By Liz Robbins
While 39,195 rivals thunder over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to start the thirty-eighth operating of the famed big apple urban Marathon, they event some of the most exhilarating moments in activities. yet as they move 5 towering bridges and 5 certain boroughs, carried 26.2 miles through the cheers of 2 million enthusiasts and through their very own indomitable wills, grueling demanding situations watch for them. ny instances sportswriter Liz Robbins brings race day to existence during this gripping saga of the 2007 Marathon, weaving the unforgettable tales of runners right into a shiny mile-by-mile portrait of the world's biggest marathon. the pros pound out the suspense in exciting races. Paula Radcliffe, the women's international list holder from nice Britain, returns with new unravel after having given start 9 months prior; Gete Wami, her longtime rival from Ethiopia, attempts to win her moment marathon in precisely 5 weeks; and Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka desperately hopes for her 3rd instantly manhattan name. If the women's race performs out like a captivating chess video game, then the men's race quick becomes a high-speed automobile chase. South Africa's Hendrick Ramaala, desirous to recapture glory at age 35, surges to steer the pack as Kenya's Martin Lel and Morocco's Abderrahim Goumri remain inside extraordinary variety. whereas the pros provide perception into the serious, usually painful adventure of being an elite athlete, the amateurs supply undying tales of braveness and obsession that typify present day marathoner: Harrie Bakst, a melanoma survivor at 22, who's a first-timer; Pam Rickard, a 45-year-old mom of 3 from Virginia, who's a convalescing alcoholic; and 65-year-old Tucker Andersen, who has run the race each year considering that 1976. Enlivening the historical past of the recent York urban Marathon with tales of such legends because the overdue Fred Lebow, the race's charismatic founder, and nine-time champion Grete Waitz, A Race Like No different presents a curbside seat to the drama of the 1st Sunday in November. suppose the nervousness at first in Staten Island. hearken to gospel choirs in Brooklyn and the accordion in Queens. take pleasure in the delirious sound tunnel of Manhattan's top East facet. Hit The Wall within the Bronx. And triumph over ache within the final hilly miles ahead of arriving in valuable Park—exhausted but exhilarated—at the end line.
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Extra info for A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York
As soon as Prokopcuka peels off her snow-white arm warmers just past the first-mile mark on the bridge and heads toward the ramp to Brooklyn, she is already staring at Paula Radcliffe’s back. 44 4 A DELIBERATE A PA ATH Men’s and Mass Start, the Bridge to Bay Ridge H endrick Ramaala f lashes a smile and does a double thumbs-up when the television camera stops in front of him. He is the only professional runner to crack the code of seriousness on the starting line. He wears his wife’s knit black-wool cap.
But in 2002, Liz Robbins marathon organizers realized it would be a boon to have women start 35 minutes before the elite men and the masses, thereby maximizing television exposure. True, the elite women miss out on the company and some of the ceremony—no cannon signals their start, no fireboats spray in the harbor and Frank Sinatra does not sing until later. Charlotte Cohn (of the Broadway musical La Boheme) belts out “God Bless America” before the horn goes off. But for athletes accustomed to grinding out two-hour training runs in mountainous terrain, such pomp is of little consequence, especially if they get to run the streets by themselves.
Paula is Paula. I think she will push the pace,” she predicted days before the race, adding one caveat. “Paula is not the real Paula— now she’s almost equal. It’s not like three years ago, when she ran 2:15, it was so unequal. ” Would the past be prologue for today’s race? As soon as Prokopcuka peels off her snow-white arm warmers just past the first-mile mark on the bridge and heads toward the ramp to Brooklyn, she is already staring at Paula Radcliffe’s back. 44 4 A DELIBERATE A PA ATH Men’s and Mass Start, the Bridge to Bay Ridge H endrick Ramaala f lashes a smile and does a double thumbs-up when the television camera stops in front of him.