What a race, what a city

Illustration by Jim Carroll
Illustration by Jim Carroll

On Nov. 3 my morning started with the 8 a.m. ferry to Staten Island, where I was surrounded by runners from around the world. There were five gentlemen on my left from Chile, while runners from Japan sat to my right. As we sailed past the Statue of Liberty, many got up and took photos. I felt like I was on a steamer ship coming into New York harbor circa 1910, minus the dysentery. It was neat.

After the ferry I was shuttled to the start, where most of us were dressed in mismatching winter clothes to fight the cold Staten Island morning temperatures. As the race started, people discarded their extra clothing (which is collected and given to charity) and set off for the 26.2 mile journey to Central Park. Supportive crowds lined the entire course, at times cheering me on by name. I would like to think they were all avid On The Run readers, but it was probably due to the fact that I wrote my name in big letters on the front of my shirt (a common practice amongst marathon runners). This made it personal, and not in a “Rambo sneaks behind enemy lines seeking revenge” kind of way, but in a “we’re all in this together” kind of way.

As I ran through all five boroughs, I occasionally made eye contact with individuals who cheered me on. Those faces will surely stay with me for some time. Those fans made for some big moments, like first entering Manhattan off the Queensboro Bridge, and of course crossing the finish line itself.

I finished with 4:18:58, and I was happy with the race I ran. For me, however, the real story wasn’t my final time — it was those cheering crowds who made me feel part of something bigger.

Although training for a marathon is an individual experience, it’s also a collective one at the same time — one shared with other runners, as well as friends and family. On that note, I’d like to thank all those who supported me on this journey. I also want to thank the people at Metro for the opportunity to write this series.

Mostly I want to thank you, the residents of NYC for making the marathon, well, more than just a marathon.

The next day I got up and went into work, joining the anonymous shuffle that is the New York City commute. I looked around the subway car at the faces of my fellow New Yorkers, wondering if any of them had run with me on Sunday, perhaps even finding one of those faces that cheered me on. At that moment I realized that I’d grown even closer to the city I love and that loved me back so much on Marathon Sunday.

Thanks again — it’s been a great ride.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Local

PHOTOS: More than $12 million in heroin, crystal…

Authorities seized more than 44 pounds of heroin and 17 pounds of crystal meth from two stash houses this week during a Manhattan drug bust.

Local

How to donate during the blood drive at…

The Metro-North Railroad and New York Blood Center are hosting a blood drive at Grand Central Terminal Thursday.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NFL

Jets make Chris Johnson signing official

The Jets got their big-play threat as running back Chris Johnson signed a multi-year contract with the team on Wednesday.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.