If I’m being honest with myself, which I try to do, I was really disappointed in the showing of the Americans the New York City Marathon on Sunday. My heart sank each time I furtively checked my Twitter feed during Sunday School for the latest on the standings. At first Meb was hanging with the leaders. Jason Hartmann was mentioned, too. But it was still early then, and after the first hour, there were no more mentions of American’s in the minute-by-minute updates.
And the women. There were no mentions of any American women. Boo.
By the time church was over and the results were in (the top Americans came in at 14th among both the men and women), I was pretty disappointed. So disappointed that we nearly bailed on our plan to go cheer on the normal Joe Schmoes out there running. But, of course, as we pedaled home and got those endorphins pumping through our bodies, we changed our minds. After all, the race course wasn’t too far out of our way. And it’s always a good idea to cheer on your fellow men, right?
So we did it. It was nearly 1:00 by the time we got to our spectating spot near mile 9. Most people had been out there for nearly 2 hours. The people that were just getting to mile 9 were the back-of-the-packers. They were walking, or jogging slowly. Maybe running a bit and then stopping to walk again. They are the people of whom I have always had a great admiration: those who can stick with it for 7 or 8 hours. That takes a lot of determination. And many spectators have left by then. They’ve seen the fast people, the elites, and their friends, and they’ve gone home for lunch. Just when the people who will be out there the longest are getting there. They need the support.
We stayed and cheered a while. We made friends with a photographer for one of the local papers. And we were glad we did it. If ever I’m feeling the need for a bit of encouragement, I find it best to find someone to encourage. Like someone who’s running in the back of the pack in one of the biggest marathons in the world.
(I personally think that part of the reason I enjoy being carless in NYC so much is that there are so very many opportunities to encourage and be encouraged and generally connect with my fellow New Yorkers.)
In other marathon related news: I’m glad to know that with my fat ankles, I really never had a chance to be an elite runner. (But wow! Those Kenyans!) Also, when I die, I hope it’s something like this.