I wasn’t planning on a Friday after 5pm post but then this afternoon happened. I walked to Central Park today because it was gorgeous out. I had read that the finish line for the New York City Marathon was finally complete so I figured I walk over to Central Park.
The weather was beautiful out so uptown I went on 6th Avenue from my office at Rockefeller Center. Halfway on my walk up 6th avenue at around 54th street, I’m waiting for the light to change, and I see a young woman running towards me. I looked, I looked again more intently and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was one of my favorite runners currently on the circuit, none other than Brenda Martinez. I COMPLETELY FROZE for 3 seconds. I watched her run by and thought about asking for a selfie. Then I had all of these thoughts
“maybe she was on a final training run for the Abbot 5k Dash To The Finish- you can’t ask her for a selfie- what if you mess up her training run and she loses because of you- what if you stir up attention to her and she gets mobbed?”
By the time I asked all those questions in my head – she was gone. Running down 6th ave- it was good to see you Brenda! But i continued my walk smiling because I had seen one of my favorite runners up close. Pretty damn cool!
Onwards I went to Central Park! I made it to the finish line and what first struck me were all of the flags from all of the countries being representee at the marathon. How beautiful that sight was. How beautiful it must feel coming up that final uphill running between all of those flags.
Finally I made it to the finish line. I felt ecstatic about being able to see it. There was excitement because there were people meeting and discussing their plans for meeting their family members after the race. There were news reporters interviewing people about the race. So much buzz and optimism! Then I started to long for running this race on Sunday. Maybe I was teasing myself going to the Pavilion, Expo and now the finish line all in one week. But then I thought “screw this- I’m a runner and this is our Super Bowl, Our World Series, I’m going to celebrate”.
While I still felt feelings of wanting to run the race. I started to chat with people that were taking pictures with their numbers and with their families. Heck I implored people to get into the pics with their families on a couple of occasions and I snapped the pictures for them. I congratulated them for getting the opportunity to run th best race in the world and wished hem nothing but luck!
On my way out, I turned back because I saw Fred. Fred Lebow that is. The grandfather of the NYC Marathon has his famous stature just to the left of the finish line. I snapped a pic of Fred and literally said “thanks Fred”. Without him he won’t have this race, we don’t feel these emotions and we would never be able to say the words “New York City Marathon”.
I keep saying I will see you next year, but getting closer to the race this year has me more motivated than ever!
Once again good luck to all of those running this beautiful race on Sunday!