Royal Race Report: Tara Mardigan on the NYC Half-Marathon

What was your race experience like?

Whoa, this race was equal parts tough and exhilarating. The course was familiar to me in spurts from both running and biking NYC but stringing it all together was brand new. What a way to see NYC! I was trying to distract myself in the later miles by pretending I was a tourist and being in sheer awe of the best city in the world. It helped a bit.

Did you train for this race? If so, how?

Yes! I won’t race a half marathon unless I’m trained. I hired Coach Nick Wical of @runforyourunwithus in early January to design an interactive online training plan. It was very helpful and Coach Nick was flexible given some fatigue and unexpected foot issues that crept in during my training. He uses Vdot, the coaching platform to upload all of my workouts and comment back and forth. I’m already signed up with Coach Nick for the Brooklyn Half with my sights set on a PR.

Did you have any goals for this race? If so, what were they?

I had 2 goals:

  • run sub 2 comfortably (last 3 miles were not so comfortable but I did 1:55:13)
  • PR (missed by 22 seconds from Staten Island Half 2018)


Did CHRC help you train for/run/celebrate this race? If so, how?

Of course! The cheer station was the best. Nothing beats seeing a bunch of bananas emerge into viewpoint. It carries you.

What was your favorite thing about the race?

Running alongside fellow CHRC teammate, Jaimie. She is the smoothest runner I know. It really helped to have her next to me even though we were running our own races. I just need to try to stay with her the entire time from now on!

What was the biggest challenge about the race?

The later parts of FDR Drive were my biggest challenge. Surprisingly hilly without crowd support made it extra difficult. I sometimes like a quiet stretch of a race (Queensboro Bridge during the NYC Marathon) but for some reason, I was overthinking how much more of the race was left while on FDR. I suppose mental strength training will help me with this for future races.

Would you run it again?

Absolutely! I prefer cold weather running so this time of year suits me and the course is anything but boring.

What advice/tips would you give to Royals wanting to run this race?

As always, go out relaxed the first few miles. I might have gone too fast in the start even though I felt great at the time. It’s a hilly course throughout.

Also, if it lines up with St. Patrick’s Day again, account for extra time getting to the actual start/bag check. I called for a Lyft from BedStuy and usually have a 3-5 minute wait to get a car (or less). It was an unexpected 23 minute wait so I had a stressful time getting there. The Lyft driver told me it was because of St. Patrick’s Day and higher demand. Everything worked out but just barely. I felt like the adrenaline wasted getting there would have come in handy during the race.