When I woke up late after a few G&Ts last night, thousands of others were already in Staten Island to start a 26.2-mile run through the city. Feeling surprisingly okay and excited by the idea of cheering them along as they completed this amazing feat, I headed to the ING New York City Marathon’s route with Ryan, Jim and Georgia the Dog.
Marathons are fantastic – I’ve completed a couple of half marathons and there is something so euphoric and emotional about taking part, as well as that feeling of accomplishment afterwards. But when I took part, one of my favorite things was the strangers cheering me along, congratulating me, offering me sweets and telling me to keep going. Just one of these energetic interactions gave me a boost of adrenaline, and when they said I was going to complete it, I knew that I was.
So I was really looking forward to being on that side of the barrier to cheer along the swarms of runners. We were also there to cheer for our friend Ben, who was running. We’d told him to look out for us around mile 6 near to 23rd Street in South Slope, Brooklyn, so headed there as the marathon was already underway.
Man, I enjoyed this event so much. There weren’t that many spectators at this section of the route, so I was often the only voice yelling – and I really felt like the runners appreciated it. I hollered, whooped and cheered, yelling out the names written across their chests and fist pumping as they ran past. Some people thanked us, others cheered back and others just gave us a simple nod – as in, ‘Thanks but I really have other things to concentrate on right now’.
We were tracking Ben on the ING marathon app, but somehow we missed him, which was a shame. But we learned a couple of hours later that he’d completed it though (in an impressive 3 hours 57 minutes) so well done Ben!
This was a fantastic event to witness and I hope I made a couple of them feel that little bit better as they fought the aches, pains and doubts.