It is so hard to believe that it has almost been one week since I left for New York City. It’s been a week since I flew across the country to New York City. A place I have never visited before. It was so wild that after weeks of hard work, filming, producing content, and working across the country with other bloggers that the Team ASICS 5 To the Finish Line crew would be coming together for the first time in NYC. It was rough thinking of that as our season finale. The days were action packed full of events, more filming, and preparation for the big day on Sunday. If you were stalking…I mean following along on social media then you saw first hand all of the cool stuff we got to go. Let’s start from the very beginning.
We all arrived on Thursday afternoon and checked into our wonderful hotel at the New York Palace. We settled in, unpacked, freshened up and all met downstairs in the lounge for welcome cocktails and hellos. This was the first time I would be meeting my new best friends Katie (well not Katie…we had met before we just got closer over the weekend), Toni who I just adore, Gelcys who is my long lost twin, and Ethan my favorite So Cal ginger pal! We were also joined by Jennifer who was a much welcomed addition to the weekend events. We met up, exchanged some hugs and jokes, met with our team from ASICS and got ready to head to dinner. It’s also worth noting the cocktails we had were absolutely divine.
We made our way a couple blocks over to this amazing Italian restaurant where ASICS welcomed the team with open arms. And I mean THE team…because Ryan and Sara Hall were at our table! That was really cool. So we ate, we caught up, we talked about our goals for the weekend and what we were looking forward to the most. It was fun to just let our hair down and just relax with one another. In fact, all of the interactions we had with one another all felt very relaxed and fluid. We all just clicked right away. We just felt like we had been friends for years. THIS is the team of people I would spend the next 4 days with and I was FINE with that 100%. After dinner, we made our way to a pub and had some drinks and continued discussing our next steps for the weekend and of course our excitement. We knew we couldn’t stay out too late because we had an early morning and a long day ahead of us. Oh the joys of hard work. I regret nothing.
Friday was the longest day for me. We were literally back to back to back with events and scheduling. I wouldn’t have changed any of this for the world. Every last piece was worth it. I mean, if Beyoncé can do it, there is no reason why I can’t. We got up that morning and grabbed some coffee and made our way to the shuttle to Columbus Circle and the Time Warner Center where we would meet up with ASICS elites Ryan Hall, Sara Hall, Deena Kastor, and our coach (and husband to Deena) Andrew. Other members of the ASICS team were there as well. We had a quick briefing then made our way to Central Park (across the street) for a quick 3 mile shake out run. And before we even get started, I run into my BFF Bart Yasso who I JUST spent the weekend with at Runner’s World half! I love that guy. Imagine, running next to Deena just having a conversation about life and my race strategy and getting tips from her on what to watch out for. THAT was everything. Sara was also very nice and sweet. Ryan just had a smile on his face the whole time. You could just tell they enjoy doing this kind of thing. We went to the finish line and took a lot of selfies, because necessary.
After we gave our legs a great workout, we went back to the location and the elites all gave us some amazing words of encouragement. If you follow me on Periscope then you saw it live. We also heard from the great folks at Sony about their partnership with ASICS in the creation of their new Smart B-Trainer headphones. I’ll be reviewing those a little later, but here is a quick video about what they are about.
After that fun, we headed to THE EXPO!!!! This is where we got to pick up our bibs, shop until we dropped, and other things of that nature. We followed the production teams instructions on the order in which they wanted to do things but they did capture all of the magic of the expo for us.
After we bought all the things and survived the madness of the expo, we made our way back to the hotel. We got a small break in the action for the day (YAY!). Our hotel was literally next door to Rockerfeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. Two places I’ve always wanted to go visit so I went down and took a quick look. I was so inspired by the art deco design. It’s probably my favorite place I got to see the whole trip. Yes I know NYC has so much to offer but a guy was busy working LOL. After a small break we showered and made ourselves pretty as we had to make our way to the Runner’s World VIP Party which included the International Editor’s Choice Shoe Awards (which was really fun to watch), and the celebration of not only the race weekend the Runner’s World Cover Search contest winners. So we mingled, we hung out, and enjoyed. I shook hands with Bart of course, as well as Dave McGillvray (Boston Marathon Race Director), and that really REALLY awesome ultra runner Dean Karnazes. Basically FRIDAY WAS AWESOME!
This was a LONNNNG day but it was amazing. So many faces. So many adventures. Sun up to sun down. All of it was just perfect. I was just thankful we got to sleep in on Saturday before those events kicked off haha. Part 2 of the recap is coming soon. What did you think of part 1?