NYC Marathon recap: Triathlon Nutrition Expert Mary Ellen Bingham


From Eat2Win Sports Nutritionist Mary Ellen Bingham

I really can’t tell you what was wrong but for this marathon I just didn’t have that race-day immunity that always miraculously presents itself as you approach the starting line (some call it adrenaline). I had my pasta dinner the night before and stuck to my white pita with peanut butter, banana and Gatorade breakfast. I took my PowerGels at each hour mark, rotating water and Gatorade during the course as practiced.  I trained harder for this race than I had ever trained before, and tapered in the days leading up to the race but somehow I found myself crossing the starting line just feeling “off.”  

I kept the pace easy but the first few miles just felt uncomfortable. I did start to notice that the crowds in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn were pretty amazing but then my mind quickly returned to the feeling that this was going to be a very long race… 

Somewhere around mile 7 I remembered how “inspiring” these NYC Marathon crowds are supposed to be so I began focusing on them rather than on myself. That’s when the entire race changed for me. All of the neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens had their own unique energy and they just pushed me along. Cheering, singing and dancing in the streets, I was in awe of the crowds. After the 59th St. Bridge the depth of crowds almost brought tears to my eyes. My parents and my friends joined the masses on 1st Avenue and 5th Avenue.  They seemed to be cheering louder and harder as each mile passed by.  

Sore and tired, running into Central Park, I kept redirecting my thoughts, off of my sore legs and onto the energy of the crowds.  I finished with a PR (3:32) and I truly feel that despite great training and a sound nutrition and hydration plan, for this race my biggest asset was the energy of the crowds.

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