After months of training and preparation, runners can rejoice that the TCS New York City Marathon is finally here. Prior to the event’s start, Footwear News caught up with Asics-sponsored athlete Diego Estrada and talked favorite running shoes, the races he’d like to participate in and more. Here’s what he had to say.
What advice would you give a first-time marathoner?
DE: I would do the training, but I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. And I wouldn’t obsess over the marathon distance itself; I would more enjoy the distance and be patient. And I wouldn’t think of 13 miles as a halfway, I’d look more at 20 as my halfway point. And I would focus on hydration, regardless if it’s going to be a cold day like it potentially is going to be Sunday. I wouldn’t change anything the morning of the race; I would treat it as a regular workout because it’s such a long race you don’t want any surprises along the way.
What makes the New York Marathon such a great place to be, even if you’re not running?
DE: I was walking down Seventh Avenue going to Times Square and just listening to people speak, hearing all the languages out there: It puts it together that this is a world event; it’s not just an American sort of thing. It brings the world together — New York is the center of the world — and I feel like if you can shine in New York people will recognize you around the world. And as a spectator, just spectating that finish line and seeing all those countries from around the world just puts things into perspective. Sports unite this world: The Olympics does it, the World Cup does it, and I feel New York plays a role in that.
What are your favorite Asics styles to train and race in?
DE: It all depends what type of run I’m doing. If I’m doing a longer run I’ll go in the Gel Nimbus, if I’m doing something short, I’ll go in the FA or something more natural. If I’m doing a tempo, I’ll go in my Hyper Speeds, and if I’m on the track, I’ll use the GunLap. It just depends on the terrain and the distance I’m doing, but I have a lot of favorites.
What is your favorite race you’ve ever participated in?
DE: The half marathon I ran in Houston in 2015, that was my first serious attempt at the distance, and it’s the first time I ever raced in the Hyper Speed just because I was coming from the track and I just remember how bouncy those shoes felt. It was the U.S. championship and I had a minute lead on the field. That race will forever be one of my favorites just because not only did I run the third fastest time ever for the U.S., but the fact that I won by a minute, it was a combination of everything — just winning a championship, dominating the field and learning something about myself out there.
Do you have a race wish list? What races do you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
DE: I want to run every world major marathon. Right now there’s six on the list, and I knocked out Chicago – the timing’s not right, otherwise I’d be here doing New York, too. My wish list is just to finish Top 10 in every world major.