I am sitting waiting at the airport on my way back to Europe after a wonderful trip visiting what some people say is " the greatest city on the planet", being privilaged to watch is proclaimed to be the "Best marathon in the World". The New York Road runners whom organise the race know how to make this race live up to it's hype. The New York Marathon creates the perfect unison between the beauty and the acheivement of the race, a race that knows it's the incredible stories behind each and every runner that toes that line and crosses the finish that inspires the greatness and passion in all of us.
The race lived up to the hype, and then some - the Big Apple delivered it's first taste of nice - when both of the elite mens and womans fields saw packs of greater than 14 together even well after the half way mark - watching them on First Avenue was amazing. Sadly my mentor Gebresalasie pulled out of the race just before First Avenue and then shocked the whole world when at the press conference later he retires from the sport. His enormous smile and big heart will be missed, as he to me embodies the true nature of a runner.
For the juiciest parts of the race was watching my man Klas Kronaas (Powerade) prove once again that he is a talented runner, teaching each and everyone of us that with exceptional help we can perform so much better than we thought possible. Then there are the 6 Australian Aborignal runners - taken out of poverty by famous marathon runner Robert De Castella and in ten months achieving what many thought was impossible, and in the process inspiring all other Aboriginal children across Australia that sometimes dreams come true.
The core of the marathon, and in particular New York to me are the runners that defy odds, that literally are out there facing there own demons - people that finish the race no matter what, people like the 12plus runners that I help that also finished the race. But the guy that steals the show and again increases my love for our sport is the story of the Chilean Miner who ran 10km a day while stuck underground. Flown to the race by the New York Marathon organisation, picked up from the airport by some of the greatest names in the sport - finishing the race despite a painful knee in 5hours and 40mins.
The Marathon is one of the greatest events, it unites people of all backgrounds and abilities. It gives a chance for some of us to tell our story, to push our boundaries and those we set on others. The New York Marathon gives each and every one of us a chance to be as Frank Sinatra puts it "king of the hill, top of the heap"
So thank you Springtime, the trip was fantastic and you do a wonderful job at making it special for the Swedish Group. Despite not being able to race after falling off of my bike last week and hurting my knee - damn taxi driver, the experience keeps my lust and love for the sport...