p pol The Adventures of Carboman: NG For NY

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NG For NY

That would be "No-Go for New York". Many of you would have received an email from me about the feature in Star Metro (article) today. Well, the trip is not on. Since harbouring dreams of running in NYC for the longest time, I've been talking about it more openly and sometime July/August this year, I was offered a chance to do the race with a sponsorship! Despite a clash of date with an event that we're organizing, my partner, Wan, graciously told me to go ahead as that was indeed a chance in a lifetime. The arrangement was an expense-paid trip to participate in the race and meet the sponsor's elite team which will be participating in the Olympic Trials the day before.



I kept the offer quiet but excited is hardly the word to use to describe my feelings. I immediately started to gather tons and tons of information about the place, the race, the people - everything. I put all these in my Road To New York City blog. In a way, I was already there. It was September before I next heard from the sponsor and that the trip is a go. There are lots of things to do - the visa, finding from friends whether I can loan their stuff from camera to jackets - and many offered, which I'm very grateful for. I also started to participate in NYCM forums in RunnerWorld Online and Phedippidations Board to learn more from experienced runners. I sought and received advice on cold weather running from many, including Waterman and in the process made many new friends from abroard (without leaving the computer!).



Then in early October, I knew I needed to tie things up. Lodging is very very expensive in NYC and through my forum friend Scott who was ever so helpful with juicy tidbits from his NYC experiences, managed to secure me a bunk at the International Hostel. The IH is to me the best place to stay in NYC - cheap at USD37 with an excellent customer service which never fails to respond quickly to my emails and calls. To know what's in store for me, I started pressing the sponsor for more details such as what's my itinerary, when will I be sent my race bibs, who to meet, where to meet, what's their plans for me (as I needed to report on my experiences) and so on. I also thought that since running NYCM is a big deal (only 30 odd percent chance of a successful lottery bid ie only 38,000 accepted out of 100,000+ entries received), and that I've committed to the sponsor that they will get their feature in a local daily, I arranged for Star to have an interview. I brought along Francis Cheng a fellow PACM member who will also be running NYCM. It's too bad that I can't pull more Malaysian participants into the interview - it would've been great. The interview took place at the Bkt Jalil park but since I've yet to hear from the sponsor about the finalization, I informed the daily to hold the article.



After pressing for some news, I finally got in touch with the company's Director in the US and from email exchanges, I began suspecting that the race entry deal isn't part of the package. My fears was confirmed by the local office who said that the allocation had been reduced and that the news wasn't cascaded down to the countries. I was asked whether I still wanted to go if I hadn't a race entry to which I said there's really no point in going - a runner has to run! But I held on to hopes that some last minute arrangements can still be made. Flight tickets have also been booked by the local office and in late September I'd even bought a pass to the Empire State Building. At that point, I'd yet to apply for the visa since it's very expensive and I wanted a concrete proof before proceeding. I even emailed the NYRRC to check on my entry but they replied in negative. After the expiration of the deadline to revert to me, I made the decision to pull the plug on operations - contacted The Star to pull out the article and cancelled my lodging.



Then another forum friend stepped up to try to help as recent as just last night by checking with the NYRRC but it was already a little too late. I'm looking forward to next year's lottery opening. Meanwhile I've got to inform the other Malaysians who will be in NYC that I won't be making the trip. We had made plans to meet up to party there!

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7 Comments:

  • i felt sorry for you, cinya!!!. Like wat GL always said, its the bad organising of things that causes such things to happen, setting false expectation and all the troubles someone like you have to goes thru.

    i hope this doesnt deter you fr going to NYC mara, lets apply for the 2008 race together!!!!

    By Blogger C-CUBE, at 12:07 PM  

  • Aiya,

    Really feel sorry for you. Anyway, keep your spirit up as 2008 is only two months away and you are still very young.

    As time goes by, I can see that you have improved tremendously in your running and it has grown from strength to strength.

    By 2008 NYCM, you will be able to do a very good timing for your marathon.

    Take care and good luck.

    By Anonymous Penguin 2, at 1:52 PM  

  • So sorry to hear this!
    Ever since you let the great news out on 11 Oct I tot it was a bit unusual that you have stopped blogging about your follow up preparation like you did for all your other major races which have added to me so much valuable "know how" on the final weeks before a major race.
    Anyhow I think that the original offer came late also for you to have enough time to build up to run a good race - 3 weeks to prepare for a full marathon!(8 weeks would be the minimum)Knowing that the cheering crowds are so electrifying all the way, you may find yourself pushing too hard and get hurt in the end.
    Think positive, the next one will be perfect!

    By Blogger CP Waterman, at 4:04 PM  

  • Cinya sorry to hear that. I thought my Olympus camera would make it to NYC wit you. :). Better luck next year!

    By Blogger RunWitMe, at 8:22 PM  

  • Thanks for all your support and comments which I value very much. As disappointing as it is, thankfully I'm not in need of a shrink. I certainly will be applying for the 2008 entry and I believe I will have great company as well. Between now and then, there are key races to dig such as the GE30K, KLIM, Lion City 50K. All are long and difficult races.

    By Blogger Carboman, at 9:43 PM  

  • Christmas is coming, make a wish and Santa may just be granting you the lottery with no near-miss for 2008!

    KLIM is coming and we can train as if we are going to NYCM now that the weather is cooler and there's the luxury of time.

    By Anonymous GL, at 1:35 PM  

  • Hi carboman,
    Very sorry to hear that...must be devastating to know that you are so close yet so far. Anyway, there is always the next time and I wised you can make it next year. I believe running in NYCM is a runner's dream....mine too.
    I was just back from NY last week and the weather there now is just fine for a marathon and Central Park where the marathon will ends is just a perfect place to run/train. Alot of NYCM banners and publicites were already up and displayed in billboards and subways. I wish I can make it to NYCM too one of these days.
    Keep the spirit up. Cheers!
    Regards.

    By Anonymous KYChow, at 11:51 AM  

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