Bonus Marathon Spectator Edition
Today was the New York City Marathon, and I'd indeed be a lousy New Yorker (and a worse runner) if I didn't at least try to throw together a quick post in its honor. I've run seven marathons myself (all between 1999 and 2005) but I'd never watched one as a spectator before, and it was really a lot of fun. Kate and I stood outside on Manhattan Avenue for almost two hours, shouting ourselves hoarse (and clapping until our hands were numb) as a seemingly endless tide of runners surged north toward Queens. As it turns out, a good number of participants have their name (and sometimes, nationality) prominently displayed on their shirts, so it was easy enough to single folks out and offer some personalized encouragement. In fact, although I had my camera with me, it stayed in my pocket most of the time as I focused my energies instead on watching and hollering.
Yes, it was pretty cool to watch the elite runners speed by (the women first, since they had an earlier starting time), and yes, we saw Lance Armstrong (and his sizeable entourage of charity runners). Personally, though, the high point for me was actually getting to meet -- if only for a moment, and a half-hour apart -- two individuals who I know through comments or emails related to this blog. Linda (from the Detroit area) and Michael (a fellow Brooklynite) both finished easily, with the former actually coming in among the top 200 women with a time around 3:15. Wow. Congratulations -- it was great meeting both of you, and I look forward to hearing all about your experiences (after a proper recovery, of course). (I was also pleasantly surprised that so many passing runners responded to my Iowa sweatshirt, though after the Hawkeyes' ignominious home loss to Big 10 doormat Northwestern yesterday, I may have felt just a little twinge of self-consciousness). All the excitement made me wish I was running the marathon myself, but then again, I suppose my running-related dance card is full enough without all the additional training. Next year, though, is a different story...
I won't go into any more detail, since I want to warm up a bit and the race enjoys so much media coverage here anyway. But if you really want more information, try these links:
New York Marathon official website
New York Times marathon coverage
Finally, here are a few photos. Keep in mind, though, that most of my photographic experience has been in shooting stationary objects, not moving ones! In any event, I'll probably return to my regularly-scheduled running tomorrow. Hope to see you then.
Two of the elite women (I think that's Claudia Camargo on the right)
Just before the lead male runners emerged onto Manhattan Avenue
Carlos Carballo (who finished 27th) and Kassahun Kabiso (18th)
The view from the Runs Brooklyn headquarters, at about 1:00