Saturday, October 24, 2009

Next weekend I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my first NYC marathon. This marathon is special to me as it sparked a real shift in my life. What really stood out when I first arrived out in Staten Island on a FREEZING cold day in November of 1999, was that it truly was the city where "the world comes to run". There were thousands of runners from all over the world proud to be in the Big Apple representing their particular country. And I was thrilled to be a part of this global community of runners in an exciting, fast-paced city filled with adventure. I was Dorothy excited to be out of Kansas.

I was so pumped up at the start of the race that I went out really fast. But the pace felt good so I decided to stick with it. I reached the 13.1 mile mark in 1:23. At that point I told myself that either I was going to have the race of my life and qualify for the Olympic Trials or completely crash and burn. So I went for it.

As it turned out I crashed BIG TIME having to walk most of the last 2-3 miles. Those last few miles were long, slow and painful, but I actually felt fabulous finishing that race. What I found most exciting and exhilarating was the fact that I took the risk and put forth my best effort and NOT those numbers on the clock at the finish line (3:02). So I didn't qualify for the Trials, but at least I gave it my best shot. I also recall so many thoughtful and supportive gestures from the other runners at this race, despite the language barriers. When you're running along with the same person for 5 or 6 miles you actually begin to bond, even if there aren't any words. I wish I could meet and thank the Norwegian woman who handed me a grape licorice stick at mile 21 when she could tell I was starting to fade. My memories of this day will be always be precious to me.

I love coming back to New York. This year is going to be a slow one, but I'm still thrilled, honored and grateful that I will once again "be a part" of this amazing race and incredible city.
This year I've got a great itinerary which includes great reads on the train to and from the city, a ticket to Wicked on Broadway, Saturday afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dinner with DFMCers in the Village, and oh yes, a 26 mile "jog" on Sunday morning.
A toast to all NYC runners past, present and future who embrace the positive spirit of what it means to come together peacefully and run!

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