OK here goes..... Packed up smoking 2 months ago and started running, doing quite well and lost loads of weight. I had a running companion and we had set our sights on New York 2005 marathon as a kind of goal to work towards. I am still very up for it, but today he dropped out and is going travelling instead. I am tempted to do the London Marathon in 2005 alone as a warm up and taster, but the thought of travelling to New York alone and training pre the run for a week or so is kinda daunting to say the least not knowing the area, where to stay and where to train etc without feeling intimidated as a beginner. Does anyone know of any clubs, organisations or anything like that who I could contact to arrange meeting someone for training and advice once I land in New York, also a pre-flight on line buddy to communicate with. I know it's a long way off (2005) but I don't feel I will be quite ready for the 2004 one, but I may be tempted to fly out and sample the atmosphere etc this year. Any advice to a UK beginner would be welcome, if I am hoping for too much then I apologise for wasting bulletin space and wish eveyone the best.