Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tiggy's Spirit Does the NYC Marathon

With the assistance of her mom, that is.

On Sunday, Tiggy's spirit (mom in tow) attended the NYC Marathon on Sunday, July 22nd. What a day! Fortune fell upon the competitors in the form of cooler weather than last year--in the 80's.
The champions started their course as early as 5: 30 a.m.--0.9 miles of swimming in the Hudson River, followed by 27 miles of cycling up the north side of the Hudson River Parkway into the Bronx, and finally a transition to a 10K run from 72nd St. and Riverside Drive, through Central Park to the bandshell.

Women went first--who says the organizer's are sexist? Men followed. This allowed us to see the first women coming in as we drove in on the south side of the Westside Highway (mumsie was driving, and as usual, I was directing).

We saw the eventual winner, Australian Emma Snowsill as she was almost overtaken by a male competitor. The woman is a monster, but the unidentified guy behind her was going about twice as fast--amazing! It could have been the men's category winner, Greg Bennett.

The last wave of men, and the largest, ages 30 to 39, jumped off the temporary pier on 96th Street at about 8:30 a.m. Mommy flirted with all the dogs she saw, including this little tyke who is part terrier and part something. Cute eh? (I paid her back for that indiscretion by knocking her on the head with my photo the next day when she was standing next it. Oh it just fell, so sorry mumsie!)

Mumsie eyed the muscle-bound men, but lately she seems inured to their physical charms. She always said, sometimes a good body is the sign of a vacuous mind.

Anyway maybe it is true, mumsie "likes dogs better than men," as she was taunted by her Mexican (male) friends two weeks ago, in Oaxaca, Mex. while mountainbiking.

Only mumsie knows for sure.

Still it was amazing how many out of shape people were going to do this tough triathlon! It truly was an inspiration.

Mumsie's friend Triple Helix (code name) went off with the 30 to 39 year olds, you can see him in one of those purple caps. He reported that the swim was a bitch, (well he did not use those words) with people knocking him backwards and forwards, and smacking him around. Yet he still did amazingly well, finishing the swim in 19 minutes.

The New York Times did a piece on Monday about the psychiatrists who stood on the ready this year in red shirts to talk to competitors afraid to enter that dirty old water. Helix said he was a little afraid too, but from the ground high above, it looked easy as the swimmers got carried down by the current.

Next, those intrepid athletes (more than 5,000 registered for this event, with registration closing out in five days, according to reports), jumped onto their bikes --the smart ones had practiced jumping into their shoes that were already attached to the pedals after mounting the bike, and biked up the very, very windy West Side Highway to Riverdale, Bronx, to the exit from the Parkway to Mosholu.

Don't ask how mumsie got these photos from the Henry Hudson Bridge leading into Riverdale--but let's put it this way, her number was 60,142, nicely tattoed onto her arm by a very gamely volunteer yielding a fat, black marker. The other thing she got away with was her age tatooed to her calf, "39". Nice going mumsie! Hey, the press have to have their ways, otherwise how else to get this photo? The course was closed to cars.

Along the route we saw those guys from Gotham Bikes supposedly doing technical support but I have my doubts since I saw no less than FIVE breakdowns with flat tires, and not a single support person in sight.

So much for technical support. Which reminds me, how did they get flats? To my knowledge there isn't a lot of broken glass on the HH. Perhaps they were bike newbies and did not know to use puncture resistant tires, and pumping up to at least 100 lbs. Word to the wise if you plan this next year.

Helix reported that the course riding north was VERY windy, and passing was only allowed on the left. Hey, watch those gosh darn impediments on the right, many, many drain grates with massive open holes just waiting for your skinny tires to go in and for you to go over the handlebars!

Coming back down was a DREAM, with a tailwind, and it was a feeling of pure mastery to ride this road used all year round (except perhaps one other day of the year for the Five Borough Bike Tour), for CARS!

Just for this one experience alone, it was worth doing the triathlon, reported Helix. Mumsie concurred, off the record.

The course went back down on the other side of the north side of the HH highway, and back down to 57th St. Oh oh, there goes that wind again. But if you are a cyclist, you'll find yourself passing all those triathletes who aren't used to hills.

Next back to 72nd St. to the transition area, hop into your sneaks, and then run those 6 miles, from Riverside Dr. to Central Park, up along the top of Central Park (counter clockwise), and back down to the transverse on 72nd St. Here the cheering was amazing! New Yorkers are really great, they come out for the events, and they yell and scream, encourage, and inspire.

The park was lovely, the weather was lovely, the only thing that wasn't so lovely were the Central Park runners who weren't in the race flexing their right to be in the SAME lane with the competitors. You know, in NY, everyone has entitlement, including being entitled to be an ass.

At the finish, the crowd was roaring with support. Even the police were nice. Hey, it takes a different event to put a nice face on a group that is normally vilified by cyclists.

Helix received a wet towel to cool him down, and surprise, surprise, he bettered his time from last year by one full minute!!!

The race organizers and volunteers were amazing. Here is one, Petra from Germany who mumsie happened to meet twice in one day, in two different places, among the many thousands of people milling around! She helped bag the competitors' belongings on Riverside, and then helped them find their schtuff at the end of the race. What an amazing effort by the organizers and volunteers!

Remember, registration for the July 20, 2008 event begins November 1!


Tiggsie in Heaven
(I miss ya all)

1 comment:

runner said...

Doing triathlons now? I am so proud of you!

Love the glasses. :)