A buddy of mine has spent the last few days in NYC, sightseeing and visiting his son and d-i-l. Today is the day he has been waiting for – he is going to be a spectator at the 40th NYC marathon. As a recovering runner myself, I can feel his excitement. He’ll be on the streets with some two million other people watching the race as it winds around through the five boroughs to finish in Central Park. I ran the Chicago Marathon in 1999, and they say over a million people come out for that race. That was pretty exciting, especially for a guy like me who is not used to having a lot of people cheer for him. But I digress.
My friend loves NYC. I mean, he LOVES IT! He spent over 15 hours in the city on Thursday, no doubt walking nearly the equivalent of his own marathon. Today he’ll be on the course, meeting up with some other friends who live there and who know how to navigate the crowds on race day.
Me – I plan to watch the race on TV. I’m not big on big cities. I’ve been to NYC once, did the touristy things, had a good time, etc. It’s a great place to visit, but I was happy to get back to small town USA. I’m like the character in the James Herriot novel who said he didn’t like big towns because he couldn’t walk like he wanted. There was an episode in the PBS TV series All Creatures Great & Small titled Big Steps and Little ‘Uns that was about James going to London after he was called up for WWII. That title pretty much sums up my feelings about big cities.
I’d still like to “do” the NYC marathon some day. I haven’t run a race in 4 years now due to leg issues, but there’s always hope. I said I’d never do another marathon, period. The last half marathon I walked was bad enough. Never is a long time though. In a couple of months maybe the pain will be less fresh in my mind.
In the meantime, enjoy yourself today Billiam. Better you than me. I’ll record the race and save it for you to watch when you get back.