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General Running • November 8, 2023

Train to NYC 2 Training Log: Race Recap

train to nyc - megs finish

What You Need To Know

What We're Doing

Running the 2023 New York City Marathon with New Balance

Who's Running It

Some of the best runners and humans that we could assemble for a team

What We're Training In

New Balance SC Trainer v2, New Balance More v4, New Balance SC Elite v3, New Balance 1080v13

The Megs may have had some fun

Last Stop: Race Day

After three months of training, of dreaming, of making our way on the Train to NYC, we finally arrived at our destination: the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon. While we’ll publish a full weekend recap separately, we’ll give our individual reports here.

From the unbelievable shake out run with New Balance on Saturday morning to the immaculate race vibes on Sunday, it was a weekend to remember. The course was demanding, but the crowds were unbelievable, pulling us through the entirety of the race. Some of us came away with PRs, some of us came away with pride points, but we all came away with a finisher’s medal and memories to last a lifetime.

Check out all our recaps below, and thanks again to New Balance and New York Road Runners for the opportunity.

Thanks for following us on our journey to the New York City Marathon– it’s been an incredible journey and we’re lucky to have shared it with others and you.

runners at the new york city marathon expo

Grabbin’ our bibs at the expo

Feeling 🥳 


Meaghan Murray

I don’t even know where to start. This weekend was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. I am so grateful for New Balance, NYRR and the entire Train to NYC Team for making this all possible. From the world’s biggest shakeout run to handing out carb boxes to having an absolute blast on race day– this one will be hard to top. Meghann and I ran/partied all 26.2 miles together and just let the crowds carry us the entire way. We ended up crossing the finish line in just over 3 hours and 20 minutes, with the biggest smiles on our faces. I’ve never had more fun running a marathon. 10/10 recommend this one.

train to nyc 2 - race weekend - meg square

Feeling 💀

Thomas Neuberger

The weekend– and especially the shakeout run with New Balance– was incredible. Despite having a great training cycle, race day did not come together. I spent a lovely five hours marching to Central Park coughing up phlegm and blood along the way. After three attempts on the New York City Marathon course, I’m done. You win New York.

man with sunglasses in black shirt in new york city

Feeling 🫠

Robbe Reddinger

I came into the race feeling strong. Unfortunately, the start line is where that feeling ended. By mile 2, I knew my PR dreams had probably decided to stay on Staten Island. I felt fine aerobically but my legs just felt dead, maybe from lack of sleep, maybe from the cold I picked up on Friday. I kept going though, and was starting to feel a rhythm… and then I rolled my ankle in the chaos of Brooklyn at mile 11. From there all goals were out the window, especially at mile 19 when everything cramped up from overcompensating. And then I just had fun (as much fun as you can have while experiencing toe cramps).

I finished, and while it wasn’t my fastest time, it was probably my most rewarding race and still my second-best marathon ever. I battled through a lot over those 26.2 miles and gave it my best shot with what I had on the day. In the end, that’s all we can do. New York– you’re incredible and nothing compares to the race day experience through all five boroughs.

train to nyc 2 - race weekend - robbe 2

Feeling 🎉 💃🏻

Meghann Featherstun

It feels utterly impossible to put into words what an insanely amazing experience the entire NYC marathon was with our Train to NYC crew. From meeting the entire crew at the epic 1200+ runner shakeout, to giving runners Carb Load Boxes to stock those glycogen stores like the best of them, to the actual marathon itself, it would be tough to pick a favorite part.

Ok, tough, but hands down the most epic experience to date was the Megs dancing and hyping through the five boroughs! My fun factor in marathons may have peaked at this year’s NYC marathon, but I may also spend the rest of my days chasing another epic experience like this. To the crowds of NYC, thank you – you all freaking ROCK.

To New Balance, thank you for your support to make this epic race and experience happen. To NYRR, just wow– you know how to throw a party. And to the entire BITR crew + train members, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this entire ride. For me, running will never be just about the medals, the times, the posters– it will always be for the incredible memories that will forever and ever make me smile bigger than anything.

train to nyc - meghann race

Portrait of fun on race day

Feeling 🫶

Alison Staples

This past weekend cannot be real life. Star-studded parties, a record setting shakeout, VIP treatment, and one beautiful race day. This weekend will live in my memories forever! This was  my third time running NYC, and I really wanted a course PR. My goal was to keep it conservative to give myself a buffer for the last grueling miles through Central Park.

Lo and I ran the majority of the race together (18 miles!); it was a blast running through the streets of New York with a fellow Train to NYC teammate! I really can’t put into words how special this moment was. NYC is electric and our team was outstanding. Thank you NYRR, New Balance and BITR for many, many core memories.

alison staples - acinthemind
lo johnson and alison - rcsimages

Running with Lo (Photo by @rcsimages)

Feeling 🎊

Jarrett Weisberg

Well, that right there was the most fun marathon I’ve ever run. It’s also the best I’ve felt both during and after the race. From mile 2 coming off the Verrazzano Bridge until 26.2, it was finish line hype the whole way. I’m happy I was able to run with Thomas until about 8 and Fordy until 20. I then had the final 6.2 to my own thoughts and didn’t let myself get into a dark place. The whole weekend was amazing. I’m sad it’s over, but so happy it happened. New York, you’re really something special. Now I sit here at home, back to wondering what’s next.

train to nyc 2 - race weekend - jarrett medal

Feeling 🥳

Brandon Rossi

NYC MARATHON WEEKEND IS THE BEST! Did the thing and ran the NYC Marathon with New Balance and Believe in the Run. Honestly, it went better than I even expected! I had fresh legs up until mile 16 and started to pull back a little bit more and enjoy the race and take in the scenery.

The crowd support was absolutely insane out there and was just so much fun and motivated me to get across that finish line in one piece. The positivity of the weekend and being able to see so many of my running friends all in one place makes the entire trip one of the best of the year. Thank you so much to both Believe in the Run and New Balance for making the dream of running a major marathon a reality!

Feeling ❤️

Chris Ford

Brutal but beautiful! The New York City Marathon kicked my butt and I loved every single minute of it! This race started on the day I got a message from Thomas saying: FORDY you up for this?

Ever since then I have anxiously trained and navigated injury setbacks and beaten a fear of flying to get my ass to New York to complete this incredible journey. Despite being so far from home … I felt surprisingly at home with the Train to NYC crew in the tent, in the corral, on the start line, and on course.

The moments I shared with the team, from the start line cannon that blew our heads off to that complete insanity of running through walls of sound with my guy Jarrett, will stay with me forever. Finishing this race was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I think it may even have been my slowest marathon time, but I simply do not care as I had the greatest time of my life. Thank you Believe in the Run, thank you New Balance and thank you to the whole Train to NYC team … what a ride!

train to nyc 2 - race weekend - fordy

Feeling 🥹

Emily Heller

What. A. Freakin. Weekend. I don’t know if I can even describe the amount of fun I had. From the massive shakeout, to the laughs Sunday morning before the race, to the absolutely epic streets of New York City. I wish I could bottle this feeling up and put it on my shelf.

To top it all off I had an incredible race, one that I don’t know I’ll ever be able to replicate. I went out there with a goal of sub-4 hours and managed a 3:57:07. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really sure I could do it, but the planets aligned and I made it happen. PR or not, the day was fantastic. I can’t thank BITR and New Balance enough for the opportunity to do this. It was one for the books, that’s for sure.

emily heller nyc marathon

Feeling 💎🗽🗽

Jess Movold

Wow. New York City Marathon–you’re beautiful. I love you. And geez, THAT WAS HARD. There’s nothing like the New York City Marathon weekend experience and that feeling was multiplied by ONE MILLION ZILLION BILLION this time around for me as part of the BITR Train to NYC. The New Balance kick off party on Friday was an empowering (Run Your) Way to get things started and our Saturday Shake Out was absolutely epic.

While the marathon itself will continue to always be my favorite marathon ever, there were some pretty tough parts of the course for me. Despite wanting to throw in the towel at times, I fought back in the second half of the race and did my best to finish strong. My quads were barking at mile 16 but the marathon angels known as The Megs found me at mile 25.5 and that brought a huge burst of fun and positivity to help me finish it out strong. CAN WE DO THAT AGAIN? I’m not getting off the train!

BITR IG Posts - jess movold - train to nyc 2
three women with medals at the end of the new york city marathon

Jess and The Megs

Feeling 🥹

Chef Joel Mays III

NYC Marathon!!! I did it. This one was for you, Dad and Peyton. Each race is different, each race you learn something new, and I can say I learned who I was on this course. The roar of the crowd got me through that amazing hill in Brooklyn and mile 9. The run crews throughout the course screamed my name as if we were family. I was elated the whole time and I even found tranquility in the calm and majestic glory of the bridges. The sounds of runners’ feet moving swiftly along the Queensboro Bridge up and down through the boroughs. Mile by mile emotions swelled from dreaming of this race to now actually running it. Alhamdulilah for the finish line and the opportunity to say I ran the TCS New York City Marathon with New Balance and Believe in the Run. 

Thank you so much for this opportunity to be in a space with you, listen to some amazing stories, and meet some phenomenal people. This was one of the most amazing moments of my running journey. Let’s keep building and growing. See you at the finish line.

train to nyc race - chef start

Chef after the finish

train to nyc 2 - race weekend - marcus 1

Ready for the the New Balance Shake Out Run

Feeling 💥

Katherine Wuestenfeld

NYC redemption is complete! After 2021, I really learned that the NYC Marathon is a pure racer’s race. It’s less about time and more about executing on course strategy and making adjustments on the fly while listening to your body. While it wasn’t my fastest marathon, this was one of my best executed races in 15 marathons so far and I am so proud of that!

I was hoping to have a little more of a gear change in the second half but I’m really proud of how consistent and steady I was throughout the race. The crowds were unrelenting and carried me the entire way to finish in 3:23. Thank you to New Balance and Believe In the Run for this opportunity; winning this contest came at a difficult time in my life where I needed some good news most and I’ll never forget sharing this experience with the team!

Katherine Wuestenfeld - train to nyc 2
train to nyc medal flowers

Post-race happiness

Feeling ❤️🗽🎉

Marcus Fitts

NYC MARATHON… goal finally achieved. This was a goal I’ve had my eyes on for over 10 years! Hands down one of the best race experiences I’ve ever had. Possibly even more exciting than the Kona Ironman World Championships. The energy on race day is 12/10 the entire race except for the Queensboro Bridge. I tried using headphones to block out the hype at times so I wouldn’t pace too fast! Overall the course was tough but I stuck to a strategy and almost hit my plan to perfection. Nutrition was on point and this race was exactly what I needed to reignite my joy of running and the community that embraces it.

Over the past 12 weeks it has been an honor and pleasure getting to know the #traintonyc squad. They’ve been a huge inspiration and the right amount of push to get me laced up during the days I wanted to sleep in or take an unplanned rest day. Thank you New Balance and Believe in the Run for bringing this squad together and providing the opportunity to race NYC! I hope to share a similar experience with those running London in 2024.

It’s been an incredible journey to 26.2.

marcus fitts profile 1

Feeling 🤩

Hollyn Vermillion

This race was the best. Every single part of it. I went in with a goal to run 4:15 or below and I finished in 4:09! Running through the five boroughs was so much fun and the crowds sometimes made you forget you were running uphill. I seriously think I was smiling all throughout Brooklyn. I loved reading all the signs spectators had made, giving out high fives, chatting with the people around me, or just looking at all the cool buildings. Central Park in the fall is beautiful!

Some highlights for me were getting to ride the ferry with Liv, meeting Joel in the start village, seeing my sister and friends around mile 9, and seeing my husband at mile 25! I don’t think any marathon will top this one and I now have the marathon running bug. Thank you BITR crew, New Balance, and NYRR for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

train to nyc 2 - race weekend - hollyn medal

Feeling 🏁🗽🏅

Lo Johnson

Wow, just wowwww. A lot is going through my mind typing this last note. I’ve gone back and read all my journals and some of my teammates’ as well. This has been a crazy process: injuries, sickness, PR’s, marathons in the rain– I feel like as a crew we’ve been through it all!! We are battle tested and ready to finish! My last long run was today and I felt amazing. I took my time and just enjoyed it. Reminiscing about all the races, all the training, early mornings, and more to get here. Time to pack! Thank you for following my journey.

Total miles this week: 27

lo johnson - train to nyc 2

New Balance SC Elite v3 NYC Edition

Feeling 💗🗽

Liv Paxton

This race and the entire weekend were the best of my life so far. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity! I set out with no time goal and ran with my friend Olivia Polischeck. We ended up even splitting a 3:14 and feeling strong the entire time! I loved the crowds & seeing so many of my friends & family out there! The highlight was definitely running by the Megs. They were having a blast & looking fabulous while doing it. Seriously, who the heck runs that fast while pumping up the crowd for the entire 26.2!?

I caught up to Brandon somewhere around miles 6-7 and I’m still impressed with how fast he was running on little mileage. Seriously badass and gritty. I got to spend the ferry ride with Hollyn & met up with Joel in the start village which made the whole pre-race experience incredible! Also shoutout to Katherine for keeping Olivia and me company on the Verrazzano. I wouldn’t have changed a second of this experience, it was perfect & I felt so much love out on the course. New York, you’re my favorite.

liv paxton
train to nyc crew on staten island

Smiling at the start

train to nyc race - crew

The crew at the start


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