By Liz Robbins
Whilst 39,195 opponents thunder over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to start the thirty-eighth operating of the famed manhattan urban Marathon, they event essentially the most exhilarating moments in activities. yet as they go 5 towering bridges and 5 specific boroughs, carried 26.2 miles by way of the cheers of 2 million fanatics and by means of their very own indomitable wills, grueling demanding situations watch for them. big apple instances sportswriter Liz Robbins brings race day to existence during this gripping saga of the 2007 Marathon, weaving the unforgettable tales of runners right into a vivid mile-by-mile portrait of the world's greatest marathon. the pros pound out the suspense in exciting races. Paula Radcliffe, the women's global checklist holder from nice Britain, returns with new get to the bottom of after having given start 9 months prior; Gete Wami, her longtime rival from Ethiopia, attempts to win her moment marathon in exactly 5 weeks; and Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka desperately hopes for her 3rd directly big apple name. If the women's race performs out like a enthralling chess video game, then the men's race fast becomes a high-speed motor vehicle chase. South Africa's Hendrick Ramaala, desirous to recapture glory at age 35, surges to guide the pack as Kenya's Martin Lel and Morocco's Abderrahim Goumri remain inside of awesome variety. whereas the pros supply perception into the serious, usually painful adventure of being an elite athlete, the amateurs offer undying tales of braveness and obsession that typify modern marathoner: Harrie Bakst, a melanoma survivor at 22, who's a first-timer; Pam Rickard, a 45-year-old mom of 3 from Virginia, who's a convalescing alcoholic; and 65-year-old Tucker Andersen, who has run the race each year considering 1976. Enlivening the background of the hot York urban Marathon with tales of such legends because the overdue Fred Lebow, the race's charismatic founder, and nine-time champion Grete Waitz, A Race Like No different presents a curbside seat to the drama of the 1st Sunday in November. believe the nervousness before everything in Staten Island. hearken to gospel choirs in Brooklyn and the accordion in Queens. take pleasure in the delirious sound tunnel of Manhattan's higher East part. Hit The Wall within the Bronx. And triumph over discomfort within the final hilly miles sooner than arriving in important Park—exhausted but exhilarated—at the end line.
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Additional info for A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York
And Mary Wittenberg, her throat crackling from a sleepless night grieving for Shay, now takes the microphone. After asking for a moment of silence in Shay’s memory, Wittenberg implores the runners to make this a day of healing. “We wish each of you the race of a lifetime,” she shouts. “The city is all yours today! S. Army truck in the middle of the bridge boom like thunder as two puffs of ashy smoke f loat into a cloudless sky. ” No matter how corny it may sound, the song has become a hallmark of the New York City Marathon send-off, an anthem unto itself.
H endrick and Rodica live in a modest house in the Parktown North section of Johannesburg, an upper-middle-class neighborhood with lush, f lowering trees and self-contained villas. The 49 Liz Robbins house is up the street from the one-bedroom apartment they lived in for six years. And the house is two blocks from the family home where Ramaala’s mother used to work. He grew up in a village without electricity. Not a day goes by that Ramaala is not reminded of his upward path. The house comes with a pool, a laughable extravagance to him.
Between these two distinct natural features of Latvia, Jelena Prokopcuka lives comfortably, rooted in her identity. Like any professional runner in tune with her body, she knows her limits. She has never beaten Radcliffe at any distance in their careers. Her personal best in the marathon is 2:22:56, more than seven minutes slower than Radcliffe’s world record. Prokopcuka only hoped Radcliffe might not be as dominant in her first marathon in 15 months. “Paula is Paula. I think she will push the pace,” she predicted days before the race, adding one caveat.