One of the coolest things about running marathons is that you run the same course as Olympians and elite athletes. You have the same start line. You cross the same finish line. Spectators along the course cheer just as loud for us as they do for the elites that passed already. Nothing is different. Well, except the time it takes us, mere mortals, to get to the finish! No other sport allows you to basically run elbow-to-elbow (if you can keep up, of course) with the world’s best.
From the few elite runners I have previously met, there is a sense of normalcy to them. They are everyday people. There isn’t the superstar mentality that you often get with other sports. So it was no surprise to me that the 3 individuals I got the chance to meet and chat with last night were down-to-earth and extremely friendly!
Last night was a Fun Run hosted by Run by Foot Locker at their Union Square store. The 70 or so runners that showed up to participate varied in age, running background, and whether or not they were running the NYC marathon on Sunday. After Ryan, Bobby, and Bart showed up, we all went out for a slow 3-mile run to the West Side Highway.
After the quick run, we returned to the store for some autographs and more time to chat with the 3 superstars. For anyone that lives in/around NYC or will be in town the week of the marathon next year, I recommend you put a reminder on your calendar to attend this awesome event! You won’t regret it!
Bart, currently the CRO (Chief Running Officer) of Runner’s World, invented the infamous Yasso 800s, a marathon-training schedule used by thousands around the world. He has completed races on all seven continents – including the Antartica Marathon to the Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon. In addition to having quite possibly the best job on the planet, he has completed 5 Ironman races and Badwater! (those are 2 of my long-range goals).
Ryan won the 2008 US Olympic Marathon Trials (held in NYC) and holds the US record in the half-marathon (59:43) – he is the first US runner to break 1 hour for the half-marathon!! He also holds the second-fastest marathon time by a US runner – 2:06:17. He is married to another professional runner – Sarah Hall. I hope to do a book review on Ryan’s recent book release “Running with Joy”. To read more about Ryan, check out his blog – http://runningwithjoy.com/
Bobby is a former NCAA cross country champion at Villanova University. He is making his marathon debut on Sunday at the NYC Marathon! He is coming off of a scorching 1:01:53 finish (and victory) at the 2011 Rock’n Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon in September. LET’S GO BOBBY!!!!