Marathon Sunday in New York City is my favorite day in the city. It has been since 2008, when I ran my first race and fell in love with running. Most years I am running it, but I bowed out of 2016, mainly because I was running a marathon in Italy 3 weeks prior. That meant I was on super cheer squad duty!
Our cheer support started on Saturday night. Abbe and I had a dinner/sign making gathering at our place. We had quite a few people show up, including one Battalion member running the race the next day, Anders!
Waking up on Marathon Sunday and not having anywhere to go is a strange feeling. It is both welcoming, calmly drinking coffee and catching up on the news, and a feeling of missing out or lack of purpose. Thinking about all of your friends and teammates lounging around Fort Wadsworth waiting to the the line on one of the greatest marathons on earth… well, it feels like you didn’t get invited to someone’s birthday party.
To combat that feeling we had a party of our own. Noah, Cat, Gillian, Tia, Phil, Eric, and Susan came over for bloody mary’s and breakfast. We had the TV tuned to the marathon and when the lead women came off the Queensboro Bridge we set out towards 1st Avenue.
The weather outside seemed perfect for cheering (and running for that matter). On 1st Avenue (Mile 18) we picked up a few more friends… Role Call: Neil, Alena, EK, Chris, Bobby, Jill, Bojana, Brian, Lisa and Dave. We had our signs and our trackers out ready for our peeps. First up, Sebastien!
Hi Alena and half of Sweendog’s face
He was on par for a 2:40 finish time, and so he was kind of off by himself running and easy to spot. I jumped out from the barricades and gave him a point, thumbs up cheer scenario.
Beth and her cheer squad showed up to add to our fun at this point. We saw Juan crushing it but he had his music up so loud he couldn’t hear our insane yelling! Shortly after Dani came flying by looking great!
Next up was Battalion teammate Anders who was killing his first marathon! Jenn, also running her first marathon came by looking like a speedster as well!
Another first timer was my cousin Tommy, who came by and gave us a solid thumbs up! Battalion teammate Kelly was right behind him. As she passed by she threw me her handheld water bottle in what was nothing short of a 4th down touchdown pass. It was perfect!
After watching a few more friends cruise by we needed to make our way back west to 5th Avenue which was Mile 23. We pit stopped at our apartment, Cheer Squad Base Station Alpha, to refill our bloody mary’s and use the bathroom first.
5th Avenue’s cheering was still light and we were able to get right up along the course. We missed Sebastien because, well he ran a 2:42 and change which for those of you not in the know, is fast. We did see Anders though who seemed to be having a great time even though it was mile 23!
We saw Juan and Jenn fly by followed by Tommy. I also saw Laura, who I coached to a Half Ironman earlier in the summer. It was her first marathon and she was also doing fantastic! We did miss a lot of our people as it got really crowded and overwhelming.
Once Tiki Barber (we’re Strava friends) came by we made our way to The Battalion after party at The District.
Already there waiting were Uncle Bob, Aunt Rosalie, Tommy’s wife Kelly and their adorable daughter Fiona as well as Ander’s wife Alena. We posted up to the bar and waited for our marathon champions to get there.
As Anders entered the crowded bar we started a round of applause and I yelled out “3:17!” It was a pretty sweet welcome with Alena passing him a beer to complete the ceremony.
Jenn had a similar experience. She ran a 3:24 for her first marathon which also earned her a coveted Boston Qualifier by 10 minutes! Go Jenn!
Tommy, who was a few minutes behind her posted a 3:29 for his first marathon! Way to go cuz, it’s in our blood!
All of us hung out partying, listening to each runner give their epic tale. It was great. Kelly (another Battalion teammate and friend) had gone home and showered as she always does after a race and showed up a little later. She was pumped with her 3:42!
As the night pressed on people came and went. Abbe and I eventually left to grab dinner before calling it a night.
Congratulations to all of my friends and teammates on this glory filled day! I hope someone was inspired to run just like I was when I cheered at my first New York City Marathon in 2007!
Thanks to everyone whose images I borrowed as well!