A few weeks ago I’d heard an anecdote about a family friend going to the New York marathon and cheering for strangers. I thought it was just a cool, unique story … that is until I went.
Two million people on hand to cheer for 48,000 runners. At best, every spectator was there to see a handful of people; yet as the marathoners whizzed past, the crowd roared in support.
Peter and I went Sunday to be a part of what had been described to me as a “big party that happened to coincide with a race”. I found myself cheering for people I didn’t know. Yelling their names and urging them on! I became vested in their stories, their causes. I even got choked up when a mother stopped to hug her son.
After months and months of preperation, 48,000 runners made their way to the starting line in the Staten Island borough on a brisk Sunday morning.
Knowing the sacrifices they’d made to train, and the arduous, physically draining journey they were on, it was easy to feel their strength and courage, coupled with your own ability to motivate them. To support them.
48,000 runners, each with their own cause and their own dream. With 26.2 miles ahead of them, they were off. Off to run through the streets of all five New York City boroughs, in hopes of crossing the finish line in the autumn-drenched Central Park.
The emotion in the atmosphere of this particular marathon was palpable. Maybe all marathons are like this, or maybe it was in light of so much tragedy – I have nothing to compare it to, but it sure felt special. Runners … running for Boston … running for Hurricane Sandy … running for a loved one … running for a cure … No matter what their motivations, these people pushed their bodies to the limit for something bigger than themselves. It truly revealed the power of the human spirit.
Every single one of those individuals is an inspiration.
*A special CONGRATS to Bob Bukowski and Leslie Jensen for finishing the NYC Marathon this weekend. I am so glad I got to witness this incredible feat!! Another special congrats to my dear friend, Chelsey Gannon, who ran the Chicago marahon a few weeks back. ROCKSTARS!!*