Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Start spreadin' the news ...

Well, I was about to post a blog entry about a New York Times article that multiple people have forwarded to me this week: "Better Running Through Walking," by Tara Parker-Pope, who plans to run the 2009 ING New York City Marathon in November using the "run/walk" method popularized by famed distance coach Jeff Galloway.

But then I noticed, in the top right-hand corner of the page, another headline that caught my eye: "Dropping Out of the Big Race." Click.

Took me to a story by the Times' Andrew W. Lehren about an exclusive group of runners -- those who start the New York Marathon but do not reach the finish line. Five paragraphs in, this sentence: "The lottery for the race will be held Wednesday, as about 6,500 runners from more than 40,000 domestic applicants will be selected to participate in this year’s event, scheduled for Nov. 1."

And I'm thinking, Hmm... I thought I read that applicants would find out in "mid-June"? So I ditched the story and surfed over to the NYC Marathon's site. There, on the home page, it currently reads: "Lottery results for U.S. residents will be available on Thursday, June 4, at noon."

Logged into the site just for kicks, and there was the magic word: "Congratulations! You have been accepted into the ING New York City Marathon 2009. We are thrilled that you will be joining us on Sunday, November 1. Be sure to bookmark our site and visit it often for the latest news. Good luck with your training."

A fit of euphoria grabbed me. I quickly flashed back to all the times over the last three months that friends have said, "I have a good feeling you're going to get in" -- to which I replied, "I'm not getting my hopes up. The odds really aren't great." I thought of my running bud, Brian, who's been rejected twice and will be in automatically in 2010 if he gets denied again this year. I thought of another running partner, Diane, who ran NYC as her first marathon two years ago.

I also felt a slight twinge of disappointment, knowing this all means I won't get to run the Philadelphia Marathon, which is taking place Nov. 15 in the city where both my sisters live.

But that feeling left as rapidly as it arrived. I mean, we're talking about THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON. It's a dream for so many, realized by so few. It's like an amateur golfer getting to play at Pebble Beach. A Red Sox fan given the opportunity to take batting practice at Fenway Park.

The lottery victory marks the first time I've ever won anything of significance in my life. And the NYC Marathon will mark the first time I've ever run a 26.2-mile race in my life. So needless to say, a very exciting night.

Anyway, beginning in a few weeks, I'll start blogging regularly about my training (while continuing to keep you up to date on everything else I've been keeping you up to date with). I'll see if I can get tips from readers who've run marathons before. I'll see if I can pass along advice of my own, for others who are also training for their first-ever marathons in the fall.

And if you were lucky enough to also be accepted into the big NYC race ... I'll see you there.

10 comments:

Brian Poplin said...

I knew you would get in - you have great karma! Looks like 2010 for me...

Anonymous said...

Aw. I usually have good luck with these things, but no NYC for me. Thunder Road is my backup. Not a huge race, but it's well run and local!

Anonymous said...

Congrats - very glad to hear it! I'll be training for the Charlotte Thunder Road using the run/walk method (my first).

Anonymous said...

Honestly..who cares...big whoop!?!?!

Mike S. said...

I feel your enthusiasm. Made by first Boston Qualifier time last month so I get to go to that big dance. I did not think to equate it so grandly, but yes it is a big thing.
Good Luck and look at the book, Run Less Run Faster. It is by a professor at Furman Univ., it has a great training program. Keeps you from running yourself to death.
Good Luck in NY.

Anonymous said...

Congrats and Good Luck!!!

Anonymous said...

That's awesome, bud! Congratulations!

E.N.

jason said...

Excellent news. I think I would have had to change my pants after reading my acceptance! I'm going to run the Outer Banks Marathon in November myself so I'll be starting training real soon as well. Like you, it will be my first full. Way to go!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I'm training for Marine Corps, which is just one week before NYC.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I'll be doing my inaugral marathon at Outerbanks in November.