Since I ran the marathon six years ago, my brother Pete has been saying that he wanted to do it, too. He's more of a road biker than a runner, but I think the day he watched me run the race and saw the amazing spectacle of runners and cheering crowds on First Avenue triggered some deep desire inside of him. So year after year, he applied via the lottery to get in the race, and year after year, he got negged. Finally, this year, as a result of being rejected for so many years in a row, he got automatic entry.
So, this Friday, Pete came into town to pick up his race number....by bike, of course! (He parked his car by the George Washington Bridge and then biked the rest of the way!) Here he is on the marathon-famous First Avenue (now my street address), two days before the race.
I made fun of his dorky cam attached to his helmet. As anyone who went to my wedding knows, my brother loves to take pictures and document his life, and he does a pretty good job doing it.
We went to Big Daddy's for a late lunch and ate hamburgers and milkshakes and caught up on life. With the exception of my sister, my family members rarely come visit me in the city so it was fun to spend some time with my big brother in my neighborhood.
Dan says Marathon Sunday is the worst day of the year because we live right at mile 17. They start setting up the water station way before the runners get here and so each year, we are awakened bright and early to the sounds of insanely loud music. This year, it was 8 am and Lady Gaga (which was an improvement from last year, which was around 7ish).
Despite Dan's complaints and the early morning wake-up, I am happy we live on the route because I love the marathon. Even though we have a fine view from our window, I ran downstairs with my camera to watch the professionals run by.
I don't know why, but I started getting teary-eyed when I saw the motorcade. Does that happen to anyone else?
Here are the professional women speeding by.
Later came the men. The men's winner, Gerbre Gebremariam, is in the grey hat. Watching these guys give me the chills. They are amazing athletes.
View from my window.
I spent most of the day working on my computer and tracking Pete's progress online. When I saw he passed the half-way mark, I decided to go downstairs to the street to wait for him, but then the computer showed he was on mile 18! Did I miss him? I nearly started to cry and so I called Pete's cell. He called me back a minute later and said that he was waiting for me at our meeting place at mile 17. The computer was all messed up but it somehow worked out in our favor. I was so relieved!
Dan and I ran to greet him with our sign and an everything bagel with cream cheese (per Pete's request). Pete said he was tired, but he seemed to be in good spirits and enjoying himself.
I watched him on the computer (with a grain of salt) until he finished just shy of six hours. I am so proud of his accomplishment and hope that he took a rest day today.
It certainly inspired me to hit the gym this morning!