2 weeks ago
Monday, November 8, 2010
But the star of the day, in my eyes, was The Boy. Of 45,000, I only had eyes for him. Which was tough because there are a lot of not-unattractive people who run this thing. In good shape. Sweating. But, really, I wasn't paying attention to that because I was scanning the crown for 30-759.
Except when I was tearing up at the beautiful, inspirational runners who made Benetton ads look like so much uniformity. I shouted at the girl with the Moroccan flag shirt twice because I didn't think all that many other people would have been able to identify it and, without a place name or a proper name, it's hard for people to cheer for you. I loved all of the Gunthers and Hiros and Esmereldas and Yvonnes. I loved the people in funny costumes and the people running for charity and the people running for family members and with family members; the people for whom this was a first marathon, the people who were just married, the people who volunteer to accompany a disabled participant all 26.2 miles. I loved unexpectedly seeing a guy from my high school and screaming at him as he ran by; I loved how happy people looked when you called out their name; how grateful they looked when you did it as they were struggling.
Look at this to get your fill of how beautifully diverse in ethnicity, age, sex, place of origin, the marathon is.
I had never paid attention to one until last year when The Boy ran his first. I'm sorry I missed it before that. It is a terrific event and the camaraderie is palpably heavy. If you've never gone out and watched for an hour or so, please do yourselves a favor and show up next November. If you don't live in New York, plan to stop by your own city's marathon. And if you want to see a sampling of the 2010 marathon through my eyes (it's very Boy-centric), you can check out the photos.