Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why The NYC Marathon Is Worth Watching

Not only is the NYC Marathon very inspiring to watch with thousands of fellow New Yorkers all coming together to cheer on people running in their underwear in 40 degrees weather, but it can be quite a freak show and in Brooklyn, it's an excuse for a block party. On 4th Avenue, just past the 10K marker, live bands were playing, lawn chairs were out, beers were cracked, and Jay Z & Alicia Keys were blasting from atop of a bodega, singing New York City's adopted new anthem.
While there is always the many characters: the guy dressed as a Sumo wrestler, the girl with angel wings, King Kong, there is also an emotional thread weaving through the crowds as you see a soldier dressed in his marine camis, with his full pack on, marching in memoriam, a vet with no arms and no legs, a grandmother walking to raise cancer for the grandson she lost to that terrible disease. And then there's people that do things like this:

This year I had a few friends running, but I was out there to support one. On incredible woman who inspires me every time we hang out. Seriously, she does. She is a mother of four, has a full time job as a Spanish teacher (so lots more kids needing attention from her), tutors on the side, VOLUNTEERS on the side, and mind you, she does a lot of things on her own as her husband travels for work. She has had two back surgeries and in February she gave birth to twins. She also has a pretty obsessive passion for film and writing about film and you can check out her reviews (and mine) at
But, determined as ever, she trained with her 65-year old mother and together they embarked on the NYC Marathon this fall.  At 5:00, I texted her, and she still sounded positive telling me how little she had to go. I always knew she would finish this race and today I was moved seeing her skinny legs come running over to me as I handed her a bagel. I thought she is unstoppable.  But also so moving was seeing her walk with her mother. While I know their relationship, like any mother/daughter relationship, is fraught with its own frustrations, fears, and perhaps resentments, but there is a closeness and a respect and an understanding between mother/daughter that I can't help but feel a twinge of envy for. There was something beautiful seeing these two women, these two mothers, side by side, walking the streets of New York. Perhaps one day I'll hike my own mountain with my own daughter.   Congrats, daleboca!!!


daleboca said...

you are too kind. and quite busy yourself. i am honored to be featured in your marathon post, grateful that you came, and so happy to have you as a friend. my mother did do a GREAT job and for once, we did not bicker at all!

Jenn and Casey said...

aww! I got a little teary with this post. Congrats to your friend - what a great accomplishment!

Carmen said...

yes! it was moving to see the mother-daughter duo!