2013-11-08 / Columnists

Slice of Life

Seeing Is Believing
By Beth Hanning

Last Sunday was the New York City Marathon. Over 50,000 runners ran through the Five Boroughs of New York City. Runners came from all over the world to trek through the streets of our city. Many ran for a cause and raised money for a charity. Some local residents ran due to the generosity that they witnessed last year during Hurricane Sandy. Some runners raised money for local charities.

My very close friend Katie Green sent out one of the most emotional emails I have ever read when she started her solicitations for donations. Katie clearly pointed out that after witnessing her first marathon she claimed she would one day run. She discussed many turbulent events in her life and how that became her motivation to run the race. Additionally, Katie explained how on her many runs she would think about the people in her life who left her too early and know that they would be so proud of her in her efforts to both run and raise funds for a local organization that had helped her through some turmoil in her life.

This year was my first journey into the city on Marathon Sunday. As we crossed into Manhattan from the Bronx the view of the runners crossing over a small bridge from Manhattan to the Bronx was emotional. It was touching for me due to having read so many stories of the runners and the reason why they were running.

Of course in true Hanning fashion I missed seeing my friends and did not see one person I knew running by me, but I did have a great day. It was even exciting to see runners you knew after they received their medal. Even though I did not know any runners, watching the runners pass by in all different “costumes” was very poignant. Some people ran while draped in flags; others had breast cancer survivor shirts.

I had no idea until recently that Marathon Sunday is one of the best days in New York City. Local restaurant owner Dee Tubridy, who also owns businesses in Manhattan, recently told me I had to attend the marathon at least once to witness the camaraderie walking through the streets of New York from both runners and spectators cheering on the runners. I could not believe the smiles on the faces of the runners as they passed me around the 18th mile. I have completed one 5K race in my 41 years and I did not have any sort of smile on my face. When else can one journey around New York City and witness everyone in such high spirits whether they have just ran or enjoyed watching others run?

Mr. Tubridy said that the positive energy that is exhibited has many spectators proclaim that they too will run in the next year’s marathon. I never said that once, however I am so glad I got to attend the 2013 New York City Marathon. I feel that I now understand why so many people enjoy running. I am also happy I can check another activity off of my “bucket list.”

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