Sunday, November 5

The loveliness of the long distance runner.

Through a confluence of random events, I spent my Sunday assisting a Somewhat Famous visual artist who is preparing to open an exhibition at a Trendy Chelsea Gallery. The artist's studio was up in Harlem and happened to be along the home-stretch of the New York City Marathon, which was today. Her third-floor studio overlooked the marathon route, and we spent a good deal of time with our heads thrust out of the window, watching the runners bound their way toward Central Park, walled in on two sides by crowds of cheering onlookers, three- or four-deep:

It is an amazing thing to watch the New York City Marathon. I've never done it before. When I arrived at the studio earlier in the morning, the marathoners had just started to trickle down Fifth Avenue. The first were racers in specially-designed wheelchairs speeding down the pavement. An hour later, the street was completely filled with runners, all with a surprisingly serene look of determination on their faces. You can't stop watching. You can't stop cheering. It is a thrilling thing.

There is such a Sense of Purpose on the faces of the marathon runners. Maybe that's what I like about it so much. As someone in my 20s, I am drawn with envy to those who exude a Sense of Purpose in any kind of obvious way.

On the subway later in the afternoon, a lovely young British couple got on the train in full I've-just-run-a-marathon regalia. Everyone chatted them up. Everyone was beaming with pride. "Amazing," the young woman said. "I'll never do it again. (It hurts, she later explained.) But, amazing."

Thanks, marathoners, for adding a little extra inspiration to the day.

PS: My old roommate from college ran in the marathon this year! I've added a link to his blog about the experience on my blog roll.


Blogger Liz said...

I assume, by 'old roommate,' you're not referring to Lump.

10:46 AM  

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