The start of the marathon crossing the Verrasono Narrows Bridge from Staten Island. There are even more runners on the lower level!

New York City Marathon

 A runners report


November 05, 2006 


Official Results:



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To view some of our photos from the New York City Marathon:

The detail view provides descriptions.
The slide show is a nice feature to view the photos quickly if set at a high speed.

Below is a written report and select photos:

Lots of people run, swim, bike and do other activities for cross-training. Along with about 200 other Washington folks and 38,500 people from around the world, Doerte and I were lucky to be able to run the NYC Marathon this past Sunday. It was a fantastic experience, great fun, and perfect east coast fall weather. Our local big time mountain climber Ed Viesters also ran.
The first New York City Marathon, in 1970, included just 55 runners who finished the race. Gary Muhrcke was the first of 55 runners to finish the inaugural event by running the Central Park course. Now this annual world class event features over 38,500 athletes, thousands of volunteers, over two million spectators, and is the most prestigious footrace in the world.

In 1976, when Fred Lebow, co-founder of the New York City Marathon, realized his dream of broadening the race to all five of New York's boroughs. (Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan) beginning in Staten Island and ending in Manhattan's Central Park.

It is an amazing experience to see and hear the spectators cheer on the marathoners as they make the 26.2 mile trip around New York City.


On Friday evening, we began our visit to New York City by visiting Times Square and eating New York cheesecake at Roxy's Diner.


Saturday morning we walked to the convention center to pick up our bib numbers, chips, t-shirts, and assorted goodies. It was very exciting and got us revved up.

We spent the rest of the day visiting the World Trade Center site, and the Statue of Liberty. It was a beautiful clear, breezy, and cold day.

In the evening we went to the Tavern on the Green for our pre-race pasta dinner. They did a great job of feeding evening one some excellent pasta, and building the excitement for the next day's race.

Sunday Pre-race:

All the excitement of the previous day and the excitement of the marathon being just hours away made it really hard for me sleep. Doerte seemed to sleep soundly. At 4 am we were up and getting ready to catch our bus at 5 am at the beautiful Central Library.

The bus dropped us off on Staten Island. There were many friendly volunteers who gave us coffee, tea, and lots of things to eat and drink. It was a little cold. There was lots to keep us entertained as bus after bus after bus arrived dropping off the 38,500 runners.

Since there were so many people, they had us divided into three large groups, and then further divided by expected race time. We were with the Blue group. Needless to say, we were quite a ways back.

While the runners waited for the start, we had the BB-Q Blues Band from Los Angeles to entertain us. 

Course Map:

Sunday- The Race

Finally, around 9 am, everyone was there. The women's elite, with Deena Kastor started at 9:35. Meanwhile, the blue team began to assemble in their corral. We shed our throwaway sweats and bared our bib numbers.

When the gun went off for the men's elite I could not even hear it. Slowly we started moving forward, and reached the start line around 10:10 to the sound of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run. Everyone was clapping, cheering, and smiling- The start of the New York Marathon! Woohoo!

We ran up the Verrazano Narrows Bridge for the first mile, and then down the second.

Verrazano Narrows Bridge full of runners on both levels. 

My mom told me about the fireboats. We couldn't see them from the crowd of runners.

We ran to, and then through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. I could not believe the number of spectators, and how enthusiastic they were. The cheering was so loud! In some places we could hardly hear the bands for the noise of the crowd. I was a bit surprised that all these folks were still cheering as the 4-6 hour marathoners ran by. They were cheering like we were racing for first place at the finish!  

1st Avenue at Mile 18 nearing "The Wall"


Around Mile 18 is what is known as the wall. At this point many runners use up all their energy reserves. The water stop included energy gel to help with the final hour of the race. From this point on everyone runs on sheer determination and force of will. We left Manhattan and crossed over into the Bronx for a mile. The folks there handed us orange slices which lifted our spirits as well as our legs. After a brief view of Yankee Stadium, we crossed back into Manhattan and Harlem to the final miles.

Muscles were screaming. Everything hurt, but we pushed on. The crowd yelled "Go!" "Run!" and other words of encouragement.

Doerte running with Team Ireland.

Many of the teams from around the world had matching outfits.

There were several celebrities were amongst the over 38,500 runners looking to complete the marathon. Besides the mountaineer Ed Viesters from Bainbridge Island, the most notable was seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. Armstrong turned in a time of 2:59:36, narrowly achieving his personal goal of breaking 3 hours. He was visibly hurting, and at the end said it was one of the hardest things he had ever done. Other notable entrants included former Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller, celebrity chef Bobby Flay, former Rangers star Adam Graves, “Today” show correspondent Natalie Morales and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. 

Mike striving to gain a few seconds at the finish

The finish line was a scene of incredible happiness, and relief! We were presented our finisher medals, Doerte got her picture taken, and we were given space blankets and water.

Doerte displaying her medal one minutes after crossing the finish line.


We changed clothes at our assigned UPS truck #41, ate an apple, and slowly walked out of Central Park and down West 81st Street. We were happy! We stumbled into a Starbucks for a pumpkin latte and an egg sandwich. Feeling much better we took the subway home. We met a lot of nice folks in the subway.

Doerte and Mike in the family reunion area at Central Park West on 81st Street.  


We had wonderful time in New York City, and the Marathon was an experience of a lifetime!

The support was incredible from start to finish.


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