I hate climbing out of a warm bed into a cold bedroom and pulling on shorts, socks, shoes, top and a light running jacket before heading outdoors into the black of night. But I absolutely adore the feeling of being up before everybody else on a Sunday morning, running along with Jakob through the morning mists enveloping a lake. Feeling sorry for all the people still in their beds not getting a chance to bask in the early rays of the morning sun as it climbs above the treetops faintly trying to warm our faces. That’s when we smile.
When you reach the top, keep climbing.
And believe me, breakfast never tastes better than afterwards.
One week after the race and I’m still sorting through all of the impressions and emotions that went through my head during the marathon. A detailed race report is in the works, but will have to wait for more pressing matters currently being planned, first and foremost our little Panda’s baptism. Last year’s enormous letdown with the cancellation of the race juxtaposed nicely with last Sunday’s run where almost every possible expectancy was emphatically fulfilled. Huddled together at dawn, sitting on a couple of Dunkin’ Donuts-caps on the cold asphalt of Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, the three of us (dad, my father-in-law and I) were discussing race tactics. How tough would the bridges be? What could we expect from the legendary crowd support? How tight would it be running together with 50 000 other runners? Would we even be able to move without tripping over people for the first couple of miles? All of us favored a conservative approach, meaning that we each decided to aim for enjoyment of the race as our only goal.
Oh, I enjoyed the race alright. But all other plans and tactics went straight over the rail of the Verrazano-Narrows bridge as soon as I started running. The marathon ended as it began: in a huge endorphin-rush of pure joy. For anyone out there being ambivalent about running the New York City Marathon, please let me sum up the entire experience in a simple, single paragraph: TWO MILLION AWESOME SPECTATORS!
Expo entrance, American version
Finally: race numbers!!!
Star marks the spot
After-race chocolate dessert at Red Rooster’s
This flag was closest to the finish line. Honest.