Battling Hurricane Sandy......
Hi guys. So I'm currently half way through my trip to New York City. My original flight to New York got cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy and the only way I could get stateside on Wednesday was by flying to Chicago. From Chicago it is easy to get to New York, there must be about five flights an hour. However the only catch was that I had to fly to Denver, Colorado and then board another flight to Chicago. This meant I spent the night in Chicago. For those of you that don't know USA geography Denver is a long way past Chicago! I pretty much flew past New York, three hours in the wrong direction, only to land and fly back across the country!
The first flight from London to Denver was going well until about four hours from landing my entertainment system decided to stop working. I was half way through a film too. Unable to move seats, let’s just say those last four hours really dragged. Once off the plane I only had a short connection time, so I ran through the terminal - completely forgetting Denver is at altitude. I only remembered when the light jog was causing me to breath rather heavily. Getting off an international flight in the USA I always think about it this way... Every person you pass before getting to the immigration line saves you about three minutes, so if you're in a hurry... run! I got to immigration and only had eight people in front of me. After the question of "why are you in Denver if you're running the NYC Marathon?" I sailed through immigration and made the next flight.
I got to Chicago and went to bed after a long day of travel. Right now I am in the airport waiting to board my flight to New York. Since waking up I have been reading more and more positive news about the marathon, and it is actually going ahead. I know when I flew out here there was a level of uncertainty about whether the race would actually happen. All the news channels show the areas affected, and the flooding is crazy in those areas near the coast. New York is probably the most well equipped city to deal with a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, and this has been proven with the clean-up operation. The marathon this year will be dedicated to all those that lost their lives because of the storm. The course itself does not go into Lower Manhattan where the majority of the flooding was, however Central Park is still closed to the public.
I really must thank the hard work of the New York Marathon - Mary and David, and the rest of the team. Those guys have been great. The number of international athletes coming into the city has given them a massive headache. The number of changed flights, hotel rooms, trains, buses and cars that have had to be dealt with is unimaginable, but it would appear they have done it. I haven’t heard of any athletes not being able to make it to the Big Apple. Maybe once I get there I'll find out the Africans athletes haven't been able to get there- now that would make for an easier race! Still I made the most of my time in Chicago and went for a run with a former Butler team mate of mine, Thomas Frazer. He recently ran the Chicago Marathon in 2:18 and is looking to run quicker to get the Commonwealth time (he runs for Ireland).
The run was good and it was nice to catch up with him. He trains mostly on his own so I think he was glad of the company! His neighbour even offered us a beer during the run, and something tells me Thomas has taken him up on that offer a few times before. Once I get to New York the main plan of action will be to chill out, relax and rest as much as possible. Although the travel to New York hasn't been ideal, I just have to forget about it and look forward to the race. There was nothing I could do about the flight cancellations so it’s just a case of going with the flow. No point getting wound up and annoyed by it. They say every cloud has a silver lining, and the extra air miles I earned bumped me up to gold level, happy days. Perhaps I might even get a TV that works on the way home. Right 26.2 miles to go, see you on the other side. Until next time.
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