While at Fitbloggin last month, I ran with Amanda of Run to the Finish on a training run & we are both running the New York City Marathon. She recommended this book to me & I thought it would be a great way to get motivated for the race & learn a bit about the race so I could appreciate it even more as I tackled one of the most popular marathons in the country.
This book follows the 2007 New York City Marathon, which happened the same weekend as the Olympic trials for the 2008 Marathon. Several of the top male & top female runners are profiled as they battle it out through the streets of New York to win the race, but two “regular” runners were also chronicled as they made their way through the boroughs. It was fascinating getting to know the elite runners, how much the sacrificed, their different styles to training & very divergent backgrounds.
Every single person arrives at the start line with a story- some big, some small, all inspirational about what on earth could have compelled them to tackle 26. 2 miles. Everybody has a reason & everybody has that spark that keeps their feet moving when they hit that wall. Just reading the opening chapter, I was almost in tears about being a part of something so big, so brave, so shared about the 40,000 people all making the same commitment.
Each chapter encompassed about a mile of the course- telling you what to expect, giving some background on the neighborhoods, weaving in details about marathon history in general and highlights from the NYC marathon past. We learned more about each of the runners- both elite & those just running with huge hearts to propel them to the finish line. Spending dozens of hours on a plane this month, I whipped through the book in no time & was highly entertained as I learned about all the quirky characters & zany fans that I will encounter as I run the streets of the greatest city on earth.
I’m so glad I read this book- it was a wonderful reminder on why I love the sport of marathoning. It’s about so much more than just running: the thrill, the passion, the camaraderie, the challenges & self-doubt that melt into courage and confidence. I have so much more appreciation for the legacy and grandeur of the New York city Marathon & how incredible it is to be a part of fabulous piece of history that takes place each November.
Note: It’s still unclear weather the NYC marathon will be held on Sunday, at least officially. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be a few die-hard runners out there that will run 26.2 miles on Sunday through the devastated streets of New York, race or no race. At this point I can’t even fathom they will be functional enough to put on the event, but if they do- you can bet it will be one heck of an emotional event & triumph of the spirit of New York City. If they hold it & if La Guardia is open again on Friday afternoon, I’ll be there with my heart open & an even greater appreciation for the obstacles and challenges of the amazing New York City Marathon. I’m guessing it will be another few days before the final assessment and cancellation of the race are announced.
GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Hopefully on the winning side of this 3+ week long battle with staph infection & complications! Urgh