23 November 2008

Philadelphia Marathon

Today, in a sense, was my first marathon. I did not run today, but I arrived early with my brother, who was running, so that I could watch the marathon and immerse myself in the atmosphere of the marathon. In a way it was good for me because when I do run the marathon next year I will know what to expect when I get there.

It was surreal walking toward the art museum while it was still dark out. We arrived at 5:30 and were the only two people walking down the street for a bit, and then more and more people appeared, slowly making their way toward the museum. It was like a scene from a zombie movie.

My brother checked his stuff and got ready. After following him around for a half hour we parted ways. I wandered around trying to get the best pictures I could in the dark and he stretched and warmed up.

The sun was rising when they made announcements about the corrals and lining up for the start. I found a good spot at the starting line and waited. I got quite a few good pictures, but could not see where my brother was, coming off the start line. After the wheeled and 8k start I made my way up 22nd street to Chestnut so that I could maybe catch my brother there.

By the time I reached Chestnut there was already runners going by. I was sure that my brother had not passed yet so I walked down the street watching for him. I saw a lot of interesting people running, and thought to myself if they can do it, than so can I. I felt bad for thinking that about some people, but inspired at the same time, and proud of total strangers who are not content with sitting at home watching crappy television shows.

I did not see my brother on Chestnut. By the time I made it back to the art museum, there were people finishing the half marathon and some elites finishing the full. It was fun to watch people crossing the finish line.

I walked down by the river and waited for my brother. A good place to people watch, and I learned today that the marathon is a better people watching venue than any other place I have ever been.

After a long wait I see my brother walking up the road texting someone. Texting? Walking? He was texting one of the volunteers that he was friends with. I went down and walked along with him. His leg was hurting pretty bad and he was not going to finish. Not too long ago he had a foot injury that interrupted his training, and this definitely effected him. He did make it to the halfway point, and while disappointed that he did not finish, he was very proud that he at least started.

I am proud too. The two of us are lazy bastards, always playing video games and doing nothing to benefit our health... now that we are running we are getting fit and losing weight. Not only that, but by running we are already doing more than most people in the country. We are both different people since taking up running.

I am definitely excited to run next year, and now I have more motivation and inspiration to train hard so that I can build my endurance, and take part in what looks like an incredible time.

I will be posting pics soon. I took a lot and some of them came out pretty good.

1 comment:

Pat said...

I went and watched the Ironman Arizona. It's always cool to see other runners in action.

You might like to read a race report about the Philly marathon - http://princesskaikai.wordpress.com/2008/11/25/asphalt-officially-kicked/#comment-431