First Time Spectator at the NYC Marathon

Every first Sunday of November since I can remember I have gotten up and been excited to watch the New York City marathon. I loved watching the crowds on the bridge as they started up, the excitement as the elite runners nearly sprinted through the five boroughs and the thrill of seeing thousands of people out and cheering for the runners as they ran one of the most famous marathon routes in the world. This year I decided to do something a little different: I was there.

It all started back in probably February or March when my coworker decided to apply for the lottery to get into the marathon that almost a million people want to run in every year. It was then that I decided I wanted to see the race I watch every year on t.v. live and in person. So thankfully she got in and I knew that the first Sunday in November I would be hopping on a train into the city and trekking up to Central Park to grab a spot along the course.

With my boyfriend in tow, I snagged a spot on the marathon course at the entrance to Central Park at East 90th, at about mile 23. At work last week we made posters to cheer on the runners, including my coworker. We unfurled our "Keep Going!" sign to display to the thousands of runners that streamed past us. It was absolutely crazy and wonderful in the crowd; I've never felt anything like that. Everyone was so happy and enthusiastic for the runners. The best part was calling out runners' names that they had displayed on their shirts to tell them to keep going, there were only three more miles left. And what were three more miles when they'd already run 23?

Finally, FINALLY we saw her! I can't even describe how exciting it is to see your very own runner. You're so proud and happy for them and it's exhilarating to see someone you know doing something so incredible. The whole spirit of the marathon was a great experience that I would recommend to everyone. I don't think it would have been as much fun to go all the way into the city had I not known someone but I think if there was a marathon right where I lived, it could be equally fun. While I'm not sure if I will ever motivate myself to run 26.2 miles, being a part of many other runners ultimate running experience was something I will never forget.

If you want more NYC marathon coverage check out Lauren Johnston's Running Dialogue blog on the NY Daily News website or the coverage by the New York Times.