Riverdale Faculty Run in the New York City Marathon
As October comes to a close and autumn continues to progress, the New York City Marathon went smoothly.
The NYC Marathon took place on Sunday, November 6th, the NYC Marathon is New York’s annual 26.2 mile race through the five boroughs. Participants run from Staten Island to Brooklyn, Brooklyn to Queens, Queens to the Bronx, and finally finish in Manhattan’s Central Park.
The New York City Marathon began in 1970 with only 127 runners, but now draws professional and recreational runners from around the world to the Big Apple. In 2015, there were more than 50,000 participants in the NYC Marathon, and this number is only set to increase as the years go on. This year, the well-known and well-loved Middle and Upper School math teacher, Ms. Monika Le, was among the tens of thousands of participants in New York City’s famous marathon.
Come November, Ms. Le partook in her second NYC Marathon, although she has participated in various other races within the last year, such as the Bronx 10 mile, the Grete's Gallop half marathon, the Chicago marathon, and the Newport half marathon in Jersey City. She decided to run the New York marathon last year, as a “bucket list item,” thinking that it would be a one-and-done deal, but enjoyed training for it so much that she chose to run in it again.
To train, Ms. Le uses an online program run by the New York Road Runners, which sets runners up with different training exercises spanning from shorter 5 mile runs during the week, to longer runs on the weekends, the longest of which is 22 miles. The longer runs prepare runners for the actual marathon.
When questioned about the process of entering a marathon, Ms. Le explained that the process is very exclusive. Interested runners must either run in nine of the races that the New York City Marathon puts on throughout the year, enter a lottery to gain participation in the marathon, or meet the qualifying time based on your age group.
Although running in New York City may seem like an impossible feat, with the city’s steep inclines and difficult terrain, Ms. Le voiced that it, in fact, it is “amazing” because she “gets to see parts of the city that she would never see.”
The day of the marathon, Ms. Le explains, is nerve racking and somewhat surreal. She wakes up at around 5am, tries to eat some breakfast, and then hops on the subway and travels from Long Island City, Queens, to Battery Park, where she then takes the ferry to Staten Island, where the marathon starts.
The starting line of the race, Ms. Le described, is full of nervous runners, piles of discarded sweaters and sweatpants, and a sense of a excitement for the shared adventure that each individual is about to experience. Once the cannon sounds, the runners are off, traversing and exploring the city for the next four and a half hours or so.
From Ms. Le’s description of the NYC Marathon, the race seems less daunting than it is made out to be, and becomes something to aspire to; an event filled with strangers cheering you on by name from the sidelines, and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment once you have finished.
Besides Ms. Le, there will be a few other members of the Riverdale faculty participating in the 2016 NYC Marathon, such as Profe Epstein, Ms. Crocker, and Ms. Abusamra, who has run in this marathon over a dozen times.