These Vagabond Shoes
Running is an excellent way to experience a city. At street level, you get a bona-fide dose of local color and a sense of what makes a place unique and interesting. You interact with real people (at least in the symbiotic and mutually satisfying participant/spectator sense).
And there’s just something about New York. Quintessentially American yet boldly international, itâ€™s a mythical place of history and lore. Itâ€™s our Ur; the American Mecca. It’s larger than life, and so is its signature road race.
Nearly forty thousand people ran New York this year, representing over one hundred countries. The colossal field included elites, the famous, not so famous, serious runners, casual runners, stunt runners and everyone in between. About the only person not running was Bono. And heâ€™s probably thinking about it.
Something like ninety-eight thousand people applied for entry via a lottery. That’s roughly seven times the population of Hopkinton, MA and very nearly the population of my hometown: Waterbury, CT. Since some runners always get in apart from the lottery (elites, sponsored runners, Katie Holmes) it can be tough to make the field. I hear the race directors request SAT scores. Beta Club membership doesnâ€™t hurt.
I jumped at the chance to run the New York City Marathon. It proved to be everything I hoped, most of what I feared, and every bit the signature event I expected.
What could be better than that?
My New York City Marathon race report reveals all.
January 2nd, 2008 at 9:50 am
Ooooh, you said the ‘F’ word…. 😉
January 2nd, 2008 at 9:53 am
I merely quoted a colorfully enthusiastic spectator who employed an emphatic adjective, usually considered vulgar but frequently heard in New York.
January 2nd, 2008 at 2:15 pm
Sounds awesome! I love Brooklyn too! And while I doubt a woman would be welcome (much less able) to pee off a bridge, I applaud your tenacity.
January 2nd, 2008 at 6:56 pm
I heart the bar chart!!
January 3rd, 2008 at 10:52 am
I’ve seen female runners do things I can not begin to describe in polite company.
January 3rd, 2008 at 3:59 pm
I didn’t see anything about the “longest urinal in the world”. I was there about 15 years ago and there was a pvc tube that was cut in half so that a urine trough was formed that ran about 1/2 mile. The flow rate was amazing!
January 3rd, 2008 at 4:31 pm
Either I totally missed this feat of engineering, or race officials have brought the staging area up to code in recent years.
January 3rd, 2008 at 6:46 pm
As someone who has in the last two months run the NYC marathon and then moved to NYC, I must say this is an awesome report.
January 4th, 2008 at 11:54 am
Awesome report! My favorite so far…. but only because I grew up in F*%#ing New York City!
January 4th, 2008 at 1:51 pm
The only thing that would’ve made your 26.2 mile tour of NY even phatter…….Bustin’out with the WINDMILL old school style for the Bronx DJ’s! Congrats on the finish even though i see you’ve gone conservative with the hair color. Sell out!!!
January 4th, 2008 at 5:04 pm
Great report. I think the best I’ve ever seen.
Intensifies my desire to go and run it some day.
January 4th, 2008 at 7:42 pm
Your report is fantastic. Besides being a good runner, you’re also a very good writer. You’ve covered every aspect extremely well. Thanks.
I was there…well, hours behind you, but there! To my utter delight and surprise, I got in two years in a row by the lottery! I think the crowds were even better this year than last! Brooklynites are the BEST! This year, I brought my camera and took pictures. Wasn’t going to miss that opportunity again. Since doing NY last year and taking my daughter’s advice to put my name on my outfit, I do that now for every race. (Easier for people to cheer you by name rather than a number) In Brooklyn, a lady yelled out, “Welcome back, Mama Jean”! She remembered seeing me! You know I will apply for NY again! Yes, nothing like it. Besides that, I’m convinced theres a special lottery place for women in my age group. I’m 67 now and did meet an 80 yr old last year.
To those that aren’t sure, just suck it up and pull out the credit cards, cause you won’t be carrying enough cash with you to cover this city. It is one hell of an experience that you shouldn’t miss.
Oh, by the way, I saw the urinal last year. Was right alongside my corral. Looked like 55 gallon drums cut in half and welded together. Not quite half mile long, but looonnnnnnnnggg and it was busy!
So folks, try for NY. Nothing like it!
January 4th, 2008 at 8:53 pm
Nice report, Maniac 540. I read it once, then went to the bookstore, bought a dictionary, and read it again, this time with comprehension! I also found this word: sesquipedalian.
Seriously, 3:38:23 is a pretty good time IMHO, especially with the huge crowd. I didn’t get in the lottery this time, but will try again in 2008. Are you running any of Terri’s SC Ultra Trail Run Series this year? That Hitchcock Woods run in a tropical storm was…memorable.
January 4th, 2008 at 9:19 pm
I hope to still have my original knees when I’m 67, let alone the ability to do repeat trips to NYC! Way to go!!
September 23rd, 2008 at 9:03 pm
I sat next you and the three folks you were running with on the ING bus to Staten Island. It was my first marathon and y’all were great entertainment before the start. (helped calm the pre-race jitters) In any event, after hearing y’all talk about the Mt Mitchell on the bus, I signed up to do the Challenge in Feb. I hope to see y’all up there. if any of y’all make it to Atlanta between now and then, shoot me an email.