Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The New York Marathon

On Sunday, 35,000 runners hit the streets of New York's five boroughs to participate in the New York Marathon.

While I loved running the London Marathon in April, and it will always be special to me, the New York Marathon is the one I grew up watching on television. I still distinctly remember the race in 1982, when Alberto Salazar won in 2:09.29 and Grete Waitz prevailed in 2:27, because I went out later that day to run my first 10k race. I was 13 years old. I don't remember my time, but I do remember that-- crucially-- I didn't come in last in the race.

I felt a slight bit of jealousy when I looked at the pictures Monday because I remember the euphoria of having finished a marathon. (The euphoria, of course, was followed by a week of not being able to walk correctly and eight lost toenails, but that's neither here nor there). Also, running in New York in early November is probably perfect-- good weather and the leaves are changing colour.

Now I think it's important to inform all of the MarathonMum fans out there (all three of you-- thanks for your support) that I will not be entering this year's London marathon. [If you listen carefully enough, you will hear my mother's sigh of relief worldwide.] There are several good reasons for this decision, chiefly that my personal trainer (now 2 1/2) is getting too heavy, vocal and strong-willed to push for the one-hour training sessions that are necessary to get the job done. When I say vocal, I mean to say that we'll be heading out for a run and he'll say, "No run! Park! No run! Park!", and then he'll point in the direction of the park, in case I'm mistaken about what he's talking about.

I thought about entering the lottery and then deferring for one year if I was lucky enough to get a spot, but in the end I decided not to do that either. I thought, first, since I was really lucky last year and got my spot through the lottery, it wouldn't be fair to the other 80,000 who weren't so lucky last year and were trying again this year. Also, since I knew I wouldn't be able to train pushing the 2 1/2-year-old, it also didn't seem fair to enter with the intention of deferring. I did decide, however, to take the £31 I would have spent on my entry and send it to my marathon charity, CAMFED. The money will be better spent by helping a girl go to school in Africa then receiving a London Marathon fleece (what you win if you don't get a spot) that I don't need anyway.

But all of this brings us back to the issue of the New York Marathon. Every year, the race is held in early November. As luck would have it, my birthday is also in early November. I have decided [listen for the drums rolling in the background], that I want to run the New York Marathon for my 40th birthday in 2008.

Anyone who would like to join me is more than welcome. In the meantime, I will continue to train in the hopes that the fantastic base I will have built up by then will bring me home to the finish in a respectable time.


Elle said...

A wise decision.

Running the marathon is the easy part. It's the months of training beforehand that is the killer. If your heart (or logistics) is not in it, you set yourself up for failure.

With regards to the New York Marathon, injuries and all permitting, I will be running the 2006 one. You never know, I may like it enough to repeat it in 2008.

Michelle Mitchell said...

Happy birthday by the way. Interesting I feel quite the same...and am saying, never say never to entering and taking part in the Dublin marathon next october. A marathon on my own soil would be great.