We are back with part 3 of our ongoing coverage of FIT tackling the 2015 New York City Marathon. Let’s jump headfirst into things with more tales from the road featuring the inimitable Indira and Mare. Take it away, ladies!
I went in to the race feeling defeated.
I had bought grandstand seats for Ariel & Max but forgot to pick them up at the expo. I still felt sick and to make matters worse I threw up the night before and the morning of the race. I literally just wanted to turn around and go to bed.
But then something ah-mah-zing happened. I started meeting the runners (many from NY) and they magically began changing my energy around. “Just enjoy every minute of it.” And just like that I decided I would.
Running this marathon was the most fun I’ve ever had in all my years of running. I think I smiled the ENTIRE race. I smiled so much, for so long my mouth muscles hurt. But how could I not? New Yorkers are the greatest fans on Earth. I’ve never seen or felt such positive energy in my life. Reading the signs along the route made it all worth it. Talk about creativity.
When the muscle cramping brought me to a limping halt, I laughed. Literally cracked up. Because all I could think about was “You paid a lot of $ to do this.” I put myself through the torture. That’s when having my name on my shirt rocked! To hear random strangers cheer so empathetically for me and tell me I was their hero was priceless. But to hear people you actually know scream your name was freaking fantastic. Laura’s friend found me on the route. I recognized her right away and it was such a thrill. But the best part was seeing Mare and Richard at mile 8 and the finish line.
The New York City Marathon will go down in my book as the most fun I’ve had during 26.2 miles.
A group of us had been training for this race since late spring. Unfortunately I had to defer NYC this year, but no matter, life goes on and my husband Richard and I decided to go to the Big Apple and cheer on my teammates and the rest of the FIT runners. We’re so glad we made that decision; it was an experience that will live with me forever. I lived in NY before and Manhattan could be one of my favorite places in the world, but this time I got to see the city in a total different way.
The day of the marathon started early for the two of us. When we arrived at mile 8 the streets were still pretty empty, but as time got closer to race start it filled up pretty fast with spectators carrying all sorts of cheering paraphernalia. We saw cardboard face cutouts, flags, pom-poms, streamers and much more. The atmosphere of jubilation was like nothing I had ever seen before. We were all there to celebrate 50,000 plus accomplishments. Louise, Jeanne’s sister, joined us at mile 8 and we waited patiently for the action to start.
I have one thing to say: I got to see Meb run. We heard then saw the helicopter getting closer and as his group approached I think people could hear me screaming in Canada. I even got a couple of good shots of him, but as he drew closer I went silent, in awe of his running form and stride. He looked like he was running on air, his feet barely making contact with the pavement. I nodded yes to myself and thought: “That’s what I want Coach Bob to teach me.”
A few minutes after the elites, we got hit with a wall of runners. Think of a stampede of barely dressed men all barreling at top speed. If I was single, I would’ve thought of that analogy in a different way, but alas there they were… all these guys, just running right past me. From here until we left mile 8 an hour later it was nonstop wave after wave of runners, amazing.
I bow to NYRR, for their real time tracking application that TATA Communications provided. We were able to track every single one of our runners to within a block of us. Of course, we missed a couple of them at mile 8 and mile 19 because of how crowded the mass of runners was. Now, we were armed and ready. We had a blast horn, cowbells, whistles, the FIT flag, and we were wearing our FIT t-shirts, so when Richard saw Bruce first, we let lose all sorts of sounds and noises to get his attention. This was pretty much how we did it all day, all out craziness to get our peeps attentions – we were competing with countless spectators. We did have a couple of false alarms and scared a few unknown runners that we confused for Noemi and Ana Maria (poor people).
Spectating in NYC is serious business. We were trying to coordinate the times and locations of 14 runners. In total we took 7 subway trains that day and 1 cab. We made it to CP, after 3 security bag checks, just in time to see our friend Tatiana pass by at mile 26. We took off running and finally made it to the grandstands where we parked ourselves and the FIT flag, for the next 3 hours. One by one I saw my friends crest that last hill at mile 26, and each time I saw one of them I wanted to hop over the fence and give them a hug. We finally found Noemi or I should say Noemi found us; she was wearing Pink, not black like we thought and were looking for.
One of the happiest moments was when I saw Rosa come over the hill. She ran a 5:47 marathon, 45 minutes faster than she had thought. I went nutso, screaming and waving my arms to get her attention. Each one was emotional, each one accomplished something big. When Indira came through there were less people in the stands so she heard us pretty clearly. Her smile was so huge and she was pumping her arms up in the air, like the winner that she is. Just as she crossed the finish line, Richard and I looked at each other and hugged, both knowing what an absolutely amazing day we’d just had. Dinner after that with Robyn, Rosa and Mishele was special… I kept looking at them and felt so proud of every step they had taken that day, they were NYC Marathoners.
I will be running the NYC Marathon next year and I know that experience will be even more special because I was on the other side of that blue tape this year. I know that for 26.2 miles there will be thousands upon thousands of people cheering me on. Rosa will be there next year too, as MY cheerleader (haha now you have to go).
Much love and thanks to Indira and Mare for sharing their awesome stories with us. Stick around for Part 4… it’s a doozy, I tells ya! A doozy!