Running gear is laid out. I’ve packed my Gu and Metro card, made my meet-up plan with David, thought through my transit plan for getting to the Staten Island ferry by 7am. Traded texts with other runners and well-wishing friends. I’m ready. I can feel myself on the verge of letting go of all this planning, training and crazy logistics and finally be able to let go and run. Tomorrow I’ll wrap the final stage of The Broken Ironman.
This city is chock full a’ runners. There are 50,000 in the race. (And by some stroke of cool I got bib # 31000.) Everywhere you look you see mizunos asics nikes saucony brooks adidas. I heard several marathoners today speaking languages I could not identify. Very young runners. Very old ones. Runners in spoked and handled conveyances.
I have the typical race-eve nerves, but I’m holding on to the faith I’ve gotten from everyone I know who has done this race, or cheered it on: the crowds will carry you. The sights will blow your mind. The bands will rally you. The signs will out-do all other race signs. In my imagination, the experience of running the five boroughs, down 5th Avenue and along Central Park South must be a bit like what the Tour de France cyclists feel when they finally ride into Paris and hit the Champs Élysées.