Where Will You Be This Nov 4?
- I'M GOING TO BE IN NYC!
- I'M GOING TO BE WATCHING THE U.S. MEN'S OLYMPIC MARATHON TRIAL!
- I'M GOING TO BE RUNNING THE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP RUN!
- I'M GOING TO BE RUNNING THE NYC MARATHON!
- ...WITH LANCE ARMSTRONG, PAULA RADCLIFFE (ok, they'll be waaaay in front and lost in the crowd)!
- I'M SO FRIGGIN' EXCITED!
Running the NYCM has been my dreams for the longest time (since the '80s!) and I've started to think more about the race early this year. It's quite impossible to visualize the NYCM without the images of Salazar and Waitz blazing through the 5 boroughs. Who can forget the dramatic finishing of Rod Dixon who victoriously fell to his knees and the many neck-to-neck battles that have taken place? On the experiential part, I often wondered how it feels like to be cheered by 2 million spectators, running in a multi-national crowd of 38,000, peeing (!) off the Verrazano Bridge. As corny as it may sound, all these captured my imagination. I felt very strongly that I will run it one day, not knowing that the day will be sooner rather than later. The 1st NYCM is as young as I am - 37 years young. Even with the entry fee of $1, only 127 participated then. Legendary race director Fred Lebow turned it into an inclusive event in 1976 covering NYC's 5-boroughs. Get this, Oct 24 1976 - my birthdate.
When you dream of something, you visualize, you research, you talk about it. That's what I did. I bought travel guides, read through reviews and race reports, researching budget lodgings, posted questions on RW forums - basically doing everything as if I was already going. I received a call early this morning confirming my participation and joining 5 other Malaysians (who all applied via the lottery) making the 21-hour flight to the city.
This year's event will be extra special as the US Olympic Marathon Trials will be held the day before the marathon. And trust it to the Americans to hype it all up as The Marathon Weekend. With only 1 month's regular running (last week's mileage 46K, this week, I will hit 56K), I don't have any time expectations. Even with proper training, running a PR in NYC is very tough given the huge crowd. It has the toughest route of the 5 Majors, with 5 bridges (though I think they all pale in comparison to our favourite Hartamas-Double Hill combo). I'm going to be running-walking with a camera and just soak in the atmosphere and pain.
Thanks for Brooks USA for making my dreams possible! I'm so very fortunate especially when only 40,000 out of 93,000 entry submissions are accepted. As some of you know, Brooks is a major sponsor of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Running Project and they have more than a handful elites vying for the US Olympic Marathon team on Nov 3rd. So they're inviting a selected group of runners from the world over to join them in NYC. I've so many of my favorite athletes in the Trials - Ritzenhein, Abdi, Meb, Culpepper, Browne. This Trials are going to have the deepest field ever assembled. But I'm going to be rooting for Brian Sell and other working class elites.
Labels: NYC Marathon