On Sunday morning, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets from Staten Island to Central Park for the TCS New York City Marathon.
I was one of them. And it wasn’t easy.
Temperatures were in the low 40s. Winds gusted to near 45 mph. The day’s events started early, I hadn’t had enough carbs and my heels were positively aching after four hours on my feet.
Huh? But I thought you weren’t running the NYC marathon this year.
I wasn’t. I was spectating.
That’s right — on Sunday morning, I bundled up and made my way to First Avenue to watch what I am embarrassed to admit was my first NYC marathon ever. To be fair, in 2013 I ran it myself, in 2012 it was canceled, in 2011 I was at a wedding and in 2010 my chubby 25-year-old self was probably eating an egg sandwich off her own belly in bed oblivious to the fact a 26.2-mile race was going on around her. Still, spectating this thing was a long freaking time coming.
But they say good things are worth waiting for and, my god, cheering at the NYC marathon was the greatest thing.
What made it so great? Absolutely everything. Shaking my pom poms at mile 18. Cheering on blind Achilles athletes and their dedicated guides. Spotting speedy friends as they shot up First Ave. Reading runners’ first names off their shirts and watching them come alive. Confirming that Meb Keflezighi can positively fly.
In fact, I finished the day so pumped that it made me want to run right out and race a marathon. Fortunately, I’m already signed up for Philadelphia in 19 days’ time. And that may scratch my itch for the time being.
But, to be honest, watching the NYC marathon really just made me want to run another NYC marathon, and I’m afraid for this New Yorker, no other race is going to truly satisfy that urge.
Luckily, no other race has to.
Get ready, Verrazano Bridge: I’m coming for you again.