pavement/sidewalk in order to get through as many
runners as possible and keep up my projected time… I took a few glances
over the water to see if I could find the Statue of Liberty,
but I think I just didn’t really look hard enough! Jumping over the
layers of hats/clothes/accessories, previous runners had stripped off
along the way, that, now, formed a multi-coloured second surface to the
bridge, I was almost tempted to pick up a few of the articles that I thought may be useful to me in future runs!!
The moment we stepped off the bridge into Brooklyn
was a strangely emotional experience for me… this was where the
crowds began, and where I actually realised I was doing what I’d been
visualising myself doing on each, and every, training run up until this
point… running 26.2miles through the 5 boroughs that
make up New York City. As that notion hit me, along with the screaming
crowds of Brooklyn, I felt, strangely, slightly teary!! ……………… As the
feeling passed, I started to embrace the support – high fiving
just about every small child I ran past, just to see their faces light
up with delight that a runner had taken some notice of them – I began to
feel a little like a celebrity!! The crowd carried me for a good few miles after this, to the point where I really wasn’t even sure how far I’d gone – I was just completely lost in the moments unfolding before me. At around mile 8, I saw a supporters stage with some Brooklyn bboys doing flares and all kinds of power moves
– as I ran past, with appreciation of their crazy skills, part of
me really wanted to join them, briefly, to show off what I could do
too!! Soon after, we hit an orthodox Jew part of town, where everything
just went silent… It felt slightly eerie
after the past 10 or so miles to go from constant cheering, to people
just going about their daily routines, staring at us in silence as we
ran through their neighbourhood!! This was about the time the distance
I’d already run, hit me – and I was still feeling great!! 🙂 Soon
after, the supporters returned and we were met with plenty of roadside parties and offers of food/drink/tissues again!! At about the half marathon point, I had to make my first, and only, toilet stop
– queuing at the portaloo’s by the side of the road, I became
conscious of how much time I may be losing and was so eager to get back
on the road that I almost dropped my phone, out of my shorts pocket,
into the toilet pit below!! Thankfully, I managed to stop it falling
just in time!! Phew!
Next thing I knew, I was looking across at the high rise buildings of Manhattan from the Pulaski Bridge, going into Queens. This short, but sweet, section of the marathon had a real community feel to it – I remember seeing a band
performing at one point and feeling my feet find the rhythm of the
drums as I continued running! Next, the 15 mile standpoint… having
pre-arranged for my parents to support me from around 16miles (just after I crossed the Queensboro Bridge
into Manhattan at around 1pm – all being well), as I approached the
bridge, I realised this would be the one with my parents on the other
side. As I ran along the underpath of the Queensboro, I started to
notice that this (aside from the first bridge) was the most congested
part of the run thus far – I found myself attempting to dodge through
numerous people who’d stopped to walk in the wake of supporters and
street parties to cheer them on!! I asked someone the time (my phone
battery had just about died by this point! 🙁 ) and, upon hearing that
it was a few minutes to 1pm, I slightly rejoiced in the accuracy of my pre-race guestimates of my timings!!
As I got to the end of the bridge and started the first Manhattan
section of the run, I began to position myself on the left hand-side of
the runners, as I’d pre-arranged with the momma and poppa, so we could
see each other as I ran past… what I hadn’t bargained on, however, was
the sheer amount of spectators that had the same idea to support from
the same vantage point. Although I slowed down significantly, in order
to search for them, and looked out for them for another mile or two
after our agreed “meeting place” – I, unfortunately, never managed to
find my parents in the spectator crowds, and they never managed to find
me in the runner crowds!! As we made our way up First Ave
towards the Bronx, the streets were packed with supporters, although it
had slightly less of a party atmosphere than Brooklyn and Queens… I
found myself counting down the mile markers until the finish. I’d heard mile 17/18 is where runners normally hit “The Wall”… so I spent most of this stretch wondering when it was going to hit me!!
Soon after we crossed over the bridge into the Bronx, we hit the 20 mile point… every step I took after this point became my longest ever run! The DJ’s and the street parties
were back in full swing and I was still feeling fairly strong!! I
considered taking another of my energy gels at this point – but the sun
started trying to peek through the clouds, and that, along with the
party atmosphere, seemed to energize me – I decided to skip the gel and
stick with the electrolyte tabs I’d been adding to my water all day to
stop me from dehydrating!
Next, we crossed over the final bridge – from the Bronx, back into Manhattan. This was the point where I was really
‘”chafing” the dream’!! After running for so long, my shorts had
become slightly uncomfortable, but I wasn’t about to back out having got
this far – running down 5th Ave, I took a half a
banana and a small cup of coke from a couple of generous spectators
passing fuel to any runners who needed it – and made my way towards Central Park…
this was where I began to look for the parents again, but was still
unable to see them. After a while, I gave up looking for my parents and
really pushed myself to give up just a little more energy to ensure I bagged that sub 4 hour
time frame… as I passed through the 25 and 26 mile markers, my smile
grew bigger and bigger… the final 200m were marked, and I pushed for as
much of a sprint finish as I could muster – hoping over the finish line with a massive smile and my arms waving in the air!!
an achievement!!! 😀 I jumped in front of the camera’s to get a
breakdance freeze at the finish line (for those at home who were asking
for it!!) then moved forward towards the medals, goodie bags (complete with much needed protein shake, water and an apple from the Big Apple!!) and heat sheets.
Next came the walk – about a mile further up, through Central Park, to
pick up the luggage I left with the luggage people in Staten Island –
only to walk back down the same way once I got out the park to make my
way back to my hotel!! The contrast between how all
the athletes ran up to the finish line, compared to how they walked
after the finish line rather amused me – I’m pretty sure we all looked
like we were a part of a zombie apocalypse… one where the finish line looked like our safety net from a distance but, actually, turned us all into the zombies we were initially running from!!! 😛
I got back to the hotel, after many “congratulations” along the road
back – I promptly got a shower, changed, and met up with the parents
ready to go to the ‘Top of the Rock’ for sunset
(…nothing like making the most of the holiday!!!). Walking rather
slowly and painfully, we eventually made it – and the panoramic views
across Central Park, the Hudson River and over the Empire State Building were nothing short of spectacular!
On the walk back, we found a nice little Irish style pub for our
dinner – before heading back to the hotel and retiring for the night,
ready for a full day of exploring in the morning…
On my return, I had a bunch of messages from my friends back home
who’d managed to find out my time before I even knew it… or others who
had been tracking me online as I ran through Central Park!!
Have you ever run the New York Marathon… Or any marathon for
that matter? What were your experiences like? Please feel free to join
our discussion below! 🙂
How NOT to prepare for your first marathon!! Going against all advice I’d heard for “marathon eve” – suggesting I should stick, very strictly, to my normal routine, get an early night and rest up (particularly my feet!)… I spent the entire day; walking around the city exploring for hours on end, watching the Lion King on Broadway (both in high heels), and not eating dinner until the ridiculous hour of 11:30pm after the show… So much for routine…!!! :/
Halloween in the Big Apple
This morning, I woke early for my final training run… my plan told me to just do a, fairly chilled, 15minute jog to stretch out my legs – having learnt that the runners expo
was just a mile from my hotel, I decided the best thing to do would be
to jog my way through the vast high rise buildings that make up New York City, get my race number,
and any other things I needed, from the expo and jog back – all before
heading out to explore for the day, with my family who’d come along to
support me on the big day!!
So, I set out, navigating the nice, easy grid system that makes up the streets of the Big Apple – and head towards the Javits Centre
on West 34th and 11th. The weather was glorious as I ran in and out of
the shadows, cast by the huge buildings, from the morning sunshine –
after about 10minutes of jogging, I arrived at the huge convention
centre and went in to find an array of “Welcome”/”Good Luck Runners”
signs on the electronic billboards all around the building, pointing me
to where I needed to go to collect my race number. I
made my way, through all the other slightly nervous/excited looking
runners, collected my race number, bag and free marathon branded running
top – before heading through to all the sales stalls for every
conceivable thing you could possibly need, as a runner… there were;
clothes stalls, energy bar/nutrition stalls, shoes stalls, accessories
stalls and anything else you could imagine needing!! When I’d finished
looking at pacers and clothes and had had my fill of energy bar tasters I head off, jogging back to the hotel, to meet up with the family.
Sightseeing New York City
First stop for sight seeing was the Rockefeller Centre… the huge, 70 story, building is built over a concourse of shops, boutiques and restaurants. At the main entrance (and, thus, the end of the concourse), lies a golden statue, surrounded by the flags of numerous countries… in the winter, a public ice skating rink is located here – and, at the opposite end of the year, Summer gardens – all for the enjoyment of the public.
watched some skaters briefly (deciding, sadly, that the skating itself
probably wasn’t worth the price tag!!), looked around a few shops, then
sat down for some lunch in “Cucina’s”. We discussed when the best time
to go to the “Top of the Rock” would be, over lunch, and decided that sunset
would be the perfect time to get a 360 view over the city at both day
and night time! So, we booked our tickets for, when we believed sunset
would be, the next evening (after the marathon, all being well!! :/ )
Next we head down 5th Ave briefly, and happened to bump into some bboys
(breakdancers) putting on a street show… due to my, brief, background
in the dance style, I just had to get a photograph of me joining them
for a “freeze”…!! 😛
Walking across, towards Times Square, I became enthralled by all the lights and bright colours,
surrounding me in all directions… I felt, a little bit, like I was back
in China again – only with a much more recognisable scripture than I
had become accustomed to whilst living out there!! All the signs for
all the Broadway shows I wanted to see… amidst them, my favourite – The Phantom of the Opera!! One thing on my NYC bucket list, was a night out on Broadway… we decided tonight should be the night, since everyone would out doing “Halloweeny
things”, and we would still see some of the festivities as we
wondered towards Times Square!! Next, came the debate on which show to
see… the only one we all seemed to agree on was The Lion King
– so Lion King it was!! We agreed to book our tickets, then start
moving back towards the hotel to get dressed up and ready for our
The Lion King
I got dressed up in my traditional Chinese dress, which I’d brought
specifically for our Theatre night (NOT for Halloween!!)… on the way
through the costumed crowds making their way to their Halloween
festivities, I was passed a pretty insulting (but ultimately quite
humorous) note, by some white chick, who was obviously trying to prove
some political stand (by passing a note and, quickly, running off to
hide in the crowds) – telling me my “costume” was inappropriate and
insulting!! At first I wasn’t sure whether to be shocked and
embarrassed that I may actually be insulting people, or to just laugh at
this girls obvious gutlessness!!!
Continuing on, towards the theatre, and the excitement really began to bubble up inside… I’d, previously, heard a number of reviews about The Lion King on stage, and they were all booming… The one thing I LOVE about Disney, in general, is their attention to detail in everything they do – and this musical definitely didn’t disappoint!!
The very first song, “The Circle of Life“, literally sent shivers
down my spine throughout the song… I’ve never had that feeling before
for the ENTIRE song!! As the cast, of African animals, made their way,
through the audience, onto the stage, you could really hear the; power, passion and skill of the numerous vocalists.
The costumes were, truly, a visual spectacle
– and, although the storyline was largely unchanging (which would have
been a disappointment…!!), they did add one or two more humorous/modern
quips, in place of the original movies’ script!
Looking around the shop, after the show, and some of the costumes
were on display – I really can’t stress just how impressed I was with
the attention to detail on the outfits, considering they only, generally, get seen from far away in the audience!!
Bubba Gump Shrimp
At around 11:30pm, we left the theatre and went to the Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant… a restaurant in Times Square based on the film “Forrest Gump”
– it was full of all kinds of memorabilia, quotes and pictures from the
film. Whilst we were waiting for our food to arrive, our waitress came
over to ask us a few “trivia questions” on the film… to which I,
surprisingly, knew all but one of the answers… I do love the film, but
hadn’t realised I’d watched it THAT many times!!
I tried to carb load up with mashed potato… and pudding ;P ready for the race in the morning,
then we went downstairs to look in the gift shop, before going back to
the hotel and, finally (around 1:30am), getting some rest for tomorrow’s
race day!!! Wish me luck!! 🙂
How did you prepare for your first marathon? Have you ever
been to any of the places mentioned in this post? Feel free to join
the conversation in the comments below… I always make every effort to
Visiting Niagara Falls in Fall (Autumn) is a great way to avoid the mass crowds and also see Canada’s National Emblem (the red Maple leaf) falling from the trees in abundance. Here’s my experience of my two day trip to the falls… “Niagara in a Nutshell“.
Exploring Niagara, Ontario
Morning Jog and Niagara-on-the-Lake
After the previous nights’ looooong
drive and late night, we woke up yesterday morning fairly late. After
waking, we ate some leftover food from our airplane meals and then I
head out for another marathon training run. I
initially only intended to do a 5.5 mile interval training run, but
ended up dropping a card out of my running belt so had to retrace some
steps and I thus, finally ran about a mile further than I had planned!
The run, however, around the town that our hotel was located, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, was absolutely stunning. Just minutes, down the road, from our hotel (The Pillar and Post) were a number of wineries, surrounded by lush green vineyards
(I was tempted to jog my way through them, munching grapes, on the
way!). As I turned the corner at the end of the road, I arrived at the Niagara River,
and ended up following it, downstream, to Lake Ontario – the HUGE lake
which spans around half the breadth of New York state! I couldn’t help
but stop, briefly, to take a photo or two looking across the river to
the American tip, before continuing onwards to Lake Ontario, and finally back towards the hotel. I passed some beautiful Canadian townhouses on the way, along with a marina, golf course, and a historic fort,
flying the British flag! I found the people in this beautiful, quaint
town to be much friendlier then those in London the previous morning-
and, although it was much colder here, the run felt a million times more
relaxing and pleasant! 🙂
After my run and a quick shower, we set out to sort the hire cars.
Straight after, we got some lunch in a pancake store, in Buffalo, and
then drove to the falls.
the time we made it to the falls, the horrible wet weather we’d had,
whilst getting the car, had passed-and it was just fairly overcast (and
freezing cold!). We excitedly wondered up and down the road on the
Canadian side, taking photographs and marvelling at the tremendous,
panoramic view of the 3 waterfalls that comprise the infamous Niagara falls (the American falls, the Bridal Veil falls and the Horseshoe
falls), and looking around the nearby souvenir shops (where a bear
tried to steal my hat… can you believe the cheek?! See the pictures of
me fighting it to the left 😛 ), before running back to the car just in
time to avoid a parking fine!
Since we wanted to come back and see the falls again at night, we
drove off again for a drive around the Niagara area – mainly sticking to
the scenic routes along the Niagara River. Just as it was getting
closer to dusk, we head back towards the falls to see the spectacle at
night too. This time, we entered from a different direction, and, thus,
we were able to follow the Niagara River right up
until the rapid, turbulent path of the water gushed over the horseshoe
falls at the end. The spray from the falls reached over onto the road,
creating patterns of mist, and soaking my camera lense when I tried to
take photos a little too close!
Hungry and cold, we finally drove back to our hotel for some grub! We got dressed up and went down to the hotels’ restaurant
and settled down for a nice glass of red wine and a steak. We all
thoroughly enjoyed our meals, but fatigue eventually took over and we
all retired to bed!
Niagara, New York
Waking up this morning, I packed my suitcase up again – ready for our flight back to New York City this afternoon… went for a brief swim in the hotel
pool whilst chatting to some of the friendly locals, and then packed
our suitcases into the hire car ready for our final morning of
sightseeing in Niagara. Today, we vowed to check out more of the American side of the falls.
Crossing the border, with the essentials (duty free bottle of gin – to last the rest of the trip 😉 and maple syrup)
in hand, we parked up in a $5 car park (parking is wayyyy cheaper on
the US side) and wondered across the bridge towards Canada (for more
photo ops), and then back into Niagara Falls State Park.
Visiting Prospect Point got us up close and personal to the American Falls… and then meandering across the pedestrian bridge to Goat Island took us through some beautiful parks, and then up towards Terrapin Point where you could get a closer look at the Horseshoe falls again. Unfortunately, whilst we were visiting, they were doing some building work
around Terrapin Point to make the view much better for future visitors –
so we couldn’t get a particularly good view this time round… it seems
that once the work is complete, however, the viewing area will be much
better for future tourists! 🙂
Buffalo Chicken Wings
After our nice stroll through the State Park, we head into Buffalo for
a quick bite before rushing off to Buffalo Airport. A good friend of
mine lives in Buffalo when he’s not gallivanting the world on his own
adventures – and when I asked him for some advice on places to eat, he
said I HAVE to get some Chicken Wings from ‘Anchor Bar’ (the “home of the original Buffalo chicken wings”)… so this we did – and whilst we didn’t really have time for a sit-down meal, before running to catching our flight, we did have 10minutes to wait for a take out.
The restaurant, inside, is decorated with motorbikes, interesting
statues, and thousands of quirky car registration plates from all around
I have to admit, the wings were amazing… fatty and greasy, but who
really cares about that stuff when they taste so good?! 😛 If you don’t
like spicy food, you can order plain wings without the sauce or spices – but they’re just not the same!
After checking in and having a drink in the lounge, we boarded our JetBlue flight back to NYC.
As we set off, I searched out the window for a birds eye view of the
falls, but unfortunately couldn’t see them from the plane. Around an
hour later, we were flying over Manhattan – looking out the window to see the shadow the Empire State Building cast, over the East of the city, at sunset
was spectacular enough to make up for it… the photographs just don’t do
it justice! As we landed, we watched as another plane landed on the
runway parallel to us right in front of the sunset!!
We were fairly late arriving in New York, after navigating the public transport systems from JFK, so we unpacked our bags into the new hotel room and just head to the Italian restaurant, recommended by the hotel, around 100m down the road. The pizza,
shared between 3, was delicious (and HUGE!!) – we even have a bit left
over for tomorrows lunch!! Now time to get some rest ready for tomorrow!!
Have you ever been to Buffalo/Niagara? What activities did
you partake in? Which side of the falls did you prefer? I’d love to
hear your thoughts/opinions in the comments below! 🙂
My journey from London to Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ontario, Canada) was an eventful one, to say the least… but as the wise, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said…
This morning, I woke up to my alarm clock at 8am… contrary to the
usual groans and numerous snooze alarms you may hear from outside my
bedroom on any normal day – today, I woke up, in the unfamiliar
surroundings of my brothers spare room, in London, with an excited spring in my step. My
brother brought me a cup of tea, in bed, to say goodbye before he set
off for work, and I hopped out of bed and threw on my running gear –
today was the day I set off on my trip to New York City and Niagara Falls!!
it’d normally take me a good few hours to motivate myself to even move
from the comfortable, warm spot I’d conjured, in bed, overnight – by
9am, this morning, I’d already set off on my 4mile marathon training run.
Just a few hundred meters from my brothers flat, in the Hammersmith area of London, runs the River Thames
– as I set off for the closest bridge stretching across the river, I
took in the sights and sounds of the end of London rush hour!! Once I
reached the opposite side of the bridge, I took the cycle path,
alongside the river, to the next bridge around 2miles further upstream.
I watched numerous groups of rowers, rowing in unison… passed by a
number of other joggers, cyclists and dog walkers coming towards me from
the opposite direction… and dodged puddles (in my mind) like a ninja.
It wasn’t until half way through the first 2mile stretch, when I
started consciously attempting to smile/say hello to people passing by,
that I realised people, here, aren’t half as friendly as the “country
folk” I tend to meet on my jogs back at home – everyone, in London
seemed to, literally, avoid looking me in the eye… to
the extend that they’d, physically, move their heads in the opposite
direction as I ran past!!! I started to feel frustrated at all these
people for their apparent unfriendliness and lack of
community spirit, then a little self conscious that they were avoiding
looking at me because I had a large unsightly growth coming out of my
face that they felt awkward looking at – until, I felt my face for
anything out of the ordinary and, not feeling anything, thus, came to
the conclusion that they were probably just all “up in their heads” with
the everyday worries city people tend to face.
So, I continued with my run, jogged across the next bridge and back
onto the cycle path on my brothers side of the river, heading back
‘home’. If I noticed anyone who wasn’t avoiding looking at me I’d make a
point of smiling at them, and maybe even saying “hello”!! …I’d like to
think I was a revolutionary in the London way of life… although, in reality, people probably just thought I was a genuinely crazed psychopath…
On my return from my run, I ate breakfast, quickly showered and
carefully packed everything, once again, into my suitcase… my numerous
pairs of boots/shoes at the bottom, 5 different hats in one corner, the
odd pair of pants, some running gear and 2skirts neatly laid on top so
as to avoid getting any creases…! 😛
The excitement was bubbling up inside as I said
goodbye to Alice (my brothers girlfriend who works from home) at around
11am and stepped out into the Autumn air, Oyster card in hand, ready to
make my way up to the Hammersmith tube station to catch the Piccadilly line all the way to Heathrow airport with plenty of time to spare to get through security etc at the airport.
Heathrow to JFK
I arrived in my terminal, I checked into my flight, handed my luggage
to one of the ladies at the desk, and went through passport control… on
the other side, I got myself some lunch and happened to find a
piano with “play me” written (in many different languages across the
front) – of course, I had to spend 5 minutes playing the piano before
proceeding through security!!
Once on the flight, I settled in – got myself snuggled in my blanket
and started reading my book on my kindle app until the in-flight
entertainment system came on. I capitalised (as is customary for me) on
the movies, as well as the free alcohol 😉 and watched the Age of Adeline, Nightingale, Ted 2 and Paper Towns all in succession!! Before I knew it, we were arriving in New York City,
half an hour early, and I was getting ready to jump off my flight,
collect my luggage, go through security and passport control again, run
to the next terminal, and do it all again in time to catch my next
flight from JFK to Buffalo.
Getting to Buffalo
I got through security, at JFK, in record time – despite having to
queue up twice, having not been given a vital form on the airplane
(maybe I’d fallen asleep at the wrong time?) – and went straight to my
luggage carousel. As I waited patiently for my bag to arrive, watching
so many others disappear off to begin their holidays, I began to panic
about whether my bag was on its way… during this time, I had a phone
call off my parents (we’d flown in on separate flights – because I’d
already booked my holiday, but they, later, decided they wanted to join
me to support me in running my first marathon in NYC)… they told me
their flight to Buffalo had been cancelled due to bad weather – our initial plan of them meeting me with the hire car at Buffalo airport had been foiled… time to think up a new plan for getting to Buffalo…!! My mum told me to collect my bags and head to my next terminal just to see if my flight was still on schedule.
15 minutes of waiting at the luggage carousel, and my hope
finally paid off… my grey suitcase slowly came down the slide and along
the carousel towards me. I picked it up and made my way, past the
final few people, probably also concerned for their bags, jumped on the AirTrain and head towards my next terminal… there, I met dad who turned me straight back around and told me we were driving up to Buffalo – he was hoping I was still wide awake so we could share the loooooong drive ahead!! :/
I’m from England… I’ve never driven on the wrong side of the road
before – so dad managed to get us out of New York City and onto the
nice, easy highways… we stopped for a late tea a good few miles outside
the Bronx then swapped drivers. The weather was horrendous
– I could barely see 20m in front of me at times and, without ‘cat’s
eyes’ (reflectors) on the roads, the glare from the headlights made it
impossible to see the lane markings!! Mix this with the CRAZY big trucks they have out in America(of which I felt terrified the drivers were going to ram me off the road), and this made for a pretty exhausting, 4 hour drive, before I gave up from fatigue and let dad take over again for the final few hours.
I tried my best to get a bit of rest in the back and, after one or two more toilet/coffee breaks, we finally arrived at the Canadian border – and, soon after, at our hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It must’ve been around 5am – and jumping onto the bed was just the best feeling!! 🙂
Have you ever taken the drive from New York to Buffalo? Or
are you planning on doing it in the near future? Can you recommend any
stop-offs to take on the way, if the weather’s nice? Please feel free
to comment below! 🙂
I’m ridiculously excited to announce that, tomorrow, I’ll be jetting off to New York…
ripe and ready for my marathon on Sunday!! I’ve been training for
almost 16 weeks (and planning for about 8!!), and it’s finally race
A picture from my brief history in “bgirl”ing!!! Freeze at the Louvre, Paris
The plan, for this imminent NYC trip, is to fly into JFK, then straight to Buffalo and onwards to my hotel just across the border in Canada… Thurs will be spent exploring the Niagara Falls(with a short training run wherever I can fit it in!!), Fri is our flight back to NYC, Saturday we currently just have a Hip Hop tourbooked
which I’m pretty excited about (due to my brief history with “bgirl”ing
– breakdancing for those who don’t know the lingo). Sunday will be the
NYC marathonitself!! :/ The next couple of days will be spent exploring NYCs incredible sights, hopefully with a stop off at Broadway somewhere along the way!! 😀
Have you ever been to Niagara or NYC? Or do you live there?
Do you have any recommendations on things to see or places to visit?
Any last minute advice for race day? If so, please join in the
conversation in the comments below…!! 🙂