MIDTOWN — They can run a marathon in mere hours, but to go a few blocks to the Javits Center some runners take the bus.
Hundreds of endurance athletes from all over the country and the world gathered at the corner of West 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue on a chilly 51-degree morning to wait up to 45 minutes for a bus that would take them to the Jacob Javits Center to pick up their numbers and gear for Sunday's ING New York City Marathon.
"This is my perfect running weather," said Brendan Leif, 28, of the Bronx. "Normally, I'd run over [to the Javits Center], but I'm on my lunch, so I don't got much time. I'm not lazy."
The convention center, at 34th Street and 11th Avenue, is less than two miles away from the shuttle stop — a fraction of the 26.2 mile race.
The bus, which is set to run during the day on Friday and Saturday, also stops on Seventh Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets, Broadway and 49th Street and on 45th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue.
Many of the out-of-town marathoners are staying at hotels in the Midtown area.
For some runners from California, the brisk morning provided a rude awakening.
"It's a bit colder than San Francisco," said Steve Rogers, 44, who was rubbing his hands together for warmth.
Rogers, who has run seven other marathons, said this would be his first time in the New York race.
"I'm looking forward to finishing [in under] three hours," he said. "I've been trying for 15 years, one day it's going to happen."
At the Javits Center, marathoners and members of the public will have access to the marathon's Health and Fitness Expo, a huge convention filled with the latest in shoe technology and chafe-free shorts.
Cindy Gallant, 47, was also shivering through cooler weather than she's used to in San Diego while waiting for a ride.
"We're originally from Boston, but we've been gone a while," she said.
Gallant ran the marathon back in 1999, and said she's hoping this time around she can run it in less than four-and-a-half hours.