As usual, I totally got emotional as soon as I turned on the news coverage Sunday morning. I love how they do one off interviews with runners as they wait for their official start times! Since the marathon begins on Staten Island, I have a little bit of time before the elite runners get to my side of town. My apartment is around mile 17 and 18 which is a tremendous point on the course to be out watching. You really begin to see what these runners are made of and it's SO inspirational and moving. As mentioned, I've spent four years supporting people on marathon day and it's a true delight for me. This year was a little different, though. This happens to be my last year watching as I'll officially be running in it next year! For those who don't know, the New York marathon is one of the hardest races to get into in the world. NYRR offers their 9+1 Program which is a fantastic program that allows members to run nine races in a calendar year, plus volunteer for one, which guarantees them entry into the following year's marathon. I have two races left to go this year and then I'm an official entrant into 2011! I am SO excited and feel like it's such a reward for my hard work this year.
Watching the marathon this time was much more meaningful for me than prior years. I was focused on different areas of it than I ever have been before and that's really because I kept imagining myself out there on the road next year, finally participating. That's huge for me and I feel rather overwhelmed each time I think about it. At any rate, we had a fabulous day celebrating the amazing runners who leave their heart out on the road. As usual, you saw everything from people with two fake legs to grandmothers to people in big costumes...it is quite the spectacle, running aside. My favorite part is when I'm fortunate enough to see a runner spot their friends or family on the sidelines and to see the pure joy in all of their faces. It's so amazing and has me choked up even writing this. While many out there aren't runners and cannot understand the pain one endures for a marathon, you still get to see unconditional support and encouragement. It's SO great. We all had a really terrific day together:
Another marathon day passed, another amazing memory for the books. I cannot wait for it to be MY turn next year!