Runner 1: What time are you going for?
Runner 2: Daytime!
It's moments like these when I realize how lucky I am to live in New York and to have participated in numerous marathons over the past few years. The New York City Marathon is an incredibly special time to be in New York - whether you're a runner, spectator, resident or just about anyone who happens to be among the organized fun and optimistic insanity that hits the 5 Boroughs once a year. It's a time when the City seems to come together with a wonderful mixture of pride and excitement. Even the stuff that annoys us on other days - blocked streets, no parking spaces, way too many people on the sidewalk - seems manageable for this one day
It's also a day when 50,564* people realize what's inside them and what they're capable of. While I haven't done a formal survey, it's safe to say that running in the NYC Marathon appears on lots of bucket lists whether you're a runner or not. Having only done the NYC Marathon once, I can say that just getting to the start line is its own sub-marathon; its own little version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. And once you finally hit the bridge and get moving, there truly is no experience like it. Other marathons have breathtaking scenery, fantastic music, and all kinds of other attractions. But there's still nothing quite like New York on foot.
The exchange above was a perfect reminder why training for and running in a marathon - any marathon in fact - is such a meaningful experience with the power to inspire and transform anyone who takes it on. I don't know anything about the two runners that had this exchange. My hunch is that the individual may be a new runner. Or maybe he's a veteran of multiple marathons. It doesn't really matter. He had a goal in mind and it didn't matter what the other 50,563 did as he knew what his mission was. We often talk about SMART Goals and "Daytime" fit the bill
Specific: Run (walk/crawl) 26.2 miles
Attainable: He was sure of it
Realistic: If others were able to do it, he was confident he could to
Timely: He was quite clear; no later than November 1st, 11:59 PM
Congratulations to all the runners yesterday and to the many participating in marathons everywhere. No doubt the other 50,563 NYC runners had big goals and dreams yesterday and I hope that they achieved them whether it was to finish sub-4, wrapping up while it was still light out....or yes, DAYTIME.
That's a lot to be proud of.
* This was last year's (2014) official number of runners