Running The New York Marathon
Matt Updates Us On His Memorable Day
Did you enjoy it?
Upon reflection, very much so;
at the time, mixed emotions were felt! The course took us through the 5 Boroughs of New York: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.
To be honest, my recollections are a bit hazy but some of the moments that stick in my mind include a variety of bands playing on the sidewalk, an elderly soloist playing the trumpet and a full chorus of gospel singers outside a church.
All of the entertainment seemed to accurately reflect the multitude of cultures within the city. My favourite moment however, was when a women who ran alongside me in the final stages, wearing a t-shirt that identified her as a teacher for underprivileged kids, let her emotions get the better of her when several of her students jumped into the race to encourage her all the way to the end. This summed up the race for me; it was truly a team effort.
To compound the pain in my legs in the last couple of miles, we all ran past a man with a cruel grin on his face, holding a sign proclaiming that ‘It’s ok to cry!’ If I were to burst into tears right there and then, I would surely have not been the only one, and as I looked around, sure enough there were some faces that displayed nothing but pain.
But again, true to the spirit that I experienced throughout the whole race, one of the runners shouted at the top of his voice ‘Come on everyone! We are so nearly there, keep going!’ And so with that, those around me, with a hop, limp and a pace just above that of a walk, did a u-turn through Central Park to reveal the finish line guarded by two grandstands full of people who were there to celebrate the finish of what was an occasion that I will never forget.
To my surprise, the support from well-wishers didn’t end there; in a slight daze as I hobbled back to the hotel, at least half a dozen people came up to me to shake my hand and to congratulate me. And so with the indecisiveness of whether I enjoyed it or not, with the rollercoaster of emotions, there is one thing clear in my mind:
The motivation that I captured from all the donations, messages of good luck and best wishes most definitely kept me going throughout.
I managed to raise over £2000 for Diabetes UK, £600 of which were generously donated by friends from Tiree. My sincere thanks to you all for your support.