Quintessential NYC: Marathon 2019

November 3, 2019 - Latest News

Today, November 3rd, more than 50,000 are running the TCS New York City Marathon, now in its 49th year. And tens of thousands of New Yorkers, including me, got up early on Sunday morning (Fall Back 2019 helped) and cheered on these athletes–elite and non-elite alike. I found my way to Ft. Greene in Brooklyn, which is around mile eight in the course. People in coats lined Lafayette Avenue. They held signs, yelled encouragement and rang noisemakers. Some looked for friends, hoping for a fleeting glance. More often than not they encouraged absolute strangers to push on.

NYC often gets a bad rap. The city doesn’t cheer for everything and isn’t always the friendliest. But on this first November Sunday, New Yorkers come out in droves, put up with street closures and deal with hard-to-navigate neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. We cheer for the runners. We cheer for our city. We cheer for one another. It is massive and fun, especially on the sidelines where just showing up is all you need to do.

I still consider myself an athlete. I swim. I run. Just not a marathon. Well I did run a sub three hour marathon in 1977. I, though, won’t run another one. It took me weeks to recover. WEEKS. And, I was in great shape and young.

While I applaud all of the runners, I know the marathon’s history. It’s named after a run that killed a guy in ancient Greece. In 490 B.C. soldier Pheidippides ran 25 miles to let other soldiers know about a victory. He, then, keeled over and died. That is not exactly a great sales pitch for the race. And, even though I did well 42 years ago in my first marathon, I won’t hit the pavement anytime soon. Not for this distance. A 5K. Sure. A 10K. Fine. A half-marathon. OK. But longer than that, NO WAY.

You’ll see me on the sidelines cheering everyone on. Even the morning after my show’s performance. But, I can’t imagine any reason I’d consider going another 26.2 miles. No reason at all.

I’m a cheerleader now, and happy to be one.

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