Monday, November 03, 2008

NYC Marathon 2008

So I started this post and didn't finish - this was supposed to be posted Monday Nov. 3rd....

The streets were shut down most of yesterday to accommodate the thousands of people running the New York Marathon.
The marathon brings out an unexpected side of the city. So many people line the streets to cheer on the runners. Most runners put their names on their jerseys and as they run people shout out their name and yell encouragement. It's really touching to see the crowds reach out to the runners.

We're right in between people running up 1st Ave headed to the Bronx and 5th Ave where they turn in to Central Park, almost at the end of the race.
I decided to watch the runners just as they made the turn in to Central Park. When I got out to the streets the last of the wheelchair racers were headed to the finish line. The crowds were cheering like crazy for each racer that rolled by - Time Warner was handing out cow bells, between the clang of the bells, the claps, and the cheers the racers has plenty to keep them motivated.
The picture below shows the turn in to Central Park at 90th. The crowds on the corner would shout how they were almost done and to keep going. There was one wheelchair racer who just looked exhausted, as he turned the corner he grabbed the wheels gave a big heave and then hoisted his arms in to the air - the crowd went wild, they were on their feet cheering him in to the park. It was so emotional.
I waited about 15 minutes and the leader (and winner) passed by - first the official time truck, then the cameras and police escort
and then the leader. She's really hard to see in this photo - but look towards the right side her shoes and gloved hands stand out among the crowd. Her stride was amazing - by this point she had completely broken away from the pack and was clearly in command of the race. She went by so quickly I couldn't even get in another photo.

I waited for the leaders in the men's race and then packed my cow bell away for next year. I always think I want to run a marathon - but really I'm more suited for cheering from the sidelines.