Monday, November 06, 2006

NY City Marathon

This post is mostly going to be pictures. I woke up bright an early Sunday morning (note the previous night Maria, Dan, Emily, and myself had over a bottle of wine each) to venture cross town to the NY city marathon. Talk about pounding headache. I thankfully packed a big water bottle of gatorade to help nurse myself thru the wee hours. I walked over to 61st and 1st Ave (just by the Queensborugh bridge). At 10:00 in the morning the place was already packed. The lead runners were not expected to pass by for another hour to 90 minutes. I wedged myself into a spot along the gate with a good view of those passing by. Within 30 minutes of arriving, the spot around me had amassed to 8 people deep (early bird does get the worm...or decent watching spot). I watched the wheelchair racers zoom by in their speedy chairs (they start 30 minutes before the runners and typically finish in half the time...super speedy). Pretty soon the women leaders ran by. Here is a picture of the lead woman and "rabbit" (pacer who will eventually drop out). They were a good 200m ahead of the womens' pack. Later (since the women pros are started before the general public) the men leaders came by. Here are some pics. Not to sound completely racist, but the lead group consisted of mostly black men (Kenya, Somoli, etc runners). The next pack of men were the "white guys". Amusing. Now I love watching the marathong because it is like an episode of extreme makeover house edition (fyi, I hate that show, but the emotional waterfall is the same). I saw a mentally challenged runner with a "spirit buddy" in tow. The buddy was two steps behind the runner with a giant banner that said "Go Doug!". Believe me the crowd went crazy when he passed by and you could tell the runner was having the day of his life (tears). Again, not to sound awful (but hey, why not) the best way to hear plenty of encouragement is to run near a disadvantaged person (ie mentally handicapped, one leg, giagantic hunchback, etc). I was in a race once, and the crowd around me started to go crazy with excitement. Being vain, I wondered if it was for me (even though I was in the middle to back of the pack). Nope, it turns out a midget (or little person to be totally PC) was zooming up the sideline. Totally flew by me (upsetting since my legs alone were taller than her). Okay back to the NY marathon. I could blame the excessive crowd on one man....Lance Armstrong. Hey, I wanted to see him run by also (oh and to show him the sign "Lance you can ride me anytime!", no not really). The lead runners always get a motorcade to signal someone important is coming so therefore clear the way. Well, Lance got a motorcade as well. He also had a huge entourage of people. Hey if I could run as fast as him, I would try to run nearby to get on the cover (second girl from the right partially cut off) of sports illistrated or something. I expected him to be in a bright yellow shirt because hey, he is the only guy who can really pull off that color. To my surprise, he was in dark forest green. If you look closely, you can pick him out in the massive group.


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