1. At start think of each color (Orange, Blue & Green) as terminals at an airport. Each color has 4 waves. Each wave has multiple start times around 15-20 min apart. You can enter only from your designated corral. Usually, you cant change your color and move ahead to earlier start or faster corral. They strictly enforce this. But you can move down to a later start or slower corral.
2. Blue and Orange run on top level of Verrazano bridge and Green on lower. Green has another disadvantage that it merges with mainstream after about a mile in Brooklyn and that mile has no crowd support.
3. Buy marathon www.marathonfoto.com/ pre-package. Its cheaper than if you buy after the race.
4. Whether they take 10 snaps or 30, the bulk download all package is the same cost. So take as many pics as you want at the start. Last year for Chicago, MCM, NY all marathons I had 30-40 pics for each race.
5. At the start, their photographers are available everywhere in plenty. Have then take your pictures solo, group, etc as many as you want. Make sure your bib is visible. Verrazano bridge in the background is a good way to get a nice click.
6. In the run when you see a photographer point your thumb to your bib. They will cover you well.
7. If you arrive too early don't keep walking and tire your legs. Instead, just sit in one place.
8. At start they have Dunkin coffee and bagels
9. Porta Johhny is not an issue at all as NY plans very well. Even after you enter your corral just before start, they have plenty of these on one side if someone wants to go last minute. Don't laugh, this is very thoughtful of them and very important :-)
10. The morning will be cold but in the afternoon it does feel hot after running. You will be warmed up just after 2-3 miles. So don't overdress. Buy some cheap fleece or whatever that you can discard just before start.
11. Carry some cash with you. You never know what it can come handy.
12. First 1 mile thought steepest hill you won't feel bad as you will be fresh and charged up.
13. The moment you come down from Verrazano bridge you will go crazy. The crowd support, all the bands every half mile and that loud cheer will cause adrenaline rush and you may feel like going faster. But this is when you need to control yourself and save energy for the second half. SECOND HALF IS TOUGHER THAN FIRST HALF.
14. In the last 6 miles, they do serve bananas. I always take bananas as it helps prevent cramping.
15. This year I believe they have Biofreeze also.
16. Remember that Nov 3rd first Sun of Nov DST starts. So you get an extra hour of sleep. Please ensure you don't get confused with time and arrive early.
17. Those who have a late start and may take 5 hours or more time you run the risk of finishing when it will get dark and at the finish, your picture and finishing video may not come so good. So see where you stand and if feasible try to finish before dark.
18. The 1-mile hill on 5th Av (though not so steep) will be toughest but crowd support will help you.
19. Get your first name written on your top so that it is visible to the crowd. Some random stranger will give you a shout "Go Saby. You got this". It feels really good. Now you know why I have so many tops with my name there. You can get this done at Menlo Park Mall or Newport Mall.
20. Sleep well on the last 4-5 nights before the race as it is the average of this that matters. Last night because of anxiety you may not be able to sleep well.
21. If you changed your mind on Poncho vs Checkin, you can make that change at the Expo. They do entertain that. Last year I did that.
22. The next two weeks taper well. Rest and recovery are more important than any training now.
23. At this point, don't try anything new.
24. It's not just the best race, I would say one of the best and biggest event in the world. Make sure you have fun.
25. if this is your first marathon, your PR is guaranteed. So don't worry too much about it.