Unofficial NYC Marathon 2012 #Smashed

We arrived at 2pm local time on Friday and it was a great feeling being back in New York.  I first visited this great City in 1999 and have some wonderful memories playing football for Cavan in the legendary Gaelic park and working for an Irish construction company in Manhattan.  I think my first experience of the City really had a great impact on  my development as it was my first real spell away from home, and you had to fend for yourself.

Anyway as we checked into our hotel on 42nd Street East Manhattan, we decided to head down to the EXPO as we had to register fro the marathon on Sunday and pick up our goody bag.  When we arrived the place was bunged with excited runners and there was a great atmosphere which certainly wet my appetite for the race a couple of days later.

We picked up our gear and decided to go back to the hotel.  As we got out of a cab, news started to filter through that Bloomberg had cancelled the marathon - i didn't believe it at first, but after spotting some TV's in and electrical shop - the news was true and NYC 2012 marathon was off.  We got back to the hotel and there was an urgent meeting called by the travel company to explain what was going on.  Without going into detail too much - the race had been cancelled.  The bottom line was there was over 100 deaths the previous week in New York and there was more carnage and bereavements being reported in Staten Island daily - we were all pretty shocked and my own personal feeling was it was the right decision, but the Mayor should have made the call on the Monday or the Tuesday of that week.

Anyway the organisers had come up with a plan B, which was we would have a solidarity run in Central Park on the Sunday which would be a half marathon - i suppose it was better than nothing and we all had trained pretty hard for this.  Sunday came and we headed over to Central Park.  The weather was fantastic although a little bit cold.  There must have been over 20,000 runners in the park and the atmosphere was incredible.  Lots of New Yorkers stood around the route and offered all the runners water, sweets, fruit and most of all fantastic heart warming support. 

Central Park is one of the most famous parks in the world and one lap is 6 miles of incredible scenery.  As i was running away on my own with the music in my ear i decided i would complete 26.2 miles and run 4 laps of the park plus 2.2 extra.  I had trained too long and too hard to come all this way and not do a marathon. 3 hours and 59 minutes later, a tired young Irish man had finished his run.  I was exhausted and my legs were really aching.  What made it that bit more gratifying was that during my training i was unable to run more than 14 miles as i picked up an injury, so i was pleasantly surprised and delighted that my body held up over the course.  I wont lie to you it felt good - that's my 2nd marathon in 2 years and that's 6 years after the onset of my Multiple Sclerosis in 2006.

MS is pretty annoying and difficult to have to put up with, day in and day out.  Whenever you decide to do a challenge you must have a goal in order to succeed.  Some say a dream is a goal with a deadline, I agree.  I have to tell you that my MS diagnosis was the reason i completed my marathon on Sunday.  I suppose i wanted to prove to myself that i could run 26.2 miles again.  I hope that other MS'ers get some strength from the fact that i was able to achieve my goal.  Its a really nice feeling.

In a few weeks time i will sit down and write out my goals for 2013.  12 months ago i did the same exercise and i can tell you i hit most of the goals i put down on that page.  Its a super feeling all.

In two weeks time my new book ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING will be released and i am looking forward to seeing the finished product.  I never thought in the month of Sundays i would ever write a book.  Well i have, and i suppose i will have to edit my Twitter Bio that I'm now also an author:)

All good fun, so try and stay positive all and remember #AttitudeIsEverything and #NeverGiveUp