Anyone riding the subway yesterday might have seen people juggling marathon maps and subway maps, and rushing off the train with cowbells jingling.
Glimpsing one of 45,000 runners in the ING Direct NYC Marathon meant spectators had to dash from subway entrance to marathon edge, often staying only minutes to scream support before again jumping back on the train.
Karen Mullen traveled from Omaha to support her 28-year-old daughter in the race. She woke up at 7:30 a.m. to get to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and find her in the crowd running down Fourth Avenue.
Beating her daughter there was a logistical battle. First, Mullen jumped on a PATH train into Lower Manhattan. Then, she and her husband hunted down the 4 train, all while timing their Atlantic Avenue arrival to 45 minutes after their daughter began the race at 10:10 a.m. in Staten Island.
Mullen was prepared with her phone to keep tabs on her daughter. But she cut the interview short to rush upstairs to Fourth Avenue. Next up? Catching the 6 to 103rd Street for the race’s Manhattan leg.
“We’ve got all of the routes,” she said.
First-time marathoner Gebra Gebremariam of Ethiopia took first place, winning in 2:08:14, an average of 4:54 per mile.
Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai captured second in 2:09:18 and Kenyan Moses Kigen Kipkosgei took third with 2:10:39. Last year’s winner, American Meb Keflezighi, finished sixth with 2:11:38, slightly more than three minutes after first place.
Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat took first with 2:28:20.
American Shalane Flanagan finished 20 seconds behind, winning second place in her marathon debut.
Kenyan Mary Keitany, also a first-time marathoner, took third in 2:29:01.
In the wheelchair division, Great Britain’s David Weir won in 1:37:29. American Dane Pilon triumphed in the handcycle division, with 1:21:23.