Posts Tagged ‘The New York Marathon’


November 8, 2010 12 comments

“This is a lot of effort to go through just to go through a lot of effort,” a lady said as we got off the Staten Island Ferry.

I wasn’t used to getting up this early, and I’d never been to Staten Island before. It was about 38 degrees, and we were all bundled up. The ferry was full of runners who would then be shuttled to the marathon’s start. I was texting my friend, Joshunda, who was also running.

“I’ll be under a tree in the Green area across from the Port-a-Pottys wearing a maroon shirt,” she typed.

“I’ll be the black guy,” I responded.

When we arrived to get to the race’s start, I had so little time to check my bag before my running group’s corral closed at the start that I couldn’t meet Joshunda, and in my scamble forgot to grab my Gu packets. I was worried I’d be spent by mile 7 with no fuel. I got in line to use the bathroom, and the dude next to me had a grip of them.

“Um, could borrow one of your gels?” He looked like Pete Campbell from Mad Men, only with blond hair. He seemed reluctant at first, since he’d planned out his refueling strategy and only brought enough to get him through that, but then handed one over.

“I’m going to meet up with my friends along the way who should have some, so here you go.” Pound-hug. Then I ran into Jason, who was also running with Groundwork, the non-profit for which I was running, and he had a grip of gels. “Take as many as you need!” But as I was packing my gels and fixing my clothes, I lost my left glove. Shit. It was brand new, black knit, with the name of each of NYC’s borough’s on each of the five fingers.

We started lining up for the race to start, and I fiddled  with my lone glove and chatted with this cat named Mark.  New Hampshire. Mid-30’s. Worked at an environmental consulting company cleaning up superfund sites. We were trying to run about the same time. He said he started running when he had kids. “I want to be around for them as long as possible.” Word. There were people disrobing and tossing all their hoodies and extra layers onto the ground as we got closer to our 9:40 start time. He pointed to the ground.

“Hey, is that a left glove?” It was gray and blue, and  didn’t match the other one. But I ain’t even care.

“This?” I said to Mark. “This is a good sign.”

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