How I'm Running the NYC Marathon
AP Photo/Sean Sweeney
For four months I have been waiting to run the NYC Marathon this Sunday in an effort to fundraise for Girls on the Run, a wonderful nonprofit that brings the joys of running to elementary and middle school girls. My fundraising goal has been met, thanks to the support and generosity of friends and family. Since June I've trained harder than ever before, run over 500 miles, consumed about thirty packs of Clif Shots, and burned through two pairs of shoes. I’ve completed two 20-mile runs, built up my usual mileage from 25 to 45 miles per week, broken a toe, and guzzled approximately 10 gallons of chocolate milk (my post-run drink of choice). I’ve never been more ready.
Then Sandy hit, and I spent Monday and Tuesday of this week glued to the Weather Channel live stream and social media trying to determine whether my friends on the East Coast were okay. I saw the images of major flooding and property destroyed and could only imagine the astronomical cost of rebuilding. When it was announced that the NYC marathon would go on as planned, I was amazed, and wondered how (and at what cost) the city would pull off a 50,000-person race in the midst of recovery efforts. I wondered if it was responsible to try. I wasn’t alone.
Driving into Staten Island, where I was staying and where the race will begin, looked impossible, and I began to wonder if my efforts could be better spent here in Buffalo. I knew I’d run 26.2 on Sunday––I had trained too long and too hard to just skip the run. I also knew I wanted to donate the few hundred or so I would have spent in New York City to the Red Cross. And I began to wonder if others might want to join me.
A plan formed: I’d run my 26.2 in Delaware Park on its Meadow Drive loop, so that runners of all abilities could join me for as many laps as they want. I’d accept Red Cross and Mayor’s Fund donations. To sweeten the pot, I’d round up my distance to an even 15 laps––that’s half a mile longer than the standard marathon distance. I’d bring a water station, snacks, and maybe a fun sign or two so park bystanders would know they’re welcome to join me. We'd raise awareness and (I hope) a substantial amount of financial support for relief efforts, while doing something healthy and fun.
So far, the support from my friends and community has been amazing. If you’d like to jump in for a lap or two, cheer me on, heckle me, donate, or just join me for a post-run beer, check out the Facebook page for my run. I'll be there from 8:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m., with my heart in NYC all the way.