Chris ran the 40th New York City Marathon yesterday. He managed to finish in about 5 hours despite limited training and/because of a two week bout with the flu. He was nice enough to record his thoughts along the way.
Start – I’m standing in my corral with the other runners who the New York Road Runners club feels are at or about my level. I quickly find out their estimation is way off. Everyone is smarter, fitter and better prepared than me. It’s like university all over again.
1) Why is it called a corral for people and a starting gate for horses? Is this anything like the driveway versus parkway thing?
2) How many penises are too many to see before noon? Whatever that number is, I’ve surpassed it today.
Mile 1 – I’m run walking with my corral mates. They are going on and on about what they’ve done to prepare – hill training, speed training, eating healthy foods. I’m slightly concerned.
This is the first time (of many, I’m sure) where I think how much faster this would be in a car.
Mile 2 – Those other runners are idiots. Barney (How I Met Your Mother) was right: “You don’t train for a marathon, you just run it!”
Mile 3 – Waitaminute, didn’t that episode end with Barney on the subway unable to walk? I hope no one finds me incapacitated and takes my iPod because it would be tough to explain most of my play list.
I see a sign that says GO CHRIS! I pretend it’s intended for me.
Mile 4 – I stop for a drink for the first time. It’s not water. It’s Gatorade. Lemon lime. I spent a summer working in a shingle factory in my hometown when I was in high school and one of my responsibilities there was filling every water cooler with Lemon Lime Gatorade. I drank about 1000 cups of the stuff that summer. When I take my first sip now, I smell tar.
Mile 5 – The second comedy bit by Todd Barry comes up on my iPod. His material isn’t really marathon appropriate (i.e. no pounding bass) but he’s funny and I laugh out loud.
There’s a girl crying while she stretches her hamstring at the curb. I wonder what she’s listening to.
A guy with an artificial leg runs past me. What an inspiration. Time to suck it up. I think of Terry Fox.
Mile 6 – The crowd support in Brooklyn is phenomenal. People of all races, colours, creeds and sexual preferences (I assume) lining the streets, cheering us on.
My iPod is playing “Been Caught Stealing.” I’ve seen 3 or 4 signs that read: “Run like you stole something.” Is the crime rate back up? What about all of the Bloomberg campaign ads I’ve seen? Are they running during the TV broadcast of this marathon?
Other signs along the way:
Do it for the beer!
Pride Is Forever
Think About Sex!
Honk If You Love Running (Screw you, Brooklyn hipster!!!)
Mile 7 – A different guy with an artificial leg runs by. I realize how many advances they’ve made in artificial limbs in recent years. Is that a motor? Eff that guy.
Mile 8 – I think it’s Paula Poundstone who has a bit about working at the International House of Pancakes. Her customers thought she was slow. She claimed it was from the maple syrup on the floors.
I’ve run through a bunch of Gatorade stations. I feel Paula’s pain.
Mile 9 – A guy runs by on two artificial legs. Eff that guy, twice.
Mile 10 – A song by Cosmopolis comes up on the iPod. I know a couple of the guys in the band. They live in Brooklyn. If I survive this thing, I should call them and hang out. Brooklyn isn’t that far from Manhattan and I should really take advantage of what it has to offer more.
Mile 11 – Running more than 10 miles goes against everything we are. Running was only used to catch food. Nobody would chase dinner for more than 10 miles. Just wait for the next, slower animal to come along.
Mile 12 – I’m never going to go to Brooklyn again… ever.
Mile 13 – Word just trickled back that the winner crossed the finish line. One of the volunteers clapped and said “Halfway!” I don’t like either of them.
Mile 14 – J.K. Rowling said it best: “That absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad.”
Mile 15 – Four runners from Italy, two guys from Denmark and a girl from Spain stop for photos on the bridge.
A guy runs by me in full Captain America costume, complete with about 15 pounds (?!?) of fake muscles. If I weren’t so tired, I’d hurt him.
Mile 16 – I pass my apartment building. If you lived here and you weren’t running this stupid marathon, you’d be home by now. My family is here to cheer me on. They seem so happy for me. Really puts everything into perspective. I would kill any one of them for something to eat.
Mile 17 – Prior to the race, I read that at a certain point you begin to feel every pothole, crack and bump along the way. That’s not true. It’s so much more personal than that. You feel every extra slice of pizza you’ve eaten, every beer you’ve downed and every Thanksgiving dinner. And remember in high school you liked that girl and even though you didn’t smoke, you’d go outside and stand with her, breathing in every cigarette? You feel that too.
Mile 18 – “Honk If You Love Running.” Heh.
Mile 19 – WHERE THE HELL IS THE BRONX?!?
Mile 20 – THIS IS THE BRONX?!?
Mile 21 – WHY DID WE GO TO THE BRONX?!?
Mile 22 – An old man pushes me out of the way for the 3rd time this marathon. If I’m so slow how do I always end up in front of him? “Dude, you ain’t gonna win, relax.”
More Bill Hicks on the iPod. Is this why I’m so angry?
Mile 23 – Sweat in my eyes. How can my own sweat hurt so much? Has this race turned me into some sort of Milhouse character who’s allergic to his own tears?
There’s a sign that reads WE BELIEVE IN YOU, LAURA! What’s my name? Am I Laura?
Mile 24 – Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” comes up. I would kill for some of my mother’s spaghetti, right now.
Fuck a beat, I’ll go a capella. Fuck a Papa Doc, fuck a clock, fuck a trailer, fuck everybody. Fuck y’all if you doubt me. I’m a piece of fuckin’ white trash, I say it proudly. And fuck this battle, I don’t want to win, I’m outtie. Here, tell these people something they don’t know about me.
Mile 25 – Taking evolution into account, how important are toenails, really?
Mile 26 – The last week at the shingle factory, I had to empty an entire silo of a talc-like byproduct. After five days of shoveling, I couldn’t breathe, my whole body hurt and I was hearing voices. Why am I thinking of that now?
Finish – “Being attractive is the most important thing there is…” – Nada Surf
Christopher Moloney’s NYC Marathon play list:
Note: I didn’t actually make a play list for the run. I just hit shuffle.
“Blonde & Blue” by Headstones
“I Think We’re Lost” by Ron Sexsmith
“Meet Me In The Tower” (Acoustic) by Ours
“Hard To Be A Girl” by Adam Green
“Wonderboy” by Tenacious D
“Life’s Too Short Little Ndugu” by Moneen
“Dandelion Wine” by Ron Sexsmith
“Finale” by Todd Barry
“Alumni” by Todd Barry
“Been Caught Stealing” by Jane’s Addiction
“Noise” by The Diodes
“Can’t Explain” by Love
“Proud” by Tegan & Sara
“As I Wander” by Ours
“Enid” by Barenaked Ladies
“Child Star” by The Diodes
“Chapter 1” by Alan Cross (from The Alan Cross Guide to New Music)
“Let Down” by Bif Naked
“Angels Heap” by The Finn Brothers
“Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead
“Starpainters” by Gordon Downie
“Slow Parade” by Cosmopolis
“Fake David Bowie Song” by Liam Lynch
“Oh Come, Angel Band” by Johnny Cash
“Fleet” by Eugene Mirman
“Summer Blowin’ Town” by Ron Sexsmith
“Sometimes” by Ours
“If God Will Send His Angels” (Big Yam Mix) by U2
“Australia” by Bill Hicks
“The Shining” by Badly Drawn Boy
“Teen Wolf, Gay Marriage” by Eugene Mirman
“Come On” by Tegan & Sara
“Carrot Rope” by Pavement
“When I Grow Up” by Garbage
“Vs. The Audience 2” by Bill Hicks
“European Boys” by Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players
“Dirty Day” [Junk Day Remix] by U2
“Girl of Your Dreams” by Bill Hicks
“Mysterious Ways” by U2
“Wilbury Twist” by Traveling Wilburys
“Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)” by Johnny Cash
“Roth Kung Fu” by The Salads
“All You Got” by Tegan & Sara
“No Surprises” by Radiohead
“The Great Beyond” by R.E.M.
“When He Comes” by Johnny Cash
“Sperm Bank Babies” by Todd Barry”
“Karate” by Tenacious D
“Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
“400 Metres” by Sloan
“Trick Rider” by Gordon Downie
“Making Love With You” by Old 97’s
“The Old Account” by Johnny Cash
“For The Driver” by Ron Sexsmith
“Vivid” by Electronic
“The Start To This May Be The End To Another” by Moneen
“The Modern Age” by The Strokes
“Am I Right?” by Erasure
“Girls & Boys” by Blur
“Fake Pixies Song” by Liam Lynch
“Stacked Crooked” by The New Pornographers
“Where Do The Days Go?” by The Flashing Lights
“Dream Baby Dream” by Suicide
“Lose Yourself” by Eminem
“Trees Lounge” by Hayden
“Fiesta” by The Pogues
“Bounce” by Danko Jones
“Getting Old Sucks” by Lewis Black
“Stan Bowles” by The Others
“Have A Nice Day” by Stereophonics
“Hurricane” by Bob Dylan
“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
“Broken Leaf” by Tangiers
“Popular” by Nada Surf