It’s the first weekend of November and, of course, for New York City it is Marathon Weekend. Marathon Sunday has been my favorite day of the year in New York ever since I first experienced it. Back then I didn’t even run or know anyone who was running it, but the energy in the city on that day was incredible.
This is my first year missing Marathon Sunday. The reason I love the marathon (and running) so much is that it is the one sport where anyone can train and compete on the same field as professionals. I will never play in the Super Bowl or the World Series, however I can train and participate in the same exact race as some of my running idols. There is no other sport that is so welcoming to everyone at once. Want to be inspired? Watch a marathon. Runners of all shapes, sizes and abilities power through all 26.2 miles. And even though running is an individual sport, runners are some of the most encouraging people I know.
I ran my first half marathon in Brooklyn in 2010. I was somewhere around mile 12, with a stitch in my side and running out of gas. I was slowing down, until a fellow runner came to my side and said, “We finish, and we run!” He stuck with me for about a quarter of a mile and gave me the push I needed to finish strong (and 3 minutes under my goal time). That experience made me want to run again and beat my previous time. Now, after a few more half marathons under my belt, I can’t wait for the day I go to the starting line in Staten Island.
On Sunday, I have a few friends (Alysia, Adena, Lindsey) running NYC for the second, third, fourth, etc. times… and I wish them the best of luck. I will be rooting for them all day, but the person I am the most excited for is my friend Melissa. Melissa and I both had to drop out of the marathon in 2011 due to injuries, and Melissa was signed up and ready to go last year when the marathon was cancelled due to Superstorm Sandy. So, Melissa – this year is YOUR year. I want you to enjoy every single minute of it and I will be thinking of you all day! I wish I could be there and you know I am cheering for you the entire time! I’ll be tracking you and can’t wait to hear all about it!
And good luck to everyone running!