Monday, November 07, 2005

Marathon Sunday

First, I thought I'd throw another photo out there, from my Sunday ride. Two days in a row! Incredible! And in November, no less. This shot is on 92nd Street, facing East, with the sun rising in the mist over Dyker Beach Golf Course, the only golf course in Brooklyn. It was brisker than Saturday, but still pleasant.

The mist on the course made me reminiscent about the countless mornings as a teenager, riding my bike to school on the Date Street bike path along the Ala Wai Golf Course in Honolulu.

I would see the mist and the lyrics to a certain Black Sabbath song, "Children of the Sea," would echo in my head:

In the misty morning, on the edge of time

We've lost the rising sun, a final sign

As the misty morning rolls away to die

Reaching for the stars, we blind the sky

We sailed across the air before we learned to fly

We thought that it could never end

We'd glide above the ground before we learned to run, run

Now it seems our world has come undone

Oh they say that it's over

And it just had to be

Ooh they say that it's over

We're lost children of the sea

Anyway. Since moving to Brooklyn, we've always gone out, on the first Sunday of every November, to watch the New York City Marathon pass by. The weather yet again cooperated and we walked the half block with our chairs to cheer the tens of thousands of runners as they whizzed by. It's always tons of fun, a local bar band sets up in the gas station across the street from our corner and jams. We're at about the 1 or 2 mile mark, so nearly everyone is in great spirits.

It's always inspiring and the kids love doing it, cheering and high-fiving passing runners. The mass of humanity that passes us is staggering (36,000+). Below is one shot of one young Brooklynite cheering on a passing runner.

Having parents who both ran a marathon or two, I am always inspired and moved by this display. I annually vow that I will endeavor to run in the following year's marathon. For about a minute or two, until reason is restored to my brain. I have never been a runner, nor do I anticipate ever becoming one. But one can certainly see the appeal of running in a race with close to 2 million spectators. Bike Tours are a lot less interesting to folks here in NYC.

It's also a little misleading from our vantage point at mile 2. People endeavoring to run a marathon can usually make it 2 miles. If we were at the end of the route, watching the pain and agony of people as they hit "the Wall," perhaps it would not be such a tempting endeavor.

Then again, if Yavuz Sap, of Turkey, can finish in 36,893rd place, after 9 hours 59 minutes and 58 seconds on the course, why can't I?


Jenise said...

My sister runs marathons all over the world, as does her new hubby. I was only bitten by the running bug once in my life. It last a good little while but things changed,namely SNOW, thus ending my career. Florida is too hot to run... I am an eliptical gal now, a/c, radio and a chilly bottle of water, that is where you will find me. How I will do on our trip is another issue, I may take up running just for sanity.

Jill said...

I live just off of 1st Avenue at about Mile 19. I could hear people cheering for the runners as I sat in my apartment and watched the race on TV. I was watching the leader pack of the women as they ran at about 59th Street or so. I decided that I really wanted to see them run by my block live, rather than on TV, so I threw on some clothes, grabbed my keys and ran out the door. By the time I got to 1st and 83rd, perhaps 10 minutes later, the women had already gone by. I did have the privelege though of watching many of the disabled participants as they passed through my neighborhood. That was an incredible experience...very, very moving.

I also got to see the leader pack of the men as they sped past.

Oxypoet said...

Most incredible among the disabled marathoners was the gentleman who was a double amputee competing on the equivalent of a skateboard, propelling himself with his hands on the pavement, wearing thick-padded gloves. What courage!

Jill said...

I saw him! He was fantastic!