What It’s Actually Like to Run the NYC Marathon


The NYC Marathon. What an experience and a great way to see the big city!


A number of years ago I decided to take on the challenge of completing 35 Marathons and 5 Ultras in the space of 5 years and the NYC was one of the last ones that I did. It was amazing, it was hard, I was certainly hurting but I’m ready to do it again, only this time with another 50 runners who I am training up for the experience.


Here are some of the main things that I learned along the way:


Train hard, recover harder:

As I get older I value recovery so much more than I ever have. Yoga, float tanks, infrared sauna, sleep, hydration, proper nutrition.  All these things not only keep me injury free but enhance my performance. Last time I participated in the NYC marathon I had decided to start practicing yoga as a way to recover and by doing that I met Kate Kendall who later went on to help me create Flow Athletic. That was a win!


Trust the process:

I had a 20-week periodised training program 4- 5 day a week running + Strength and Yoga. Rain, hail or shine I followed the program and come race day I was ready. Crossing the finish line knowing the commitment that I had made to doing this was one of the most incredible experiences.


The whirlwind of emotions:

Running is a funny thing as it gives you a lot of time to think and you are constantly repeating the same motion over and over again so you have to ensure that your mindset is strong with regards to committing to finishing the task at hand. It’s so easy to go from loving it to being bored, to being sore and your entire body is screaming at you in a matter of seconds.  I certainly felt a whirlwind emotions that day! I was a little jetlagged and sore from the flight, I had tight muscles that were causing some imbalances, I was SO sore after but mentally I felt so accomplished when I achieved it.


Team work makes the dream work:

I am lucky to work with a number of health and fitness professionals who have helped to keep my mind and body in tip top shape during my marathon preparation journey. While I am a coach myself, sometimes I have to hire others to keep me committed, especially big with something like a marathon. A run coach for technique and a run program, a strength and conditioning coach for a strength program, a nutritionist for dietary advice, a massage therapist to keep my niggles at bay. Yes I have been in fitness for over 20 years but I love working with others to help me to the top of my game


Enjoy the City:

Finally there is no traffic in NY! On marathon day, all of the streets shut so there is no better way to see the 5 boroughs

Not to mention that with 2 million screaming people lining the streets and 50 bands along the course, you feel like a rock star during the 42.2km



Have you run a marathon? What was your experience?





Ben is the owner and co- founder of Flow Athletic, an incredibly successful yoga and fitness studio based in Paddington. It is now known worldwide and they have a lot of internationals coming in to try out their classes. He was also named one of the 2017 ‘Men of Influence’ by Men’s Style magazine.

Prior to getting into the fitness industry, Ben was a professional NRL player for the Cronulla Sharks and a number of other teams. After finishing his stint with the NRL, he went on to own three very successful personal training studios and during that time he also turned to Ultra Endurance running. 

In the space of 5 years, he ran 35 marathons and 5 ultra marathons all over the world. Due to his interest in running, he then went on to train up 101 non- runners to run and complete their first marathon! A challenge he said he probably won’t take on again, however as a result Sofa2Surf was born.