Sunday, November 7, 2010

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York.

This Sunday is the day that we "fall back" and re-set our clocks to standard time. As I write, it is not yet 6 p.m., but the sun set over an hour ago.

Our personal inner clocks will now have to start a gradual adjustment. Soon this city will have added lots of additional electric light in various designs as holiday decorations. These will help to brighten our dark evenings.

Today was also the day that the New York City Marathon was run. Media commentators said that the crisp, cool weather was perfect for the runners. In past years I have made a point of walking (definitely not running) over to nearby Central Park to watch many of the participants make the final quarter mile to the finish line. It is always a very cheery occasion.

Today, I had other obligations early in the day, but mid-afternoon decided to take my camera over to Central Park West, the street that parallels the western edge of the Park, to see some of the aftermath of the marathon.

Central Park West, or CPW as it is often called, was closed to vehicles today, and served as a place for runners to meet up with family and friends, a place for many international media to set up their broadcast headquarters, a place for many ambulances and medics to stand by to aid runners in need.

As the runners reach the finish line they receive crinkly metallic wraps to insulate them from the chilly temperature. You can see that these wrappers also feature lots and lots of advertisements.

The runners also received drawstring-handled plastic bags containing various treats.
The following photo shows a runner who clearly wanted to stretch her muscles and to try to regain her strength. I do not think that she felt the cold sidewalk below her.

Many family members and other supporters found unique ways to allow their runner/s to find them in the crowd. Some waved flags, some rang bells. This couple wore funny hats.

Some runners looked very fresh after their many miles. Others looked a bit worn out.

Some walked along with a jaunty pace. Others limped or trembled. I have never been a runner, and still marvel at what some of these folks decide to put themselves through.

My reservations about the whole notion of marathon running does not in any way diminish my awe at what all these folks accomplished today.

Each participant was bestowed with a medal that was hung around his or her neck. Each of these folks must be incredibly proud of their accomplishment.
Congratulations to you all.