Marathon Day

Paula

It’s a big sports day. Many of our New England readers will be glued to their sets this afternoon watching the undefeated Pats and Colts square off. I’m not interested in the NFL, but even I’m excited about this matchup. Brady-Manning is our latter day Montana-Marino, and we’ve even got a Fouts/Favre thing going on the side. But for me, and for most New Yorkers, the biggest sporting event of the day, and maybe the most joyful sporting event of the year, is the NYC Marathon. The Marathon’s genius is that anyone who applies can participate; those nutty enough to run 26.2 miles can do so in the same race as the greatest runners in the world; the rest of us, in each of the city’s five boroughs, get to cheer them on. It feels great. New York has a reputation as a tough, unfriendly place, but on Marathon Day all the cliches about cynicism and the city are trampeled under some 80,000 besneakered feet and a million happy spectators. I grew up on this event: my childhood home is in on First Avenue in Manhattan, just short of the 17-mile mark. My uncle Gene ran it up into his 70s. Today, for the first time, I watched from Brooklyn, where I live now, with my family. Above is a shot of Paula Radcliffe charging down Fourth Avenue. (She went on to victory, and this after having a kid in January—amazing.) It’s pretty great to be so close to the athletes, and not just the elite runners. The whole day is a celebration, and the fearmongers and naysayers get no traction. I’d bet 95 percent of the people who came out to watch went home thinking about going for it next year, and even if they don’t it doesn’t really matter. What the Marathon celebrates, more than just long distance running, is possibility; it’s a reminder that with determination, hard work, and some support along the way, even the most Olympian task is possible. Something for a certain GM to keep in mind.

A few more images after the jump.

Gogo

The view from Third Street. Go! Go! Go!

Runners

All downhill from here. (The 7 mile mark)

Speedlimit

A sign along the route. Well, they are quick….

Activedrive

Actually, not that active. A few blocks away the crowds are several rows deep, but the surrounding neighborhood is blessedly quiet.

Littlehouse

Nobody home. Maybe they’re out watching the race.

Greendoor

What’s behind the green door? The secret Kenyan marathon strategy session, no doubt…..

17 comments… add one
  • The Marathon’s genius is that anyone who applies can participate
    Sort of. There is an application and qualification process, along with a lottery. But if you complete certain races prior to the marathon and wait long enough, yeah, you can get in, and that does mean anyone. But you can’t just sign up and show up to run.
    Nice pics, YF!

    SF November 4, 2007, 4:48 pm
  • That’s true SF, but if you’re committed, you can do it, and if not the first year you apply, then in one soon after. It’s as democratic as can be.

    YF November 4, 2007, 4:59 pm
  • A little less of a joyful day considering that a major marathoner died while running yesterday in New York.

    Hudson November 4, 2007, 5:42 pm
  • I love the Marathon. Always go to cheer on the MSKCC team…living a block away from First Avenue, there’s no excuse not to watch! Probably one of my favorite days of the year.
    Nice pics, YF.

    yankeemonkey November 4, 2007, 5:43 pm
  • Hey YM i work at mskcc glad to hear you are cheering us on! Not that Im running but still…

    sam-YF November 4, 2007, 5:47 pm
  • Very true, Hudson. Perhaps a reminder to savor every moment you have in this life because you never know when the end might come.

    yankeemonkey November 4, 2007, 5:49 pm
  • Sam: colleague!!! Small world, eh?

    yankeemonkey November 4, 2007, 5:50 pm
  • Small world indeed, I work over in RRL doing research. You?

    sam-YF November 4, 2007, 5:55 pm
  • Used to be in RRL, now in Zuckerman. Whose lab?

    yankeemonkey November 4, 2007, 6:36 pm
  • Friend of YFSF Spidey ran in the marathon today, still waiting to hear how he’s doing!

    SF November 4, 2007, 6:56 pm
  • Im a grad student in the keeney lab.

    sam-YF November 4, 2007, 7:03 pm
  • Meanwhile, the refs in the Patriots game gave every impression of having money on the Patriots not making the 5-1/2 game spread…

    Hudson November 4, 2007, 7:29 pm
  • Great post YF…I spent 5 hours in Central Park today videotaping, slapping hands and cheering on anyone who wrote their names on their chest. Always a great day…its the one sporting event that truly inspires me…seeing people crossing the finish in wheelchairs and on one leg makes me ashamed I dont always get the most out of myself. Thanks to the marathon and the time change, I’ll be at the gym tomorrow morning at 7 am before work…at least thats the plan.

    dknyc November 4, 2007, 8:14 pm
  • Spidey reports that he finished in 3:38, with some cramping around mile 19 when he hit the Bronx. Spidey is a YF, interesting that he cramped up when he was in sniffing distance of Yankee Stadium. Coincidence?

    SF November 4, 2007, 8:32 pm
  • Way to go Spidey! Next year I think we need a YFSF cheer section.

    YF November 4, 2007, 8:46 pm
  • Man, the best that I do is a local 5K here in Williamsburg VA (hence the BillsBurg handle. It is sponsored by Anheuser-Busch and it is really a beer run. It finishes up at the gym on the William & Mary campus and the place it loaded with beer stations. Now that’s my kinda run;-)

    BillsBurgSF November 4, 2007, 9:08 pm
  • Man, the best that I do is a local 5K here in Williamsburg VA (hence the BillsBurg handle. It is sponsored by Anheuser-Busch and it is really a beer run. It finishes up at the gym on the William & Mary campus and the place it loaded with beer stations. Now that’s my kinda run;-)

    BillsBurgSF November 4, 2007, 9:08 pm

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.