In the weeks leading up the NYC Marathon, two of the questions I was asked the most were What motivates you to run? and What will you be thinking about while you are running to the finish line? Both answers were the same – I looked forward to my 10 month old son, AJ, and my husband, Paul waiting for me at the finish line.
Waiting for me at the finish line was more of a metaphor. I knew they weren’t actually going to be at the finish line of the NYC Marathon – the largest marathon in the world. The number of celebrities, media personnel and VIPs are astronomical and security to even get somewhat close is extremely tight. But, I knew they would be close by – somewhere in the general area of the finish line and that I would eventually get to see them soon after I finished.
The best part of running and competing in the 2011 NYC Marathon had absolutely nothing to do with running across the Verrazano Bridge with only 4 other runners or having spectators cheer for me as though I were an elite runner. It had nothing to do with winning the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge or running a 16+ minute negative split in the second half of the race. These are all amazing memories that I will cherish FOREVER.
The best part was the most unbelievable and unexpected surprise I ever could have imagined – as I finished mile 26, I looked up to the finish line…and saw my husband, my son, and my mom. They were ACTUALLY THERE – waiting for me to cross the finish line!!!
The amazing, wonderful people from NYRR and Foot Locker made this happen for me. And I will be forever grateful and thankful for them and what they did.
Life doesn’t get any better than this.