Best part of the NYC Marathon

8 Nov

In the weeks leading up the NYC Marathon, two of the questions I was asked the most were What motivates you to run? and What will you be thinking about while you are running to the finish line?  Both answers were the same – I looked forward to my 10 month old son, AJ, and my husband, Paul waiting for me at the finish line

Waiting for me at the finish line was more of a metaphor or catchphrase.  I knew they weren’t actually going to be at the finish line of the NYC Marathon – the largest marathon in the world.  The number of celebrities, media personnel and VIPs are astronomical and security to even get somewhat close is extremely tight.  But, I knew they would be close by – somewhere in the general area of the finish line and that I would eventually get to see them soon after I finished.  

The best part of running and competing in the 2011 NYC Marathon had absolutely nothing to do with running across the Verrazano Bridge with only 4 other runners or having spectators cheer for me as though I were an elite runner.  It had nothing to do with winning the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge or running a 16+ minute negative split in the second half of the race.  These are all amazing memories that I will cherish FOREVER. 

The best part was the most unbelievable and unexpected surprise I ever could have imagined – as I finished mile 26, I looked up to the finish line…and saw my husband, my son, and my mom.  They were ACTUALLY THERE – waiting for me to cross the finish line!!! 

The amazing, wonderful people from NYRR and Foot Locker made this happen for me. And I will be forever grateful and thankful for them and what they did.  

Life doesn’t get any better than this. 

4 Responses to “Best part of the NYC Marathon”

  1. Linda King November 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Your words brought me to tears, Michele….In the end, it is always about family, and those who love and care about you most. This is not to say that we all weren't "wowed" by all that surrounded this amazing NYC Marathon, and your participation as the Staten Island representative in the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge. It truly was an amazing experience – one that will stay with us forever. But, as your mother, the best part of the day was seeing your beautiful smile as you crossed the finish line, indicating to me that you were physically okay, as that is always my first concern. Seeing you embrace your precious son and adoring husband will forever be emblazoned in my heart. And getting to hug you and tell you that I love you (and ask if you were okay!) was beyond what I could have hoped for. Many people, both at the finish line, and since Sunday, have called or written asking me how proud I must have been that you actually won the Five Borough Challenge. Obviously, there wasn't time to tell them how proud I always have been for the young woman that you are. Perhaps my proudest moment regarding your amazing achievement was the humble way you handled all of the attention you were receiving, as you have always done throughout your life when you have accomplished other wonderful milestones. The highlight of these moments, for me, was giving birth to my first grandson, Austin (AJ). Seeing you as such a loving mother is pride that is indescribable. It hasn't been easy for you, as a nursing mom to a not quite 10 month old baby, to stick to any kind of running regimen in preparation for the NYC Marathon. And, as everyone who has been with AJ during these last few months of media frenzy can attest, there isn't a happier baby in the world! And that's because he is your number one priority. So, yes, I am so very proud of you, Michele, for remembering – always – to put your child (and husband!) first, and STILL being able to run this race the way you did…and for bringing "bragging rights" home to our beautiful borough of Staten Island by winning the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge! And let's not forget the $1,000 that Foot Locker has awarded you to go to the cause you ran for…Team Red, White, and Blue. This money will help veterans of both Iraq and Afghanistan, who did not come home as safe and healthy as you, reintegrate back into the country they represented so well so very far away…..So, yes, I am one very proud mama today, that you are a loving mother and wife, sister, relative and friend to many, a former captain in the army and veteran of Iraq (three times over!)….oh, and for winning this challenge on Sunday! And of course, I am so very proud that you are my loving daughter…xoxoxox

  2. Melissa November 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    This brought me to tears!! I love you Michele and I am so damn proud of you! I hope to achieve the happiness that you have spread around this world. Keep going my friend, you're an inspiration to all!

  3. Laurie Bird November 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    This totally choked me up and gave me goosebumps Michele. Thank you for sharing with us all. Much love to you, Paul, and AJ.

  4. Amanda - RunToTheFinish November 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    oh my gosh that is amazing!! i totally have to go read all of your story now!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: