The first Sunday in November is one of my favorite days of the year to be home. I live on a main street through Greenpoint, Brooklyn just South of the of the marathon's halfway mark, where every year people run, trot, walk, crank, skip, hobble, push and/or pull themselves up Manhattan Ave past my front door.
On Sunday, the first cheers started sometime after 9:30AM as the fastest hand cyclers zoomed by, the leading women flew past an hour later (Priscah Jeptoo averaged 5:33 minutes per mile for 26.2 miles!), followed by the lead guys (Geoffrey Mutai averaged 4:46 minutes per mile) and the next four hours were the remaining 49,990 marathoners that made it impossible for me to cross the street to pick up my dry cleaning.
Every year I have at least one (insane) friend that runs the race. This year it was Patrick. Saturday night he texted me with his bib number which allows me to track his progress during the race without having to leave the comfort of my home or put down my mimosa. Once he hit McCarren Park, I dashed downstairs, cameras in hand, adrenaline rushing, and like previous years, I got a mini panic attack because I could not stop imagining myself missing seeing my friend.
My eyes jumped back and forth among hundreds of people that run past, scanning as many faces (and nice legs) as possible. This year Patrick made it easy on me because he was averaging a 6:40 mile, and at that pace, the crowds are thin. I was as excited as the mystery violinist.