Some of you might remember Ali from a feature I did on her last year. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do (she's pretty awesome). Ali is running in the New York City Marathon this weekend and kindly took some time to answer a few questions for me about her upcoming run.
Q: You were supposed to run NYCM last year, but then Sandy hit. What was it like to put in all the preparation for such a big race only to learn it wasn’t going to happen?
Ali Hatfield (AH): The 2012 race was such a mix of emotions for me. I was sad for the victims of the hurricane, and so torn as to whether I wanted to do the race with everything going on. After I decided to go to NYC, and the race was canceled, I was pretty upset. I immediately signed up for the Dallas Marathon the following month with the hope I could use my current fitness level there and reach my goal.
Q: What did you end up doing in NYC that weekend?
AH: We ended up having the best weekend in NYC! We went to see a show, explored the city, met some of my blog friends, and learned different ways to help out the Sandy victims. One of my favorite memories from the weekend was running in Central Park with a slew of other runners that were supposed to run that day too. The atmosphere was one of happiness and determination. The thing I love most about being a runner and about other runners is that we don’t give up and we don’t give in. We were supposed to run our marathon that day, and you bet we still ran!
Q: I remember how excited I was to run NYCM in 2010. Just waiting those few months after learning I got in was so hard! You’ve had to wait almost 2 years for this moment. What are your emotions going into the race weekend?
AH: This race is extremely emotional for me! I have never been so excited for a marathon than I am for NYC 2013. After the cancellation in 2012, and the Boston Marathon bombings this year, I really feel like this race will be such a celebration for what we have all overcome. I feel so thankful that I am able to run this race.
Q: How has your training gone? Any goals?
AH: Training has been fantastic this year. To be honest, I have never had a better training than I have this year. I just feel “on”. So in tuned to my body, and so motivated to conquer this thing!!!! I have SO many goals for NYCM. Where to start...first goal is to finish (which is always my goal when you run 26.2 - respect that distance!). Second goal is a PR, which is anything under 3:32. Third goal is 3:25!!
Q: Running along First Ave in Manhattan was certainly the highlight for me when I ran. Is there a particularly section of the course you look forward to running along?
AH: Honestly I am excited for the entire thing. I want to soak it all in and enjoy every step. The last couple weeks I have really been envisioning the finish line and crossing it with the amazing spectators cheering loud and proud!!
Q: Any of your (Twitter) friends running? Gonna get the chance to meet up with anyone?
AH: I have so many friends running, it is awesome!! We are planning a tweet up at 10am on Saturday at the Eatery. Join us!!