New York Marathon morning dawned for the 41st year on November 7, 2010. 45,000 people drew to Staten Island while the sun rose behind the Statue of Liberty. All trying to stay warm for the three wave start over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the longest in the USA. Penny Comins was smart and had her Headsweats beanie on and was toasty warm. She was lucky enough to be only three pens behind the lead men including legend Haile Gebrselassie.
Unlike the Ethiopian legend Comins hit the streets and completed the five boroughs without injury. Her Headsweats visor was full of fretting sweat as she passed the half way point, 44 seconds shy of her half marathon PB in 1.35.16. Not on pacing she thought she had blown it in a rooky way by going out too fast. Luckily depleting her body of caffeine for two weeks before meant the Maxifuel Viper Boost caffeinated gels gave a good kick. Up the ever rolling First Avenue and through the Bronx the pace was kept even with half a gel every twenty minutes. It wasn’t until chanting ‘PB Medal’ through Central Park that the math was done, the 3.25 dream was turning into a 3.15 reality.
Elated and rather shocked Comins finished in 3.12.43, 148th woman overall (16,072 females) and 1,945 out of 44,829 finishers, including the Chilean miner Edison Pena. Best of all she was second kiwi girl behind Kim Smith who came in fifth over all.
A visit to Tiffany’s on Marathon Monday must have been on many girls to-do list as the marathon pendant had sold out. Not deterred Penny still got a pendant and had a very special 3.12.43 engraved on the back.