A spectator's guide to Marathon Sunday
My day began early. Even earlier than most of the runners. My alarm cried out at the ugly hour of 3:30am and with that it was time to get ready to start my version of Marathon Sunday. I passed a few stragglers coming in from Saturday night festivities and caught a cab with AB to the NYPL for my volunteering duties. It was cold and most definitely dark but the excitement and spirit more than made up for such an early rising. I was able to see off Moz, Sempre Libera, Pink Monkey, PR, MG, as well as probably close to 20,000 other runners. It was a fantastic experience and when finished, the sun had been up for a good hour. Ahh the day had begun.
The next portion of Marathon Sunday consisted of being a spectator/cheerleader up in Harlem. This also meant escorting Sempre Libera’s parents and giving them updates every 5k from my blackberry. I watched as the elite men and women whizzed by, two of my teammates that would eventually sub 3 and beat Lance!, and the masses of people that fill the streets of NYC on this glorious Sunday. I took some photos but eventually I let go of the camera and went back to my trusty pom poms. I saw NYFlyGirl and gave her a good cheer. Morrissey enjoyed a cookie;-) After a while, we had to make sure the runners got their proper nutrition. Yes, I did make cookies. How many? How about 4 FULL containers (so probably somewhere in the vicinity of 80-90 cookies!). However, one container didn’t even make it through Saturday night. I won’t mention names but in all honesty, I gave the approval to do so;-)
As the time drew near, I stripped down to shorts and got my legs ready to help Sempre Libera and Pink Monkey with the last 7 miles. Armed with a red pom pom, two Power Gels, and two cookies off we went towards completing their first marathon. I must say it was an interesting experience since my 2004 marathon debut. I waved my pom pom, screamed my lungs out and did everything I could to keep the crowds going. It was definitely a bit disappointing coming down 5th avenue and into the park as the crowds were not into it. I kept screaming “I can’t hear you New York!” with my hand cupped to my ear and waving the pom pom like mad. My last words to them were: “Now it’s time for you to finish this. Go get ‘em!” And that they did. Oh and for the record - there was no walking. We dont allow that around this neck of the woods;-) So congratulations Sempre Libera and Pink Monkey: welcome to the marathon club!
The night was spent with Pink Monkey and Sempre Libera rehashing stories of their first marathon. It made it all the more amazing to think it had been two full years since my marathon journeys began. Oh and what was the food of choice? Why, chicken fingers of course! This has become the tradition of sorts for AB, SL and I after completing a marathon. One thing is for sure though. Yesterday confirmed my plans for Fall 2007. Oh and this time – no more dreaming of Boston.
Congrats to everyone out there in blogland and beyond!
Update: Today you could definitely tell who had run the marathon yesterday. While walking down the stairs of the subway station, I witnessed one suspected runner holding on to the rail for dear life. Ahh the joys of marathon pains!