April 18, 2024
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April 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

In 2018, I was close to breaking my record, so I sprinted the last half mile of the New York City Marathon. I crossed the finish line and proceeded to throw up in front of spectators.

(“In front” of spectators or “on” spectators?)

It’s like Sea World. You pay for front row, you get the full effect.

This year I knew that because of my mile 14 walk, there would be no personal record. I was a good 10 minutes behind where I wanted to be. I was spent, but I ran as much as I could.

(So, I’m guessing, no “Sea World” experience this year?)

No, there wasn’t any gas left in the tank to make a half mile, uphill sprint to the finish.

Just the same, it was exciting to hear my name as I crossed the finish line for the sixth time at the NYC Marathon.

(But it’s not an Ironman.)

When you cross the finish line at an Ironman in the 16-hour mark, there’s not a lot of people with you. You are usually the only person in the finish line photo.

Crossing the finish line at the New York City Marathon five and a half hours into the race is like watching shoppers come through the doors on Black Friday. It’s wave after wave passing over the threshold.

For the runners, it’s a tremendous relief to just stop running.

(So there are seats for you?)

No, you have to keep moving.


Walking…even though your feet hurt. Everyone wants their medal. So, we walk on.

First, there are volunteers congratulating us.

(Everybody bug off, I want my medal.)

Then volunteers give you your medal.

(Got my medal, now everybody bug off.)

More volunteers.


There are nurses and EMT at the med tent.

(If I’m walking, I don’t need your help.)

Then there are the photographers that love to get in your face.

“Hey, can I take your picture?”

(Ask me again and you will be in the med tent.)

Besides, they are only asking me to pose so they can sell me my picture.

(I wanted to punch them, but it required too much effort to raise my arms, so I kept walking.)

Ten minutes after finishing the marathon, I was in front of the snack table.

(Hey, you just ran a marathon, so here’s a 10-pound bag with a water, a Gatorade, a chocolate milk and an apple.)

I tossed the Gatorade and start sipping the chocolate milk.

(Ok, I’m now a little less grumpy)

The volunteers kept telling me to keep walking.

(Back to being very grumpy.)

I kept walking.

The race ended at West 67, but you couldn’t exit until West 76.

(That’s cruel.)

It was a security measure. I kept walking. The thing about walking is, after a while, you lose all that heat that comes from running 26.2 miles.

Now, I was both cold and sore.

(If being grumpy was a video game, I just leveled up.)

As I exited on Central Park at 76 street, I start looking for the blue poncho people.

(Is that a thing?)

It was now. I was cold; I was hungry and I wanted to go home.

I was very happy to see the blue poncho people, since the tinfoil blankets that are given out at other races do not do diddly squat in November.

At the corner of 73 and Central Park West, I found a place to sit.

There was one more thing I needed to do before I could go home…

David Roher is a USAT certified marathon and triathlon coach. He is a multi-Ironman finisher and a veteran special education teacher. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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