Also, I really liked the ad campaign that ran in the weeks leading up to it:
We had a great spot on Fifth Avenue, right at the Mile 23 marker. Since there are 40,000 people who run the marathon, they break it into several waves of runners. The wheelchair racers start first, followed by the professional women, then the professional men, and then three waves of regular runners. No spectators are even allowed at the start because there are so many people, but I can't imagine how much energy and adrenaline there must be there.
We got there in time to see some of the lead runners come through, including the two first place men (pictured above), who were neck and neck at mile 23. The American guy (on the left) ended up winning. USA! By the way, these guys are running 5-minute miles. For 26 MILES. I doubt I could have kept up with them for ONE if I'd just started running alongside them.
At first, the runners were sparse, so Zach and I used the lag time in between to wax poetic about athleticism and the triumph of the human spirit. We were also amused by the people who had brought Red Vines to hand out to the runners.
Lots of people had their names and/or countries on their shirts, so we had fun shouting things like "Way to be, Tom!" and "Jennifer, you are very good-looking!" to random strangers. Anyway, it was awesome, and this is definitely a new tradition I want to keep. We've already got big plans for next year, including camp chairs, snacks, and a boom box playing "The Final Countdown" to get the runners through the home stretch.
Afterwards, I wandered through Central Park for a while, enjoying the fall colors.
I can't say it was an entirely terrible way to spend a Sunday morning.