Monday, November 05, 2007

New York City Marathon

The first Sunday in November in New York - the City is focused on that expansive, extravagant celebration of fitness and athleticism that is the New York City Marathon. It was the first urban mass marathon, and the model for Chicago, London, Berlin and so many others to emulate. In years past I would be among those assembled at Fort Wadsworth, davening at the minyan organized every year in the staging area, and running 26.2 miles to wildly enthusiastic cheers all along the course. Finally I would cross the finish line in Central Park and experience a rush of joy like no other. Many runners from all over the world are doing this for the first time, and over 90% will finish, buoyed up by the contagious energy of the crowds lining the course. The experience will transform their lives forever.

Due to a bad knee I have not run the marathon since 2003 (I continue to run shorter races), or I would be too tired to write this now. In honor of the race and the hardy souls who run it, I wish to share a piece that I wrote 17 years ago for the Association of Orthodox Jewish Teachers: Click here.

Runner with Israeli flag on Bedford Avenue
in Williamsburg in Brooklyn in 2006 race

Danish runner in foreground. Denmark always
sends a large group of runners for a small country.
In years past, when I ran past one I would tell
him that his people are not forgotten. A Williams-
burg Hasid looks on in the background.

From the 1998 race - I am next to the
coach of the track team at Erasmus
Hall H.S. The team was manning a water
station seven miles in.

I am crossing the finish line at the
2003 race, which would be my last

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Blogger Lion of Zion said...

that's a nice essay, but a pain to download

Sun Nov 11, 04:48:00 AM EST  

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