This Sunday is the New York City Marathon. It is one of the HUGE marathons that everyone has on their bucket list (I mean I assume). We will be running a 20 mile training run in the morning then heading into the city to Cheryl’s friends house to watch her coworker run.
In 2009 I was working my way through my 9+1 New York Road Runner requirements so that I could run the 2010 New York City Marathon. Even though I was doing my requirements, I still entered the lottery to run the 2009 marathon. Even though we didn’t get in my friend Cindy decided she wanted to run it. Her father has MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and she wanted to run it for him so she ran with the National MS Society. Since she would be running it alone Cheryl and I decided we were going to be the best spectators ever!
We got up super early and headed to our first spectator point in Brooklyn (around mile 8). We got there early because we wanted to be right on the road. Luckily there was a cheer station right across from where we were planning to stand and they had some pom-pons, sunglasses and cowbells!
We made t-shirts with a picture of Cindy and her dad on them and I made a sign the night before. I had a pair of red tights. I figured it would be helpful for her to see us, but not the smartest idea in November.
Of course where we were standing there were no storefronts or porta-potties. I had to run 5 blocks to go to the bathroom. I wanted to make sure I got back in time to see the elites or Cindy!
Finally the elites came flying through. It didn’t even look like their feet were touching the ground! This was the year that Meb won :)
Then the rest of the runners started making their way past us. We weren’t really sure of Cindy’s pace so we were looking for her the whole time. After we finally saw her we headed to our next spectator point. This is where everything went downhill. The subways were PACKED and took a lot longer than we had expected. We also had signed up for runner tracking, but that didn’t work at all. We were waiting for her around mile 18, but realized we must have missed her because we were waiting wayyy too long. I started to get really cold. Luckily I packed a jacket and pants.
We finally got the website working and realized Cindy was already in Central Park! It totally threw off our other spectator points. We raced to the park to meet her at the finish, but we could not find her. We waited…and waited…and waited. We were starting to get worried so I went backwards through the finish shoot to look for her. It was starting to get dark at this point and she wasn’t answering her phone. Finally she called us and we met up with her. She had cramped really bad at the end so she went to the medical tent and iced her knees and got a massage to uncramp. It took a lot longer than we had thought, but we found her and she finished.
It was dark out by the time we left New York. We had literally been in the city ALL DAY. My outfit choice and the fact that I was running around outside all day took a toll on me the next day. I woke up with strep throat :(
It was definitely a learning experience for marathon watching!