Monday, November 05, 2007

Drooling in NYC

I had a weekend full of running nerdy-ness. I drove down to New York City on Saturday morning with some of my GBTC teammates. We left really early - early enough that we got there at 7:30 to watch the start of the men's Olympic Trials Marathon. The marathon ran loops around Central Park, so we got ourselves in the middle of the loop and then ran from side to side so we could see the runners about every 2.5 miles. We ran back and forth for 2+ hours, and it did not get old. Watching wicked fast runners is ridiculously intense fun. For me, anyway. Probably not everyone, including Bruce and Scott. They stayed home on Saturday and made cupcakes, watched a construction site, and went to the store to buy a new train.

This marathon determined next year's Olympic team to run in Beijing. Only the top three guys get that honor, so the pressure was on in the race. This race was loaded too: half the guys were national championships at some distance. By the end, it was Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenhein, and Brian Sell that made the team. Just after the race, we found out that Ryan Shay (the guy in the middle of the photo) had collapsed and died just after mile 5. We didn't see it, but it put a damper on everyone's spirits. The guy is one of the fittest athletes out there! It's so tragic. Even worse, he just got married this past summer to Alicia Craig, a pro runner who graduated from Stanford a few years ago. Just imagine being Ryan Hall and winning the Trials Marathon after a blazing fast pace and a huge lead, slapping hands with spectators in the last mile and pumping his fists at the finish - only to find out a few minutes after his win that one of his best friends died. Hall and Shay trained together for a season or two, and Hall's wife was a bridesmaid at Shay's wedding. It was a bittersweet day for me just watching; it's hard to imagine what those guys are feeling. I think everyone there was feeling a bit too mortal.

After watching the marathon, my teammates and I headed to Van Cortlandt Park for a cross country race. It was a 5k, which felt short after watching a race go on for a few hours. I ran a decent time and my team even came home with the victory, so we were pleased.


Blogger ellen said...

I was sad to hear about that runner's death. Congrats to you on your win! And, who doesn't love NYC!!

10:44 PM  

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