Saturday, November 3, 2007
The US Men's Marathon Olympic Trials
The 3 of us waiting for the runners to come by one last time!
Jon and Kate sprinting to the west side of the park with everyone!
This is my last marathon related post from our crazy week of 3 marathons (cheering, not running!) Last Saturday New York City hosted the US Men's Marathon Olympic Trials in Central Park.
Now, I have been talking about going to see these pretty much since we moved here. Rain nor wind, nor chilly temperatures were going to stop me.
Saturday morning, Jon and I got up nice and early (6:50AM) and ran the 2.3 miles up to 72nd Street and Central Park West where we were meeting my sister (equally excited as I was, stop, picture it - poor Jon). We're jibberjabbering away for like 5 minutes before Jon gives me my first "You're getting over excited and it hasn't even started yet" looks. I try to calm down, but I can't - I mean 1) I love love love the Olympics! 2) I love running, racing and marathons. and 3) I'm actually there to watch an Olympic trials race, in the marathon no less.
We head up to the spot around West 81st Street inside the park. We hear the runners are coming so we quickly get to whatever spot is available and we end up meeting this man who is there to cheer on his son. His son qualified in a 10K and this race was going to be his first marathon ever (how crazy is that?) We chat with him for a bit, the runners come by in a huge pack so you couldn't really see anything, except for Wardian who went out fast in the first loop. Afterwards we headed up to where we wanted to be stationed and ended up running into my cousin's ex-girlfriend. I swear for as big as NYC is you can still have small world occurences take place.
The runners come by on lap 2 and they're more separated into groups. We wait to cheer on all of them and then along with 75% of the crowd start sprinting to the east side of the park to catch the runners as they loop around. We get there in time, find a spot, see the runners again, turn around and sprint back to the west side of the park to see them as they loop around again. We continued this till the end.
It was so fun, everyone was dressed in their running gear and as the race was coming down to the wire you would have thought all of us running back and forth were in a race the way people were running, it was crazy (fun in a good way). The best part though was definitely the end. We're on the west side of the park waiting for them to get going on the 2nd to last loop and Brian Sell was creeping up (and let me tell you he made up A LOT of ground) on the lead pack big time. So everyone was like is he going to be able to do it. We see them run by sprint to the east side of the park and wait.
All of a sudden Ryan Hall comes running by so fast and we're all waiting for the rest of the lead pack. No one - 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds...then Ritz comes by. Everyone was going crazy, screaming like crazy, couldn't believe the way the lead pack was spreading out. Now people are seriously sprinting back to the west side! We get there - Ryan Hall comes back again - 45 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute and 10 seconds and Ritz comes by again, then Dan Browne and then Sell right on his tail going up the hill. No Meb, no Abdi...now people were crazy. The sprint to the east side of the park was out of a movie. We get there wait a little bit Ryan Hall come by - 1 minute 10 seconds, 1 minute 20 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds...finally Ritz comes by and then...Sell, he did it, managed to get himself into 3rd place position! People are going crazy.
We knew we didn't have time to get to the finish. We also knew that the 3 leaders were going to win because they just had that much of a lead and not that far to go. So we decided to stay and cheer on the other runners who had fallen off pace. By the way - that guy from the beginning - his son, finished 9th, 13 seconds behind Meb, in his first marathon ever!!!!! That is crazy - but definitely be looking for Josh Rohatinsky in 4 years, he's got some serious promise. (Could I say crazy one more time!!!)
All in all it was the best way ever to start a day and I just hope that one day I get to see the real thing, the Olympics in person. It's on my list....