marathonThe ING NYC Marathon is tomorrow, which means that tens of thousands of people from all over the country and all over the world have arrived in NY already – or are about to. And these aren’t just any tourists — these are the fit, the fast, the focussed. In other words: the ain’t the theme park crowd.  No giant sodas, no sloppy icecream cones.  Marathoners look and live fit.  And they may find that NY is a surprisingly good city when it comes to helping them stay that way.

Here are some tips: First, make a required visit to the Expo at the Jacob Javitz center to pick up registration materials. Then:

1. WALK – Horsedrawn carriages – long a  staple of the NY tourist reperatoire smell, are quite controversial, and keep you off your feet and on your butt.  This is a walking city. SO…..WALK!

2. Go to Whole Foods.  If you are here for the marathon, chances are, you are staying not too far from the giant Whole Foods at Columbus Circle. If you live in the US, this will seem weird.  There are a lot of Whole Foods stores in this country. If you are from another country?  Prepare to be amazed.  This place is huge, and has an enormous – yet well edited – selection of healthy, natural and (mostly) organic delights.  You’ll be able to indulge (after the race, of course) without undoing all the good you’ve done.

3. Go Shopping.  Hey, retail therapy is good for everything — even runners.  If you’re in NY – why not partake of all the city has to offer?  Like bargain fashion and sample sales?  Click here to find out what’s happening this week.

4. Do something with your kids:  If you have a slow runner in your family, the day can seem endless for your kids. (and for your slow runner…come to think of it!) So what can you do with them to pass the time?  Well, it’s the first weekend of the month, so many museums offer free admission and special programs for kids. Mommy Poppins offers lots of great advice on things to do while you are here. (this idea falls into the Mental Health category.  Can’t be mentally healthy if your kids are driving you nuts!)

5. Eat Out – New York is home to dozens of organic restaurants, and hundreds more which offer vegetarian options.  DO NOT (I reapeat – DO NOT) eat at the same chain restaurant you have wherever it is you come from.  Try something new and different.

6. Support the Runners:  Some 1.2 million people line the course of the marathon every year.  These spectators are an important part of what people love about running here.  Standing on the sidelines might not seem like much to do – but I’ve done it year after year.  And the energy, comraderie, and excitement is incredible.  Sure, there are apps that help you track your favorite runner, or friend or family member along the route.  But don’t miss out on just being there, and watching the world’s greatest city welcome the world’s greatest runners to it’s streets.