Night Before the Race: Wineglass Marathon

I was more excited for this marathon than any in a very long time. The Wineglass Marathon has been on my bucket list for a long time, but the busy fall marathon season always had conflicts. The course is a point-to-point with a net downhill, it runs through the beautiful Finger Lakes region (where I went to school and had my early start in running) just as the leaves are turning gorgeous colors and the weather is perfect for running, and all participants are given a wineglass and commemorative bottle of wine at the finish. What’s not to love??

This year, I had made plans to run Wineglass with friends – Jocelyn and Laura (though Jocelyn later ended up with work commitments and was unable to come). After BF got into running, he decided he wanted to run it too, which meant that now there would be two first time marathoners (Laura and BF). I was so excited! What a great way to introduce them to the spirit of the marathon :)

Because it’s fall recruiting season, I was able to combine business with pleasure and head up to Ithaca on Friday to judge a student case competition. Friday ended up being one of the most stressful days I’ve had in a very long time thanks to gridlock traffic in Manhattan, flight cancellations, and a host of other stressors – the upshot being that I only got to be at my apartment for less than an hour, in which time I needed to unpack from my last two weeks of travel, do laundry, shower, pack for my next two weeks of travel, and catch up on a few miscellaneous things around the apartment (paying the rent, getting/sorting the mail, etc). I was nearly having a breakdown by the time the car arrived to take me to Newark Airport, but once we were on the way, there was nothing I could do except try to calm down and hope that I hadn’t forgotten anything. Whatever I had forgotten, I could always buy there!

Thanks to even more delays and a flight diversion, I ended up arriving in Ithaca at 7:30pm, though my event ran from 4pm to 7pm. Not good! Saturday morning we had more recruiting activities scheduled though, so I spent Friday night hitting the gym and trying to get at least a somewhat decent night’s sleep (7.5 hours). By the end of the night, I was just glad the day was over and hoping for things to trend upward from there!

Saturday morning came way too soon, and I donned my suit and headed off for central campus. Fall is one of the prettiest times of year in Ithaca, and I had to intentionally choose a seat in the judging room that had my back to the floor-to-ceiling windows that had incredible views of the campus and Cayuga Lake – it would have been too tempting to just stare and get lost in the beauty! When the activities wrapped up at 2pm, I packed up and started on the drive to Corning, where the marathon would be held.

Along the way, BF and I stopped at one of my absolute favorite restaurants, Dano’s on Seneca, for a delicious and carb-heavy lunch. Dano’s is an Austrian heuriger and one of my favorite things they offer is a bread basket with a selection of about a dozen incredibly delicious spreads – I like to start every meal there with those, and needing to carb-load was the perfect excuse to really enjoy them! I definitely stuffed myself, which I usually don’t do the night before a race, and I hoped that the extra fuel would pay off on the course the next day.

Arriving in Corning, we first hit the packet pickup, then the hotel, and then headed for Corning-Elmira Regional Airport to pick up Laura. After finally reuniting with her (it has been far too long since we’ve gotten together!), we headed to the downtown area to meet up with BF’s grandparents and have a carbalicious dinner.

Unfortunately, while the marathon had arranged special pasta deals at most of the restaurants in town, I had tried calling several of them the week before only to find that none were taking reservations. Instead, the influx of several thousand runners overwhelmed the tiny town, and every place we tried had a wait of at least 45 minutes. So? We carb loaded at the local Wegman’s – which was not nearly as nice as the Wegman’s in Ithaca I had been imagining when I suggested it, but was good nonetheless. By the end of dinner, I had eaten a surplus of more than 2000 calories for the day. So much for self-control! But who knew, maybe trying something different the night before the race would be my ticket to a fast time.

We got back to the hotel and I pulled out my surprise for Laura and BF – a DVD copy of Spirit of the Marathon. Great for forcing us to lie in bed and rest, and also great for inspiring us and getting us all excited for the race. The next day, all three of us would be marathoners! I couldn’t wait.


  1. I love the spirit of the marathon! I made all my friends watch it the night before the Keybank City Marathon this year (we were all running halves), and we were all very inspired by all the great stories they feature!

  2. I was totally at Wegman’s the night before the race chowing down on pasta also!!!

  3. dun dun dun…but what happens next??!

  4. Kim, wish I had seen you!

    Laura, coming soon :)

  5. I wanna hear how the race went! Plus, I bet it was all beautiful-y up in Upstate that time of year :)

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