Posts Tagged ‘New York City Marathon’

Thousands of runners on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

47,000 Runners Cross the Verazano Bridge

That’s the way it went down today for Mary Keitany today! 

We were up and out early today (the fall back time change helped) to have breakfast at Gracie’s,  a favorite all night coffee shop.  Although I would love to live downtown, there are some big pluses to the UES.  Can’t beat the convenience of our neighborhood plus my daughter and granddaughters live around the corner and once a year, the New York Marathon runs right past our building.

It is wonderful to gather out in front of the building, sipping our coffee and cheer on the first handicapped runners to sail past us as they speed downhill on 1st Avenue.  We live at the 18th mile mark and as the runners crest the slight rise at 85th St, it is downhill for them for several blocks.

This morning although the sun was shining, there was a nip in the air, so it was back upstairs to get a shawl and some gloves.  It wasn’t long before the sirens came roaring down toward us, signaling the approach of the first of the elite women.  Surprise! THERE WAS ONLY ONE WOMAN running toward us!  Mary Keitany, a small, wiry, woman sped by clipping along and NO ONE was behind her.   I’ve never seen this before.  Here we are, 18 miles into the race and only ONE woman is running past us.  We decided to time the interval between her passing and the next female runner.  It was 2 MINUTES!!!

People were screaming her name as she went by, clapping loudly and cheering wildly. 

More female runners appeared, as well as more handicapped participants.  Before the race started,  we were watching NBC news and it was stated that probably the elite men would be in Central Park at the Finish Line at 11:45am.  We figured that would put them passing us at about 11 am.   Sure enough, the sirens and flashing lights and the camera truck preceded a small but tight pack of very lean and muscular runners.  Their long-legged stride was something to behold and every year I marvel at the running machines these runners have trained themselves to be.

We have the routine down so about 15 minutes later,  Chiara, Finley and I headed upstairs to watch the winners cross the Finish Line on TV.   We sat down to watch and were surprised to see Mary still running AND with two women runners right behind her.  I couldn’t believe it – was this the mighty runner who was 2 minutes ahead of everyone else.  The two Ethiopean runners were gaining on her second by second.  This was the 26th mile, for God’s sake!  What a shame!  It was clearly obvious that Mary had run out of steam, and as the commentator said, the two women behind her could smell blood and they amped up their press.  Not a quitter by any means, Mary actually drew on some hidden reserve and kicked up her pace a bit.   But the die had been cast – she had run too fast for too long but not long enough.  It was heartbreaking to see her passed by Dado and Deba but it is a race and it’s not over until it’s over and this day it was over for Mary.

23  SECONDS is all that separated the Winner from the Third Place runner, Mary Keitany.

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Runners and their families and friends come from all over the world to run in this great marathon event.  Since we live along the route at Mile 18, over the years we have seen them all; world class lean running machines from Kenya, Spain, Russia, New Zealand and our own United States.  After the elite have zipped past us, surge after surge of hopeful runners race up First Avenue and they still have 8 agonizing miles to go.  Some are literally half-naked, some in colorful and bright running shorts, the women often in what looks like a bathing suit to me and of course the runners who are wearing tee shirts with their names and encouraging words on them and then we have the dress-up runners; Bunny rabbits, Super Heroes, clowns, funny hats. props of all sorts and as silly as they may look, I always remind myself that they’re still running 26 miles and I’m standing on the side lines drinking Starbucks.

Some years have been dangerously hot and others so cold I have no idea how they ran with not much on.  Also I’ve noticed there’s like a theme each year, not a real theme but a style or look  which consistently shows up.  One year it seemed like half the runner had bright yellow sneakers on, this year it was pull on sleeves – maybe because it was cool this year.

Elite Women Runners

NYC marathon

Encouraging Words

NYC Marathon

Warm Arms Bare Belly

Running Strong


Rippling Muscles

new york city marathon

I Know I Can Make It

new york city marathon

The Aftermath


All photos by Murray Head

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