Written by Helen Heaver

The day started at 5.45 in the lobby, expertly shepherded onto coaches in the cold dark of a NY morning. 90 minutes later deposited on Staten Island, a 20-minute walk away from the start. At this stage thanking myself for all the layers of Salvo’s clothing to be left at the start to be donated to charity. Through airport like security we were scanned and let loose in the village. Find your wave colour, find a spot to sit, and a three hour wait followed.

Chatting to others, chasing up a bagel or coffee and watching the 8.30 race starters wheel themselves through the village added to the atmosphere of the day. It was finally time! Though the corral, onto the bridge, the national anthem and then to the sound of cannon fire, it had begun.

It was a tough run, jostling arm to arm with the crowds, watching your footfall, looking for space but importantly looking up to take it all in. Most favourite part, the energy, the deafening noise and vibe of Brooklyn. Least favourite part, the endless miles up the gentle incline of First Avenue Manhattan.

The most memorable part of the day was the crowd. The enthusiastic American spectators, 4 or 5 deep in places cheering everyone. The cow bells, clappy hands, megaphones, live music, bands, slogans and signs. Non-stop for the entire 42km’s. More than I could have imagined. Way more!

It was tougher than I thought, and the finish was welcome relief. I am still amazed I have been lucky enough to be part of such an event. Now that’s over, I can enjoy being a tourist in The Big Apple.

I need to thank Travelling Fit for making this event possible for me. New York Marathon is a massive day; all the big things and all the little things were taken care of by the meticulous planning and work of the Travel Fit staff. Seeing the Travelling Fit “Aussie” supporters, complete with Kangaroo mascots, at the 14-mile mark was magic!

I have ticked this one off, but now the list is longer, and I am keen to do it all again.

I have learnt from this great experience and I am deciding on where to run next with Travelling Fit