On Nov. 5th 1989, I was 18 years old and had been living in NYC for about 2 months. Sometime in the afternoon, I left my rodent infested shitbox of an apartment on 91st and Broadway for the Met. I would go there on Sundays with my pal Jen and draw. Sometimes I would ride my bike, sometimes I would walk. This day, I walked. I cut across Central Park having no idea it was marathon weekend. I stood very close to where my team, Front Runners, hands out water at mile 24. I dont remember how long I stood there watching. I do remember thinking it was really really cool and I very clearly remember 1 man who ran by.
He was missing a leg and going at it on crutches. That image has stuck with me over time.
My 18 year old self had no idea that 10 years later my 28 year old self would run NY for the first time. My high school XC coach talked about running NYC and running Boston and I thought he was nuts. By 18, I don't think I had ever run more than 6 miles at once.
Now my 38 year old self looks back over those 10 years since my first NYC and my first marathon. That 28 year old had no idea I'd run NYC 4 times (and counting!) along with 7 other marathons and be planning a trip to Boston in April.
I did hope to run this year but it's just not in the cards which is fine. NY will be here, it will always be my favorite marathon even if it's not my fastest or best.
This year, as I've done every year I haven't run but 1 since running my first NYC, I'll be out at mile 24 along with my team mates cheering and handing out water. So for all of you first time marathoners, first time runners of NYC, those looking to go under 3, those who claim it's their last, seekers of PRs, crazy maniacs, SloHoMos, BQ chasers, marathon weekend is here. All your work is done. Go out and run YOUR race and have a good time doing it.
I'll be watching!