Monday, November 8, 2010

Hometown Tourist - Watching the NYC Marathon Brooklyn Style

I love the New York City Marathon. It's one of my favorite fall events in the city. It's usually my Halloween since for a variety of reasons I am not too into that holiday, and it's often within a week of the marathon. I don't know why the marathon makes me giddy. Maybe it's for the same reasons that I told you that I like sports. I like being active (to a point) and seeing others be active too. Yet my love for the marathon is also based on the idea of setting goals, achieving them and pushing yourself beyond what you think you can accomplish. I have always been touched, humbled and awed by the bravery of marathoners to put themselves out there in such a public way. The marathon always inspires me, and I usually get emotional at some point while I watch it (I watch the Ironman Triathlon almost every year on TV, and I am usually a bawling mess by the end).

Enough of my emotional drivel! :) I love being so close to a major NYC event too. Husband J and I live near a corner that makes it extremely easy to see the marathon each year, so we both are usually out cheering on runners early. Apparently, we live at approximately Mile 8. I just learned this yesterday!

I don't know about the other boroughs, but I think Brooklyn does a great job of cheering on the runners. As a matter of fact I overheard a man last year tell his friend, "You know, it's not really like this in other cities." :)

I mean a band playing at 9:30am in 40 degree weather?

In front of the Dunkin' Donuts, of course

You can buy their album on ITunes. The music was actually pretty decent.

Depending on the weather, I try to come prepared to watch. I usually stay out for a couple of hours. This year I had to be pretty vigilant since it was colder than in years past. I think it was in the low 40's at about 9am when I stepped outside.
A thermos full of hot chocolate! :)

Husband J had a little cap on and sunglasses. It was a gorgeously SUNNY day. If I remember correctly, I don't think it's ever rained on marathon day since I've watched.

I must really love you all to post this picture 'cause I look like a hot mess! The marathon organizers gave out these folding cardboard pieces that could be made into signs or these loud noise-making fans.

There are quite a few amenities for the runners close. Our location 1/3 of the way into the race would probably require a water break. I would need one at Mile 1!
A water station. I love the volunteers' windbreakers.

A medical station

Inside the medical tent. Edison Pena, the rescued Chilean miner who ran the marathon stopped into one of these in Manhattan before finally finishing.

We did notice a little bit of stepped up security this year. In the past at the early portions of the race, we were able to be really, really close to the first batch of runners (the Elite Men & Women aka the pros). This year, we were told to get on the sidewalk before ANY participants came by.

The police canine team was out this year too (never saw this before). That dog REALLY didn't like some people.

Being relegated to the sidewalk did mean one good thing: warm air vents! Nice!

Finally, it was time to see some marathon-ing. First out were the wheelchair and some other of the other participants with physical disabilities. I am most awed by their determination and physical strength.

Maybe one day, I'll be one of these guides.

At that point a sizable crowd had gathered.

There's definitely a different kind of buzz in the air when the Elite runners are about to pass by. First, there are police officers on motorcycles, but then there is a truck carrying the official time for the race.

While not up close and personal, we did get to see the pro runners.
Here's the first group of the Elite Women. If you can believe this, the woman who won, Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, is actually the woman wearing a white singlet all the way to the right and barely in this picture. Shalane Flanagan, wearing the white knee socks, was the top US finisher and came in 2nd place. Love the knee socks!

After a brief break, the men came by.
Yes, this is a blurry pic, but I wanted to show you the time. 39 minutes and 41 seconds. Wow! That's slow by NYC marathon standards actually. Crazy thought, ain't it?

This is all I could get of the Elite Men. They were that fast!

Then the masses came. :) My favorite thing to do is to call out peoples' names with words of encouragement. Often runners will wear T-shirts and singlets with their names on them. For the most part, I think they appreciate the shout out.

The NYC marathon is a really an international event, and the runners are often representing their countries pretty proudly or not taking themselves too seriously.
This guy in white and waving a Japanese flag ran the marathon in a swan costume. I like swans. :)

If I ever run the marathon, I want a nice big sign like this. I hope Thijs from the Netherlands appreciated this flag!

Every year, Husband J and I notice one of the local fire companies out cheering for one of New York's Bravest (local nickname for firefighters). We didn't see them for awhile, but they eventually showed up!

This is the flag of the Philippines.

Some runners actually managed to find their friends and family and drop things off like this guy! I wonder if I would have the presence of mind to even do that.
I guess this marathon was of even greater interest to me since I've started to run a little. The day before I had just finished 2.5 miles at a decent pace on the treadmill (Husband J and I ran the afternoon of the marathon too). I would not have been able to do that even a few months ago. Maybe my goal of a 5k is not as crazy as it seemed a few months ago.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed a look at one of my favorite NYC mornings in the fall.


Runrgurl10 said...

LOVED this post bc I ran the marathon in 2008 and everything you said is SO true! The runners LOVE being cheered on, which is why a lot put their names on their shirts, and I actually managed to drop some stuff off with my family right around there, I think at mile 11!
Plus, I saw the Chilean miner right before the finish line yesterday, it was awesome!
Running the NYC marathon is such a special event, you should do it someday T!!!

BigAppleNosh said...

Such a great post! I could feel the excitement in your photos!

lobster said...

The marathon is so high energy! I've never been in the cheering section but am always amazed by the dedication they have to training! said...

I've never watched a marathon live before. This looks exciting. Maybe I should add it to my to-do list.

Katie said...

What an experience! I would love to watch a marathon one day...I doubt I'd ever be able to run one myself though... ;)

Kate said...

That is so awesome that you watch this every year. What an experience!

Try Anything Once Terri said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I totally encourage you to watch a marathon. It's totally inspiring, and the runners love the encouragement!

@Rungurl10- I'd love to run a marathon one day! :)

M and C said...

I always wished I had the chance to watch the marathon when Micah was living there. It looks like fun.


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