NYRR x Citi Bike Member Profile: Paul Racine

Even though it’s only January, we’re already looking forward to the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon, the world’s biggest and most popular marathon. That’s because the application period to enter the TCS New York City Marathon is open now through February 15th. As part of our partnership with the New York Road Runners, we’re putting the spotlight on Citi Bike members who have run this iconic race and can speak to the truly unique experience that is the TCS New York City Marathon.

Our first featured member is Paul Racine. A mainstay at New York Road Runner races, Citi Bike founding member, and Bike Angel, Paul Racine just registered for his 9th TCS New York City Marathon this fall. Paul has raced over 2,080 miles of NYRR races for his team Front Runners New York. Read about how marathon running and Citi Biking around the big apple have transformed Paul’s experience of New York City below, and get in on the action now by applying for the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon today.

What inspired you to start running?

I was 47 in the summer of 1994 and getting nagged by a cycling buddy to give running a try. One run (I was a lifelong non-runner) and I was hooked.

What was your first marathon?

Vermont City Marathon, May 1995.

Do you train with a team?

I train with Front Runners New York, the city’s LGBT running and multi-sport club.

Tell us about your experiences running the TCS New York City Marathon! When was the first time you ran?

I ran my first of 8 New York City Marathons in 1995. This November I’ll run my 9th NYC and 30th marathon. I’ve run NYC in cold and heat and wind and rain. But always, NYC is a 26.2-mile block party in honor of the participants.

How did the experience vary from year to year?

Every marathoner should put NYC on their bucket list. It’s the biggest and the best. It’s where the world comes to run before 2.5 million spectators. The 2001 NYC Marathon stands out as a totally different experience from the others. It was at the same time somber and celebratory. It was a chance for spectators, volunteers, and runners alike to demonstrate a resolve not to be cowed by terrorism.

Do you have a favorite part of the course?

The fluid station at mile 24 behind the Metropolitan Museum is my favorite spot because it is managed and staffed by my running club, Front Runners New York. It’s exactly where cheering from friends gives a needed boost for the final miles.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about running the TCS New York City Marathon for the first time?

Train right. Join a club with a coach. Follow a program. Enjoy your first New York. Race the second. It’s a tough course that will eat you up if you don’t run smart!

When did you become a Citi Bike member? What made you decide to join?

I’ve been a Citi Bike member from its debut. Even though the closest station initially was a half mile from my apartment it was still a great and healthful convenience for any destination south of 59th St. Even better after the expansions. Love Citi Bike!

How has Citi Bike changed your experience of New York?

New York seen from a Citi Bike is way preferable to traveling underground, and is as fast or faster than the subway.

What are your favorite routes to run and bike? Do you ever combine running and Citi Biking?

Love to run in Riverside Park (my backyard) and Central Park (NYC’s front yard). Sometimes I use Citi Bike to get to NYRR races. I have a collapsible helmet that fits nicely in the gear-check bag at a race. While Citi Bike is my favorite transportation in the city, I have a great road bike for escaping over the GWB (George Washington Bridge) for long rides.

Are you a Citi Bike Bike Angel? What do you like about it?

I’m an Angel. I appreciate the opportunity to earn rewards and I like being an active, outdoorsy retiree. Sometimes I’ll move a bunch of bikes by running back to the pick-up station. It’s always satisfying to drop off a bike at an empty station when someone is looking for one.

Applications for the TCS NYC Marathon are open now through February 15th. Apply today and get moved by the biggest and best marathon in the world.