Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NY marathon

This past Sunday, I was given the opportunity to be an escort for a wheelchair racer in the 40th NYC marathon.  I am extremely pleased that I was able to do this.  
Here is some minutiae from the day.  
Woke up early, but not early enough, 6 AM for a 6:50 meetup for the riders to roll over to the start together.  I met up with part of the group ride from Manhattan directly down the hill from my apartment, arriving at 4th ave and Garfield just in time to notice a bunch of familiar kits rolling by, so I hopped on and immediately saw one of my teammates.  Ride down 4th ave was fun, being in a group for a stretch that I am accustomed to doing solo was fun, but I was woefully underdressed and my toes were already getting numb on the cold and drizzly morning.  
Complimentary breakfast in a bag consisted of an apple, a couple of juices, a couple of breakfast bars and an odd bagel and cream cheese fused together into a bar kind of concoction. I am certainly not averse to lesser quality pastry, and am in fact eating a Boston Cream Chocolate Glazed Honey Bun at this very minute, but this was just a bit odd.  Good, but odd. Oh, and boxes upon boxes of coffee.  Not bad, fairly generous actually.  Then it was into the hospital waiting room for a restroom, where I mastered the art of peeing without full bib removal.  

I am totally sold on Fizik saddles and bib shorts.  First time using either, and was a little bit of heaven.

We were to meet our riders as they came off the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, at speed.  Two riders were assigned to each racer, the idea being that we would be in front and to the side of the racer, one on each curb, and far enough in front to blow a whistle and make sure the path was clear.  My guy spent all day in a group of 4 (whittled down to 3 by the time we got to the Bronx), so we had 8 riders out front for almost the entirety of the ride.  We communicated well, had a moment early on where the racers caught us and that was a little wake up call, they can gun it pretty good on flats and descents and really catch up quick, which is to be avoided.  Other than that it was all seamless, and a nice ride through empty streets.  A little bit the opposite of what I was expecting in that crowds in the city were out pretty early and very vocal and supportive, but once we got to Central Park it was as if noone knew there was a race going on, and it became a bit of work to get people out of the way.  

My guy finished somewhere between 3rd and 6th, and needless to say, I was mightily impressed by the effort of them all, unbelievable is an understatement.  

And then I biked my very full bladder home, got stuck (ironically?) not being able to cross 4th ave to get to my place because of the marathon and needed a cop to remind me that I could cross the street underground. 

For marathon map and results, click here.

And, in other news:

The Knicks host the lowly Pacers tonight, who bring an anemic offense and a pretty poor defense to MSG tonight to try and gift the Knicks a second win against a bad team. (Yes, I know, technically NO isn't supposed to be bad, but they look terrible this season so far, and were suspect at the end of last season.)  Troy Murphy may sit this one out with a lower back injury, rookie ex-Tarheel Tyler Hansbrough is definitely out, as is Jeff Foster.  Granger is listed as day to day but will probably play.  For the Knicks, Nate is out, Jeffries is day to day (limiting their ability to have him foist more bad 3's and showcase his offensive incompetence), and Darko is day to day (limiting their ability to try and pretend that he "shores up the defense.")  I'll take the Knicks by a score of 111-101.  

I'll thankfully be spared watching the entire game and will catch it "in 60," just a great, great program that somehow makes Clyde even more entertaining.  I'll miss it because my own bball team will be in action, trying to improve on our 1-5 mark against the league's only unbeaten.  Now, I would never bet on the outcome of my own game, no way, that might keep me out of the hall, but if I were a betting man....I'm having a very Galinari type year, which has made me realize that while I may not believe in junk miles, I certainly do believe in junk baskets. 

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