Monday, November 05, 2007

Run, Chewie, Run!

The New York City Marathon is, as my friend Nick smartly put it on the phone this morning, "what New Year's Eve in Times Square is supposed to be." It's a citywide expression of ambition and support of your fellow man (and woman and, as you'll see, wookie). My friend Patty ran in it this year, and I was lucky enough to catch her passing by while I stood along Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. A couple of weeks before the race, she had written to me: "I'm guaranteed to be in considerable pain. The most I'm hoping for is to avoid serious injury." She got to me around the eighth mile, when many others already seemed to be flagging, but she was bounding along like she had just started. Congrats, PF, and F40, indeed.

It's more thrilling than you would think (or than I would think, at least) to scream support to total strangers as they glide or stumble by. It's inspiring and touching to see so many different types of people tackling such a monumental goal. Here's another excerpt from my conversation with Nick:

Nick: "Did it inspire you to try it?"
Me: "Oh, no. No. I can run a decent distance if I trained for it, but 26 miles sounds like hell. But it inspired me to do something. You know, whatever my thing would be."
Nick (channeling me): " 'I'm gonna go inside and eat a whole gallon of ice cream.' "

The one thing I wasn't prepared for was the volume of people who run the race in costume. I have no idea if this is a way to gain money for a charity or just a sign of psychic breakage, but my first clue that it would be a theme came when a snowman ran past:

OK. Then later came Chewbacca:

You can see Princess Leia right ahead of him. (If you want some real fun, read the Wikipedia entry for Chewbacca. Sample fun: "The 1978 television program The Star Wars Holiday Special introduces Chewbacca's family: Mallatobuck, Attichitcuk, and Lumpawarrump. They live together on Kashyyyk.")

I thought a giant fur costume would surely be the toughest thing in which to run, but that was before I saw "Larry the Lighthouse":

It's hard to tell, but "Larry" was actually moving along pretty well, all things considered.

Lastly, a far more boring outfit, just a guy in a trench coat (evidently the NYC marathon equivalent of jogging shorts and a T-shirt), but it was the best one I got. You only see a smattering of spectators on the other side of the street in these shots, but my side was pretty packed, and unobstructed photos weren't easy to come by. So, I'll leave you with this guy:


Anonymous Amar said...

These pics are really funny, espcially the last one along with your comments.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Dianna said...

Larry the Lighthouse is a frequenter of most of the NYC races -- at least I've seen him (sometimes a her, I think) in almost every race I've run. I think his sign says follow me to the NJ marathon -- or some other out of state race. That can't be a comfortable ensemble. Probably smells a bit by this point, too.

1:38 PM  

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