Back to Syracuse in October to run not one, but two races. My first meal that weekend was at the family-favorite, Stella's Diner
, and I did my best to help my niece finish her very large chocolate milkshake. That's what family is for, right? The massive Fretta (read: mixed scramble) I had for dinner was delicious but had crying "uncle"!
The next day was the Run/Walk For William in Cicero, NY, a charity run to raise money for a local scholarship fund and I had the honor of meeting some very wonderful people. especially William's parents (the race coordinators).
My post-run reward was lunch at the B'Ville Diner
in Baldwinsville, NY. In applying all that buffetbuster
has taught me over the years I made sure to ask which pies were homemade and to order my coconut meringue slice BEFORE my meal! The locally-made Gianelli sausage marinara sandwich with home fries was no slouch either.
The day before running the inaugural Empire State Half Marathon, I went to the Expo to pick up my race packet and had the honor of meeting and getting to speak with Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon (1967).
My post race treat was an amazing homemade roast pork dinner with my extended family at my sister's house and a special treat I picked up was a mini in-house made grape pie from Wegman's supermarket. Flaky, buttery crust and an intensely grape-y flavor, I was only good for about 1/4 of this before passing it on to others.
In the weeks before I ran the NYC Marathon, I scaled back on the Roadfooding to give my body time to adjust to eating lighter and eating food that would better serve me in going the distance for 26.2 miles. However, my friends did put on a wonderful, touching pre-race pasta carb-load party the evening before with all sorts of tasty (regionally inspired) foods. Trays of homemade lasagnas, chicken riggies, salads, breads from a local bakery, whoopie pie, Nutella and PB, and PB & J cupcakes were but some of the delights we indulged in the night before the race. Sorry, I only managed to get shots of the cupcakes!
Running and Roadfooding has been a special mix for me for some time now and these next pics are the culmination of a lot of hard work over the past two years and many of my friends and family have been so supportive and even indulged with me on many Roadfood/Running adventures (running 4 miles to Peter Liuger's with my friend Eb for a bacon cheeseburger come to mind!). Billy below with Doug and Eb, the two best wingmen any runner could ask for!
Doug and I picking up our bibs at the Expo.
I've run so many times for almost every reason on here.
Our friends at the pasta party took turns writing us good luck messages.
Emerald Nuts is a big sponsor of many local races in NYC.
Doug and his wife put a lot of work into planning and hosting this party and my eyes welled up a bit when I walked in and saw all of the signs and these very special and funny quotes all over the wall. The effort that went into this really reminded me of how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends.
Marisa and D'Angelo came out to support Uncle Bill on his first marathon!
The whole gang met up post-race at a Starbucks near Central Park. When I walked in, Doug came over and gave me a hug at which point everyone in the place cheered and applauded. Wow!
My finish time.
And the medal. What a rush! To this day my eyes still well up when I listen to the theme song to "The Greatest American Hero" (believe it or not, I'm walkin' on air...). Yeah, I know, sappy, but what can I say?
Lest you think there wasn't ANY Roadfood during the race weekend, we did celebrate our finish the next day with cheeseburgers, extra crispy fries and shakes at the RF reviewed All-American Hamburger Drive-In
in Massapequa, NY. In my post-race condition (read: loopiness) I forgot the camera but I can say that they were utterly amazing and can't wait to go back. About a week later I was helping Doug and Marisa paint their apartment and we had another post-race treat, pizza from Nick's Pizza
in Forest Hills, Queens. They keep a pretty small menu of pizza and calzones. No sandwiches, wraps, pastas...pretty simple and amazing. The red and white pie was excellent but it was the fresh mozzarella, fresh ricotta and broccoli rabe calzone that blew me away. So rich and creamy and then the bitterness and the rabe cut through it and the dough was so crispy, chewy and had a great bready, yeasty flavor to it. Top shelf!
A subdued finale coming up...