Nov 7 2005

Only Twice? or The Un-Big Sur Marathon

Only Twice? or The Un-Big Sur Marathon

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but Brad and I finished the 36th running of the New York City Marathon yesterday.  Here we are shortly after the end.

Matt_and_brad_at_marathonThis was my second marathon.  When I finished Big Sur in 1996 with my friend Karl Florida, I had a nagging feeling that I’d do another one someday and figured it should be New York given how long I’ve lived here and what a great race it is.  From where I sit today, it’s hard to imagine doing another one.  Finishing is a truly great feeling, but boy is it a lot of work to get ready for it (not to mention a fair amount of pain both getting ready for it and doing it!).  Brad’s nuts — I say this with the utmost admiration — he’s in the process of doing 50 marathons, 1 in each state, mostly over the next 10 years.

The whole thing was incredible.  37,000 runners is just a sea of people.  There was never a point on the course when the field really thinned out – all you could see as a runner, in either direction, was just miles of heads bobbing up and down.  The crowd was amazing.  The New York Roadrunners Club estimates that 2 million people turn out to watch the marathon somewhere along the course, and I believe it.

The race was truly the opposite of the Big Sur Marathon, though.  Big Sur was silent, serene, and picturesque, with about 3,000 runners and zero spectators until about mile 24.  Yesterday’s race was raucous, crowded, and while Central Park and 5th Avenue were nice, you’d be hard pressed to call some of the sections of Queens and The Bronx we ran through picturesque.

Anyway…back to limping around the office today!