Any idiot can run but it takes a special kind of idiot to run a marathon.
Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today… is what I heard when I passed the starting line of the New York Marathon on November the 3rd, 2013. Since the 2012 edition was postponed, the adrenaline to finally run this world’s greatest marathon was very intense! After months of disciplinary following my training schedule, reducing my alcohol consumption (didn’t make it to totally quit) and focusing on this match day, I was very excited to run my first marathon.
Upfront, I’d heard so many amazing stories of how amazing the crowd would be, how hard the course would be and how amazing the feeling of finishing in Central Park would be, so my expectations became higher and higher. After passing the first out of 5 bridges in this race, I couldn’t do anything else than agree with all those I spoke with before this big day… I ran as much as I could on the side of the streets. Why? To experience the best of the amazing audience! Everybody was cheering my name, giving high fives and supporting me with very, very creative signs (‘You’re running better than the government’, ‘Press here for free energy’, ‘Smile if you peed your pants’, ‘Who needs toe nails anyway?’ etc.).
Since this was my first marathon and the course of the New York Marathon isn’t preferred to run personal records, several people advised me not to train and focus on finish time and just enjoy this race. Pigheaded as I am, I wanted to run this marathon as fast as I could, so no photo moments on the Verrazano bridge (start), in the cheering zones of Brooklyn or kisses for my girlfriend during the race. Despite of this, I can’t imagine enjoying this race more than the way I did it. Of course, more than 2 million crazy New York supporters shouted me to the finish line and really gave me a great feeling, but the real goosebumps came the moments when I saw my girlfriend and my parents shouting out loud to me and standing full of pride between all those crazy supporters. On those moments, I thought I could beat even those insane Kenyans who were way ahead of me. It’s very hard to describe this feeling, but I’m quite sure I won’t experience these kind of feelings very more often in my life.
A real once in a lifetime experience
So if you love to run and always felt like running a marathon someday, I’d definitely advise the marathon of New York, so you can experience a feeling you’ve never felt before; a real once in a lifetime experience!
p.s. I finished in 3 hours, 28 minutes and 10 seconds, while my target was 3:30