Where do I begin?
Thank you for all the words of encouragement through my 6 months of training.
Thanks for all the advice which I actually DID take!!!
Thanks for tracking me and coming out. I feel SO privileged and honored!
And most of all, Thank you SO much for all the donations you sent in for a very real and honest cause.
I attended the Blood Cancer Conference on Saturday and saw first-hand where your donations go. I met survivors, patients, healthcare personnel and fellow team mates/fundraisers.
It was a very moving event. One of the top fundraisers, who was also running the race, was in fact a survivor himself and he had an awesome story.
So I thank you!
Finally, today was the magical day that would change my life forever.
I was up at 4am to catch the Team in Training bus from Brooklyn to Staten Island.
Yes, that early even though my start time was not until 11am. But we had to get out there because the roads were to be closed at 7am.
Traffic crossing the Verrazano Bridge going to the start
So I spent a few hours relaxing and stretching and chatting. Dunkin Donuts provided bagels, tea, hot chocolate and coffee as well as beanie hats.
And there was all kinds of other stuff as well.
There were SO MANY people!!! From EVERYWHERE in the world! Announcements were made in just about all the main world languages.
As I watched the swarm of people, I just kept thinking…50,000 people out here to enjoy torture. 50,000 crazy people! HAHAHA!!!
If you have ever wondered what the term “New York Strong” means….try running the NYC marathon.
It’s amazing how much goes into this.
The volunteers, the NYPD and FDNY, the medical personnel, the entertainers, the people along the streets, the participants and trainers.
My Goodness!!! It takes a LOT to put this thing on.
As you run through the boros, everyone is cheering you on, and you just want to say thank you so much for doing this and for being here…it’s truly amazing!
It was drizzling the whole time, and yet the streets were full of people getting wet just to be out there to cheer us on.
I did not get to take too many pictures, because I was actually focused on running, so I just took a few of the main important points along the way.
The Start: Crossing the Verrazano Bridge
Half Way Mark
The infamous 59th Street Bridge. This is said to be the hardest part of the race, because it is quiet (no crowds) and it tends to feel long and goes uphill for quite a while. I walked the whole uphill part and then started running again going downhill at the other end. It was not my hardest part of the race, but was definitely my slowest part of the race.
The hardest part for me was the last 5 miles, because I just really wanted to get home. I ran and ran and it just didn’t seem to end.
When I saw the 25 mile marker, I started sprinting with all I had left in me so as to finish just as quickly as possible. Although when I saw the video later, I saw that my ‘sprint’ really just looked like a slow walk. 🙂
By 26 miles I was an emotional wreck.
The team had told us to make sure we have a happy ‘hands-in-the-air’ picture perfect finish line crossing for the ideal photo, but I crossed the finish line crying so much that the announcer said “…it looks like Susan can’t quite believe she has done it…” She was right! I couldn’t believe it! I just kept saying “I did it! I did it!” over and over again. I could not get a fancy photo finish anyway, because it was DARK already. All the Grand Stand bleachers were empty. Everyone had gone home. Except for my dear husband and sons. They faithfully stood on the bleachers in the rain waving and calling out to me as I cried my way across the finish line….slowly! LOL. I love you guys!
My official time was 6 hours, 47 minutes, 32 seconds
And Finally, I have to lift up those in whose memory I ran…
We crossed the finish line together and there is no doubt that their ‘Force’ was with me.
Wing Commander Isaac Olupitan
Yetunde Olupitan, Esq.
Yetunde Ojeifo nee Olupitan
Alhaja Yetunde Adegbite
Mary Skousen’s sister
And the countless others whose names I did not get to mention here.
May we continue to fight ceaselessly until Someday IS Today!!!
Thank you for everything and God Bless!