There are things in life of which you are certain that you'll never ever do. Such as running a marathon. But then you suddenly find yourself at Schiphol airport with your runningshoes in your handluggage, just in case your suitcase gets lost along the way. To fly to New York with the Run2forty2 group. To run THE marathon. 42,2 kilometers through New York. Running. You check in at the Waldorf Astoria and on Fridaymorning, as you're running through Central Park, you see the finishline of THE marathon. You can't imagine that you will cross that line two days later. Are scared that something will happen which will prevent you from from crossing it. On Friday evening things get a little more realistic, 'cause by then you have your racebib and goodiebag. On Saturday you ask yourself “what made me think that it would be fun to run 42 kilometers? I could have also just taken a hop on hop off bus to explore New York?”.
Saturday evening you start preparing for the next morning, because you have to leave for Staten Island already at 05:30. Eventhough your starttime is not until 10:30. The first textmessage comes in. Someone back home who had heard you were gonna run THE marathon asks: “hey, how did it go?". You go to bed early but cannot fall asleep because you're afraid you'll sleep right through the three alarms that you set PLUS the wake up call. But then it's Sundaymorning and you find yourself in a big bus, on your way to Staten Island. Where at 06:15 it is already crowded, a band is playing live music and it's just like you're at some sort of festival.
The first wave leaves at 09:30. The second wave a half hour later. You hit the porta potty one more time and then finally you're on your way to the Verrazano Bridge. Frank Sinatra's “New York” is all around you and people in busses and on firetrucks cheer you on. Goosebumps. All along 42,2 kilometers! Awesome. You've heard about how great it is, running through streets filled with people supporting you as if you are a celebrity and now you're there. Part of it. Doing it. As you run through Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx you think “oh man this is great” one minute and feel terrible not even 5 minutes later. You're given an enthousiastic high 5, a big smile and a “GO DAPHNE” by a usual-grumpy-big-policeman. Meet a lot of fellow-runners, Dutchies, people running for all sorts of charities and people in the weirdest outfits and think, at least 50 times, “wow, wow, wow I am running THE New York marathon”! After some 40 kilometers you enter Central Park and think consecutively: "Ah, this is it”, “Thank god, there's the finishline”, “Ah, there's the finishline already”, “Remember the camera's, try to look a little bit normal when you pass them”. Then someone gives you THE medal. Which makes you happy as a little kid. And which you proudly show to the guy next to you. With whom you cry your eyes out the next minute. Suddenly you're on a stretcher because you felt a little faint just as you passed the First Aid station on your way out. And all you want to do is sink into a warm bath and sleep. With your medal.
And then it's all over. You find yourself staring at the steps at the subwaystation the next day, not knowing how on earth you'll be able to get down them. And seriously consider taking them backwards. You're on cloud 9 for the next 2 weeks and you're treated as some sort of hero. And when the weather is bad you think how lucky you are that you don't have to go outside to run anymore. Only to find yourself making plans for the next marathon. As I'm writing this I'm in training for the third and fourth. The fourth with Run2Forty2. Which I can really recommend to everybody who is thinking about running a marathon!