Monday, November 03, 2003

It's over. Another marathon has come and gone. I finished the NYC Marathon in 4:10 (4:16 officially, but my net time is when I actually crossed the start and finish lines). Senor Diddy finished in 4:14, so I actually did beat him, even though he crossed the line before I did; he started ahead of me. It was a lot warmer than they initially predicted. It ended up being sunny in the high 60s/low 70s, which definitely slowed me and a lot of others down. Fortunately, I didn't have any injuries or problems like I suffered when I did Boston back in April. I just kept chugging along at a decent pace. And I finished in the top third of the runners, so that's nothing to be ashamed of. And I feel good today, certainly not as sore as I was after running Boston.

The race itself was a lot of fun. It was cool to see so many different parts of the city, and have all those people cheering for you. It wasn't as hilly as Boston, but there were still some good ones, including the 59th Street bridge. I had a disposable camera with me, so I managed to get some good photos of some of the sights along the way, although by the end I was too damn tired to dig the camera out of my Camelback to take a picture. Around the 20-mile mark, I decided to stop at one of the medical stations to get a couple of Tylenol 8-hour tablets; I was starting to get pretty achy, and I hoped it would help me get through the last hour or so of the race. It definitely worked.

Some sights and sounds of race day:

--I caught a cab at 6 a.m. to go to the New York Public Library, where buses would take us to the start in Staten Island. It was surreal to see the streets of New York totally empty, except for runners waiting on street corners for cabs.
--The pre-race gathering area was obviously packed with 35,000 people. I just found a spot to sit down and read Sports Illustrated for a while. I was sitting next to this group of about 150 runners from Peru. Kevin Nealon, ex of Saturday Night Live, was doing some reports for the Tonight Show, and came over to interview them. You don't hear much from him anymore.
--I was waiting in the endless lines for the porta-potty when a cop car drove through, clearing the way for some women and children. Turns out it was P. Diddy's mom, girlfriend, and kids. Then we heard a commotion and the Diddster and an MTV crew made their way through the crowd behind us. I give the guy credit. He only trained for eight weeks and suffered some injuries and did pretty well. And he raised $2 million for charity.
--There was a definite international flavor to the race. Not just the Kenyans who win every year, but there were a lot of folks from Europe and other parts of the world who were there to run. Lots of English guys in goofy suits and costumes, a French guy running with an inflatable Eiffel Tower on his head (not actual size), the aforementioned Peruvians. Very cool.

I have to give much credit to my wife and to her uncle Jim and Aunt Merry for helping get through the weekend. But also I must deliver the mad "props" to the music I put on my old Rio 600 MP3 player, which continues to serve me well while I wait for the iPod to drop down to a reasonable price. I filled the Rio with rawk from a mix CD I concocted and these are the songs I listened to four times each as I wended my way through New York. They kicked ass, and so did I:

* You Didn't Need--Rollins Band
* Unsung--Helmet
* Bed for the Scraping--Fugazi
* Negative Creep--Nirvana
* In 'n' Out of Grace--Mudhoney
* Leash--Pearl Jam
* Youth Against Fascism--Sonic Youth
* What's Going On--Husker Du
* That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate--Mission of Burma
* The Wagon--Dinosaur Jr.
* Hit the Plane Down--Pavement
* Kerosene--Big Black
* Evil Eye--Fu Manchu
* Killed by Death--Motorhead

I also should mention Sloan's latest album, "Action Pact," which I listened to on many of my training runs. Good stuff. Too bad it hasn't been released in the U.S. yet.

Well, that will probably be my last marathon for a while. With the new baby due in March, we'll be plenty busy in the spring. And I've encouraged Deb to get back into the long-distance running after she has the baby, so hopefully she'll do a half-marathon in the fall and shoot for a marathon in the spring of '05. As for me, I'm looking forward to not training in the cold of winter. I'll still run shorter races and the occasional half-marathon, but I want to get back to playing hockey again.

Werd up.

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