Sunday, November 8, 2009
NY City Marathon Report: Part 2
Up the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge we went. The final wave of 14,000 plus runners made quite a noise on the bridge. I was on the right part of the bridge since I was running the blue line. To my left were the red and green line runners. I was almost overwhelmed with everything that was happening. There were runners around me, helicopters flying above with news photographers and security personnel, and fantastic views of the NY skyline, including the Empire State Building rising high in the distance. It was cold and windy. The wind was blowing so hard that I had to keep adjusting my hat (I forgot to mention I was wearing a running hat), and I feared that my race number was going to be blown off my shirt. The bridge was a 200 foot incline, and seemed to go on forever. I couldn't yet see past the top of the peak of the road. It was fairly quiet, except for the sound of 28,000 plus feet hitting the bridge. Oh, and of course the sound of the wind. It was difficult to hear the music on my mp3 player, so I upped the volume. "All Fired Up" by Pat Benatar (Thanks Carlee) was playing. I needed that song at that moment. I was cold. My short sleeved technical shirt and the Autism Speaks tank top, along with shorts and a hat, weren't keeping me warm enough. I regretted not wearing the long sleeved tech. shirt that Autism Speaks had provided. About midway across the bridge, Garmin beeped. 10:13 first mile. Whatever. I just wanted to get off the nearly two mile long bridge. I needed to reach the peak, and head downhill into Brooklyn, where there would be less wind and crowds of people to help me get warm. Finally, I was at the top, and could see what lay ahead. I saw lots of people, but being so far away still could not hear them or distinguish how many people there were. I picked up my pace, taking advantage of the long downhill. I needed to warm up, and I needed to see and hear some cheering people. As I got closer to the end of the bridge, I began hearing a noise. I couldn't figure out what it was. It sounded like rumbling, almost like thunder. But the sky was clear. I was confused. I turned down my music, and neared the bottom of the bridge. Ahead I saw a hand written sign being held up: Brooklyn (heart) NY City marathon runners. (I'm not sure if that was the exact wording). As I got closer to Brooklyn, the rumbling became louder. The rumbling noise was people cheering. Thousands of Brooklynites were lining both sides of the street, holding signs, ringing bells, clapping, yelling, and cheering. I have never heard so much cheering before, even at sporting events. What a great welcome into Brooklyn. Lots of people were yelling encouragement to me. That's the wonderful thing about having your name on your shirt. I was pumped. I had a mega adrenaline rush. I started high fiving and low fiving everyone who offered. Shortly thereafter, Garmin beeped: 9:14. Crap! Too fast, and I had already run two miles without taking a walking break. I was not following my run-walk-run plan...Tuesday: Don't Run Stupid-the final report of my NY City Marathon experience.