In the first week of November I become nostalgic for the New York City Marathon. I have a rather intimate relationship with this event; it’s been a huge part of my life.
In 1986 I was working part-time for a travel agency and they asked me to bring a group of Italians to New York. The runners arrived at the airport in track suits and told me that I just had to bring them to an expo to pick up their bib numbers; they’d take care of the rest themselves. Easy!
Little did I know that trip would change the course of my life. I fell in love with marathoning as I watched the runners run past me at Central Park. I vowed to do it myself. And I did, four years later.
I don’t have a lot of photos from those first years because I’d only take a few shots with an Instamatic. There was no finish photographer or chip timing back then. But they did send a lovely postcard to congratulate you on your finish.
I’ve run NYCM ten times, always going there for work and then running the marathon. I’ve seen the marathon numbers grow, directors change and running become a household activity.
I ran in 1991 and brought some friends that I’d convinced to take up running.
I ran one of my best marathons in 1998 but they still weren’t using chip timing or GPS devices. I’m pretty sure I lost a few minutes at the NON wave start…
1998 also predates the digital era so they’d send you an actual proof of your photo arrival and you’d have to decide if you wanted the print from it. Please notice that I drew an arrow to myself…
In 1999 Piero and I brought our families with us to visit New York during Marathon week. I didn’t run that year because I was injured (severe anemia) but we went to the start and brought our very first digital camera with us.
In 2004 one of Piero’s athlete’s Ottavio Andriani was running the race (he came in tenth). Piero and I decided ,”Hey, let’s get married!”. We’d already been together for many years plus had children so it seemed like a good decision.
It only took 24 hours from start to finish; a lot easier than all the bureaucratic BS we’d have had to deal with in Italy.
The other great thing about going to New York is the expo. Not only can you geek out on running products but you get to meet all your friends too.
This year I’ve trained 27 athletes for NYCM. I’ll be following them online and I’ll know where they are on the course every 3 miles. I love technology! I know that I’ll be doing it with a wisp of nostalgia in my heart. Maybe next year?