NYC Marathon 2015
NYC Marathon is a huge event attracting 50,000 runners from all around the world and the majority of this event is made possible through the 10,000 plus volunteers. This year is my second time working the starting line, which is special because you can see the nervousness, anticipation, and excitement for the first timers, seasoned athletes, and professional runners. The calm before the storm.
The team at IceWorks knows from years past that the majority of runners have a story or a cause, which inspires them to train for months and ultimately run a grueling 26.2 miles. We decided to help give them a voice or something that they could have during the highs and lows through the 5 boroughs. We created “I Run 4” stickers with a blank line allowing the runners to put a name or cause of their choice.
Little did I know how exceedingly fulfilling this experiment would turn out to be. I was admittedly nervous when the first wave of people stepped into my corral. With swarms of people around me how could you not be? Then it hit me, these people are about to endure a grueling 26.2 miles so I’m sure they are much more nervous than I could ever be. I was expecting a simple “yes” or “no” but what I got in return were countless personal stories on who they are running for and why this marathon means so much to them.
In the first wave, I met a man who was running for his son. He explained how he was out there to finish the race and prove that anything is possible with hard work and the right amount of preparation, perseverance, and will not to give up.
In the second wave, an elementary school teacher in New York City said ever year he completes the marathon for his students.
On the third wave, I met a young lady running her first marathon. She explained to me how she was dedicating each mile to someone important in her life. She proceeded to write down all 26 names on a couple of stickers and with each name you could see her have flashes of great memories with each person.
Lastly, one man wrote down that he was running today’s marathon for humanity, and then it dawned on me, this is what the marathon is all about. You are running for someone or something and have the energy of New York cheering you on in a sport that can seem so isolating. All you have to do is look around and realize you are racing with humanity at its best.
Maybe not all 50,000 were running for a cause, but we found most were doing this for a purpose, whether it was their child, their students, grandmother, dad, or friends, not a single person wrote down that they were running for themselves.