To have the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon is such an honor but to have the opportunity to run the NYC Marathon with your Mom is probably one of the best days of your life. So we are in Brooklyn running up 4th Ave. and I have this idea to tear a sign off a pole, I ask my Mom to stay on the line on the course and that I will be back and I venture off to the crowds asking anyone if they have a permanent marker as I had the idea to create the sign you see here in the picture. Eventually I found it and made my way up to her and stood behind her and in an instant everyone on the sideline started yelling “GO MOM” and that was the start of our circus run of chaos from Brooklyn all the way through to the finish line in Central Park.
Our story to the NYC Marathon started with a disadvantage. We both applied and my Mom was accepted and I was denied. After hearing our story a friend who happen to win the race several years ago made a call to the New York Roadrunners and just like that I was accepted. It was truly a gift to both of us and we were both grateful. It seemed the whole time we trained for the months leading up to the race, it was all we talked about. I had run the race and knew what it would take for my Mom to do well in the race. I think the NYC marathon is a tough course and many runners are so caught up in the awe of the sights and sounds looking around and they fail to recognize the race is taking them up a rolling course and bridges. This process of failing to see what is happening can catch up to you in the Bronx and the last surge going from the Bronx into the finish line can seem like a million miles away because of fatigue and the struggle.
So here we are in Brooklyn and the sign is creating the crowds to go crazy! Everyone is screaming GO MOM and my Mom is waving at everyone for a good 6 miles. She is having the time of her life running the race and responding to the throngs of spectators all requiring her attention with a wave. It is an electric run and I myself am feeding off the explosive energy coming our way. But the reality is the longer she continues to wave at everyone the greater the chances are she will bonk out on me in the 20′s because of all the energy she is exerting from waving. So we come up with a new plan to give a thumbs up and it works. As we run through the course into Queens the energy is the same and now runners are starting to take pictures of us and the crowds are starting to snap pictures at every corner. At one moment we have a motorcycle with a video camera following us. As soon as we come off the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan it is amazingly electric and the massive crowds are going bonkers yelling at my Mom, it was insane. I noticed in The Bronx she was starting to get tired and our last stretch down Fifth Ave into Central Park was amazing as the sky was starting to get a little dark and flashes of photography are starting to pop off at us at every corner in big numbers. It felt like we were being followed by paparazzi. With just a mile to go we turn on to Central Park South and the flashes are going off from all the cameras and it is electric as the GO MOM chant’s get stronger and louder. When we turned into the final stretch into Central Park towards the finish line it is unreal with energy and the hair on my neck raises. We had made it, had such an amazing day and my Mom was actually going to get a personal record in the marathon. When we crossed we grabbed hands and hugged each other and both bursted into tears of joy. It was an incredible Mother Son moment, one I will never forget.
So the biggest question is how did I manage to hold that sign up for 21 Miles and over 5 Hours and the answer is I really don’t know. I do know the mind is powerful and if your heart and mind are in the right place your body will follow. I never really felt tired holding the sign until the very end when I saw the finish line. At that point my arms both started to cramp, I guess my body was realizing the end was there. I still have the sign and every once and a while I come across it and remember that day when we took that sign on the ultimate tour of New York City. Another beautiful day in New York City and just another New York minute.