What a phenominal day. Living in Greenpointe Brooklyn as a kid I vaguely remember days where the marathon would be running by- we made no special effort to watch it, it was just more something that happened on my way to the candy store (mmm for egg creams). I remember the dashed line painted on the ground throughout the city, and seeing it all over the 5 boros we traveled around.
It never really occurred to me to go cheer. And then I learned about Team Fatty running and it was on like donkey kong. The plan was to meet Team members at the 19th mile marker, I abandoned the idea of getting to Brooklyn, oy, I just didn’t have the schlep in me.
I made a quick stop at Rite-Aid to make a sign and get some noise makers (boy did I succeed at that). Immediately, the cheering began. Jamieson and I were there early enough to watch the hand-cyles come by, one by one. How inspirational. Then a while later, the tell-tale helicopter was spotted; the elite runners were upon us. In addition to noting, as my friend Gerry says, that they all look like they need a good meal, I couldn’t help but be astounded at the length of their strides.
How gorgeous does Shalene look?! Wow.
So, more cheering, more cheering more cheering. Jen schooled me on etiquette- if a running wrote their name on their shirt, it was proper to call them out, they wanted the support. So we called out every. single. name. we. saw. I’m not kidding. Every name. And the smiles and looks of appreciation just drove us.
Insert NYC Carlos.
This guy has the biggest voice I have ever heard in my life. He arrived after cheering in Brooklyn, and lent his bellowing, impressive, massive voice to support every runner he could. He particularly called out every other “Carlos” he saw. He yelled with such conviction more than one runner thought for sure he must be hearing the call of a family member and looked surprised to realize it was a stranger making such an effort.
And then he joined me in my support of a particular bunch- the shirtless mens. To each and every half/mostly naked man that passed, I yelled a huge, “How YOU doin’?!” Hey, it’s New York. The guy in the banana hammock got one too even though he had a shirt on. Oh, and the guy in the pink spandex.
We all made special effort to cheer anyone in Livestrong garb- Frank and Laura holding up banners, Jen ringing her cowbell, me tooting on my party horn. It was awesome.
Carlos exited to go cheer his girlfriend Amy along further down the route (I’m comforted that she surely heard him), and we anticipated Fatty and The Runner any second. Then more seconds. Then more, and no Fatty. We lost sight of his tracking chip, poof, he disappeared. We thought surely he had passed and we missed him. Then quite out of nowhere, the running duo of energy appeared and gave huge bear hugs.
Jen had some Reeses stashed in her pocket, I had some fruit snacks. Fatty and The Runner hung out with us for only a minute- Fatty handed his iPhone 4 to a complete stranger and asked him to take a picture of us all (bold move, first time in NY?). The guy did and I swear he was faking it- (unless you have used an iPhone to take a picture, people don’t know to tap the icon and not push the button), but I guess it came though.
After they passed, we spent more time cheering and Joel and Maggie showed up- it was SO great to see them. Wow, what a journey they made to get in to cheer. I freaking LOVE Team Fatty. Love love love.
It was becoming clear now that it was time for Jamieson and Jordan to get going- the temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up and Jordan really looked like she was getting cold. I had to get home to my son so and sadly couldn’t stay nearly as late as I wanted to.
Hugging our Philly Jen, shedding a tear together, that she is on the mend. Hugging her, gently, and knowing we’re matchy matchy as surgery sisters was powerful. I was not expecting that at all. Man, I love her and don’t want a single other upsetting thing to ever happen to her (or any of us!) again. Ever.
Hugging all our Team members- I’m feeling the bonding and I want more of it! More events, more hugs, more cancer ass-kicking!
The cycling escorts with some of the runners/hand-cyclists. I must do this in my lifetime.
The running escort with one man in a wheelchair who was literally pushing and shoving people out of the way of her guy. She kicked ASS.
Cheering myself hoarse. I’d do it again and again.
The runners in costumes- Minnie Mouse, a swan, The Blues Brothers, the banana, both orange skin suit guys, the featherhead guy, anyone in a tutu, the hippie in full leisure suit
THE CHILEAN MINER!!
The french runner who wrote his name phonetically so we could yell it, “Francuase” I think it was
Neighborhood people not crossing in front of the runners in a considerate or appropriate way. Philly Jen gave it a good shot at stopping them (No Va! No Va!) I don’t know if that’s actually appropriate Spanish. It didn’t work anyway, but it was a good effort.
Having to leave too early (My good friend Lee was still at the finish line as of 8:00 pm still cheering finishers in- wow!)
People who had their names on their shirts but headphones in- it made us not cheer for them even though we wanted to, though of course I understand the need for tunes, or the people who’s names weren’t written big enough to read in time to cheer