November 4th, 2018 I completed my first marathon. I ran the entire way, only stopping when I thought I had finished, which happened to be on three different occasions, but never stopping for water, never stopping to rest or stretch, and never ever stopping to walk. For this I am proud, especially given the proverbial lead that filled my legs for those last 3 miles. Flashes of a dysentery fueled meltdown felt a little too familiar as 100,000 of my closest friends, including my mother, Nina, Kenny, Jane, Dmitriy, and Bobby, watched intently on. But one foot somehow managed to scrapple in front of the other, and then it was over.
The beginning was definitely the best part, even surpassing the anticipation and days of calls, hugs, and high fives that proceeded the race itself. It was one of those really rare instances, where standing in it I knew exactly how special and unique it was. The moment before that canon went off will always be my last as a non-marathoner. I suppose it’s a rather arbitrary accomplishment, 26.2 miles, but as Ben likes to remind me, Marathon dies at the end… I didn’t. Woo.
Alone, but among 55,000 other runners, it felt like the most exclusive club in the world, even though we hadn’t even start yet, much less finished. Everything was technicolor – from the neon bandanas, to fluorescent shirts and tights, to the blazing orange and yellow leaves that lined the raceway – and everything was absolutely on fire. Canon goes boom and we ran.
Every inch of the way was inhabited with people coming out to cheer and celebrate this physical achievement. How cool and ridiculous is that!? People you’ve never met, or have very little in common with other than geography, are all out with signs, music, food, and drink to cheer and support. Even thinking about it now fills my gut with warmth and my eyes with little drops of happiness. Humans can pretty fucking rad sometimes.
Obviously the whole messaging around the marathon is It Will Move You, and right on. I am moved. Thank you, New York!
See you in Boston 2020…