Tag Archives: NYC Marathon

Another New York City Marathon Sunday was wonderful and sweaty. Jennifer Lawrence hosting Kimmel was fantastic. And my favorite NFL TD celebration yet

Yet another mass shooting. Only the details change, from Aurora, Colorado to Las Vegas to Virginia Tech to a church in Texas. I just can’t take it anymore…

The first Sunday in November is one I look forward to every year as a New Yorker, and this year, maybe even more so.

For one, I was looking forward to getting some fresh air, as since our new little nugget was born last Tuesday, we haven’t exactly been outside much. For another, we just had another terrorist attack last week and the whole city seemed to be a little on edge the last few days.

And third, because there is so much that divides us in America these days, so many things that split us apart, that simply standing with thousands of strangers all cheering on a wide swath of humanity all trying to accomplish the same thing I knew would make me feel good.

And it did. While my wife was upstairs feeding the little guy (I forgot how exhausting and long early feedings can be, but she certainly hasn’t) I snuck out for 90 minutes and had a phenomenal time in the 60-degree spitting rain we had here Sunday.

I met some new friends who apparently live right near me on 1st Avenue and were even more enthusiastic (Jodi and Danielle, I’ll probably never see you again but thanks for all the laughs and shouts!), and I was again uplifted by the triumph of a human spirit that thinks nothing of running 26.2 miles with thousands of strangers for very little glory other than personal satisfaction.

A few quick-hit thoughts from Marathon Sunday…

— My favorite moment of the day came from a truly unique woman named Patricia. She was running with a female friend of hers, heard us wildly calling her name, and decided to stop. She and her pal said “You guys are awesome, I want a picture with you.” And so the three of us took a photo with Patricia and her friend, then Patricia said “let’s do a shot” and took a tiny, mouthwash-sized bottle out from the fanny pack she was wearing, and drank something that definitely wasn’t water.

As our jaws hung open, she asked “Hey, what borough are win now?” I hope she was kidding but said “Manhattan,” and then she was off and running again.

Patricia, you shine on, you crazy diamond.

— In the unusual and cool costume dept., we had way more “Wonder Woman” runners than ever before, probably because of the movie. Saw an IronMan, a Queen Elizabeth-dressed runner, and more than a few Spider-Mans. Not sure how comfortable any of that could’ve been to run in.

— We gave high-fives to at least 15 runners Sunday, and let’s just say there’s not enough Purell in the world to fully cleanse my palm. But they got so pumped up when we called their name; it’s so great to see a runner laboring and looking dejected, only to see them perk up and smile when they hear cheering and their name called. It’s the best.


— I’ve said this before but the NYC Marathon is by far the most diverse sporting event I’ve ever seen. The rainbow coalition of types of people who run this race, old, young, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, male, female… there is no one “type” who does this crazy 26-mile journey. Just people who want to push themselves and have a wonderful sense of accomplishment at the end.

Sunday, I was honored to be a small part of their journey.

**Next up today, I seem to like Jennifer Lawrence very much but don’t see too many of her movies. She was great in “American Hustle” and I’m sure I’ve seen her elsewhere, but her interviews and non-movie stuff are almost always enjoyable and peg Lawrence as a fun, wildly self-deprecating celebrity who realizes so much of Hollywood is B.S.

She hosted Jimmy Kimmel’s show last Thursday night and her monologue was fabulous; halfway through she went outside on the streets and asked random people to name five Jennifer Lawrence movies. It was fabulous.

**Finally today, I didn’t see much football on Sunday (I was watching those runners) but apparently it was a wild day in the NFL. The Giants continued to turn into the Jets, getting blown out at home (51 points they gave up!); the New Orleans Saints are 6-2 and who the hell ever saw that coming this season, and most importantly, we got some more hilarious and super-fun end zone dances.

There are a lot of things we can bash the NFL about this year, but one thing they’ve actually done right is allowed players who’ve scored to do fun TD celebrations. They’re harmless, they are wildly entertaining, and they allow players to show a little of their personalities.

This one Sunday, by the Kansas City Chiefs, might be my favorite all year. I’m not the only one who flashed to a “Brady Bunch” episode or “Mr. Mom” while watching this, right?

Another glorious NYC Marathon Sunday, viewed up close. The Jets are nosediving, and a 52-49 NFL game? Sure. And all hail the Kansas City Royals, world champs.


Lots of wonderful things I’ve discovered about living in NYC for the past four years.

One of my top three favorites, though, is the first Sunday in November. As I’ve written about here the past three years, Marathon Sunday is the best. Fifty thousand runners, of all shapes, stripes, creed, color and age, pushing their bodies 26.2 miles through all five boroughs.

In 2013 we moved to an apartment right under the 59th Street bridge, along 1st Avenue, which is a perfect spot to get up close and watch the runners fly by. With the weather perfect and my excitement heightened by showing this fabulous spectacle to my little boy for the first time (he was momentarily excited and wide-eyed, but after 10 minutes he got a little cranky), I happily stood along the barricades at 61st and 1st for a few hours.

Some thoughts from a wonderful day of watching athletic accomplishment:

— One thing that always surprises me about this throng of runners all barreling down the street: You never see a collision, or any bumping at all. I think in 2.5 hours of watching Sunday I maybe saw one time where a runner almost ran into another one.

— Highlight for me Sunday was seeing my awesome friend Christine, running her first marathon, spot me before I spotted her. I had my wife and all the strangers around me looking out for her (she had told me what she’d be wearing, I told her where we’d be, and I was tracking her race on the fabulous NYC Marathon app), and then all of a sudden she started streaming toward me. We hugged, I told her how great she was doing, she screamed “This is so hard!” and then kept running.

It was great.

— Love the high-fiving of strangers. Love screaming out the name of people with their name on their shirt, then them looking around like “who knows me here?”

— The costumes were, as usual, stellar. I saw quite a few Batmans, several Wonder Womans, lots of people wearing their country’s flags, and even a guy dressed in full FDNY firefighter gear, carrying a fire extinguisher to boot. That dude had to be committed to that costume to wear it for 26 miles.
My favorite, though, had to be the dude wearing an Eiffel Tower replica, with two people trailing him, one who was barefoot. I was speechless at that one.

— Always great signs from fans along the course. Two favorites from Sunday: 1., attached to a picture of a male underwear model, the words “Hey girl, I’m waiting for you at the finish line,” and “If Britney Spears could survive 2007, you can survive 26.2 miles.”

— Finally, every year I say the same thing, after watching the joy and agony of the runners: I’m gonna do this one day. I haven’t run so much since the little guy was born, but before his arrival I did a 10k and could run 6 miles at a time. I’ll get there one day.
But watching is almost as much fun.


**Next up, never a good sign as a Jets fan when Geno Smith comes into the game in the first quarter. What a miserable performance by my team, really getting blown out from the start by the suddenly decent Oakland Raiders. Looks like Ryan Fitzpatrick may be out awhile, which means we get more of Geno, which means the Jets’ once-promising season may get real shitty, real fast.

— The Giants scored 49 points Sunday. Eli Manning threw SIX touchdown passes. And they lost.
That was one of the most bizarre NFL games I’ve seen. Literally neither defense could make a stop, until the Giants got a defensive touchdown to go up 49-42.
What a pathetic display of defense. How do you feel good if you’re the Saints after that?

— Are the Vikings the best team no one is talking about? They’re 5-2, they’ve got a terrific young quarterback, and a good defense. And yet nobody’s considering them as a contender.

— This is not NFL-related, but again college football had me screaming at the referees Saturday night. Check out this nutso game-winning touchdown by Miami over Duke, using eight laterals, that absolutely should not have counted. Clear runner down at :26, and brutal block in the back at :39. Yes I’m a biased Duke fan, but this thing went to instant replay and they still got it all wrong! So, so awful.


**Finally, this World Series, man … it’s been fabulous.  Sunday night, Matt Harvey pitches the game of his life, just a few months after Mets fans were questioning his heart and desire. Guy throws eight shutout innings in a game his team must have, and still can’t get the win.
The Royals’ aggressive baserunning, a bad throw by Lucas Duda, and extra innings again. What an incredible, battle-back, scrappy team Kansas City is. I mean, they are never, ever, ever, out of a game. Such great defense, such smart baseball they play.

They are worthy World Series champs. Once the game got tied Sunday, I had no doubt K.C. would win. What an amazing turnaround story that franchise is.

As for the Mets, they had a hell of a season. Much better than anyone expected. You hope they’ll be back.

Terrific series. The best team won. (And poor Daniel Murphy can now go find a hole and hide for a few months).

Watching the NYC Marathon live an awesome experience. A freaky Criss Angel trick that made me scream. And the Jets keep shocking everyone


I would like to one day run the New York City Marathon.

For now, though, I’m only running five miles at a time, so I settled for the next-best thing: Watching the marathon live, from about 500 yards outside my front door.

Always wanted to see the Marathon live, and Sunday I got to cross it off my bucket list: Since my wife and I moved to First Avenue, a major viewing area for the awesome race, I knew I would finally get my chance.

And it was… extraordinary. Such a wonderful, wonderful time. So many senses came at me I was overloaded; it was cold, it was loud, it was joyful, it was crowded, and mostly… it was fantastic.

Some thoughts from 90 minutes spent leaning against a metal police railing at mile 16 (that’s my wife’s picture from where we were standing, above):

— My favorite part of the day was yelling out random stranger’s names and screaming for them like we were old friends. For many of the runners, we just yelled out the logo on their shirt (like “France” or “Fred’s Team”), but with a ton of runners putting their names on their shirts, we got plenty of practice screaming “Go Susie!” or “You can do it, Greg!” A lot of the runners played to the crowd, but to see their faces light up when five or six random strangers screamed their name and cheered for them was so great. At first, a lot of them looked at us like “Do I know you?” But then they just gave a thumbs-up, or a wave.


— The coolest sight was the uniforms of the runners. So many colors, so many different sock and sneaker looks, and so many costumes. We saw three Spidermans, a couple of Supermans, people with giant blue and yellow wigs, and my favorite, a dude running in a Hulk Hogan “Hulkamania” shirt (and yes, he did the hand to the ear move Hulk was famous for).

Truly, it was like watching a rainbow blur by you every 10-15 seconds.

— There were a lot of creative shirts, but my favorite was definitely the woman who’s orange T-shirt said on the back “You just got passed by a pregnant lady!”

Hey, the kid will come out of the womb in running shape, right?

— Each runner’s bib has a tracking device, so it was cool seeing people we were standing near know when their loved one would be coming by.

— For so many of these runners, it was a once in a lifetime experience. And so many of them were running with cameras and filming the crowd. Which means I can guarantee you that my little group I was standing with will be on about 15 home movies forever.

Which, if you think about it, is a nice way to be in someone’s life for a few seconds.

**OK, so my mother-in-law sent me this video of a Criss Angel illusion that he’s been doing for years, but was just on a recent episode of his TV show.

I watched it a bunch of times and it freaked me out every time, even after I did some Internet research (check the comments section). I know it’s not “real” but still pretty amazing. The good parts begin at 1:20…


**It’s pretty easy to wager on the 2013 New York Jets.
On odd-numbered weeks, they win.
On even numbered weeks, they lose.

Fortunately, they play “bye” next week, so I think they’ll be able to win that one.
Yep, the crazy, wacky season of the Jets continued on Sunday, as they once again won a game they had absolutely no business winning, when you looked at on paper.
They ran the ball for 200 yards, they got a huge pass rush in the second half, and they “held” Drew Brees to 380 passing yards (trust me, they did a good job on him when it mattered.)

Chris Ivory ran hard. Geno Smith played smart and didn’t turn the ball over. And the D-line continues to look ferocious; finally, after years of searching, the Jets have a pass rush, thanks to Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, and Sheldon Richardson (all great draft picks. Stephen Hill, meanwhile… not so much.)

I have no idea if this Jets team can actually make the playoffs, which would be the most surprising season in my lifetime as a Jets fan. But they sure have made this season a lot more fun to watch than I would’ve thought.

They’re 5-4, when I never thought they’d get five wins all year. Crazy.