Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Marathon Music

There has been some discussion lately about allowing the use of headphones during races. In 5 days I will be running the ING New York City Marathon, their policy is that "The use of headphones is strongly discouraged". This does not effect me, I do not use prerecorded music when I run, especially when I race.

Let me describe to you, my dear ready my soundtrack on race day.

The morning of the race I will be wearing a over sized back "hoodie". With the hood up I feel like Emperor Palpatine . This tune really worked for me. As I walk through the pre-dawn to meet a bus and march towards the starting line. I know the Emperor was a really bad dude, but I am about to enter into a competation, not just with the other runners, but with fatuge dehydrations and all that other stuff. And anyway the Emperor had a great "Race Face".

Just before the race actually begins, somebody sings the National Anthem. This did not mean much to me till 2001, now I get out of my zone and take off my hat.

On the Varozano Bridge I really get happy. I spend the first 2 miles
hearing an altered version of I Wanna be Sedated, except I change the words to

Twenty-twenty-twenty four MILES to go YOU GOTTA be HYDRATED
Nothin' to DRINK and no where to PEE -o-oh I wanna be HYDRATED

Just get me to the WATER TABLE put me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane

Maybe you know the rest

On 4th Ave in Brooklyn I actually hear real sounds. In Bay Ridge and Sunset Park I here the Central American Speed Metal bands that are still fresh because I am only an hour behind the leader. In Park Slope I hear my name being called. These are people that relay know me. These are my neighbors. Am I a celebrity. I here my own voice calling back "Thank you neighbors, I am one of you, I live up the hill". After the 7 mile mark, I here the voices of my wife and children. The want me to run but I don't want to leave them. If Fort Green the
Bishop Loughlin High School Band will be playing the theme from Rocky. I remember they were playing that when I ran as a high school student in 1979.

After that I turn my soundtrack back on. In my head I will hear My Sharona continually till I get to 1st Ave. Then I will switch to a more aggressive rhythm, the first Clash album. I will pause my mental soundtrack in two more spots. On 1st ave and 113th St the Squirrels from Hell are always waiting for me
. I might have seen the Squirrels From Hell at CBGBs back in the 70s, but I don't really remember.

Usually, in front of the Police Station in the Bronx, there is a Kick-ass High School Rock Band.

In Central Park I here Ode to Joy. It is a timeless beautiful tune. It is perfectibility written for that great approach to Tavern on the Green.

Is I cross the Finish Line, I hear a gong. It announces the accomplishment of one ordinary person succeeding in a great effort. But not just one gong, Thousands are ringing. Tens of thousands for those who just finished and tens of
thousands more for those about to finish.

The quantity, diversity and quality of live music along the course is amazing. Check out this list of acts. Some people would actually pay to see them. (I forgot, it cost over $100 to enter the race and you gotta run at least 9 "qualifying'" races)

To everybody else running the New York City Marathon with me. All songs play for us, it is our day. Good luck!


  1. OK, I have never ever gone out to check out the runners, but I really might this year to cheer you on! Where's the best place to look for you?

    What color is your bib?
    What's your race number?
    What will you be wearing (assuming they know in advance of race day)?

  2. My bib will be orange, my number is 46411 and I will be wearing a white tank top with a circle (bulls eye) that says Prospect Park Track club. If it is under 40 degrees I will have a red long sleeve shirt under the tank top, but no matter how cold it is I will have the sleeves rolled up by the time I get to Park Slope. But, none of that matters, if you are looking for my number you will never find it we go by too fast. Just look for my face. I will be on the Park Slope side of 4th Ave and promise to embarrass you if I see you before you see me.

  3. Michael --you are too funny -my kids loved hearing your 'weird al Yancovich' version of I wanna be sadated!! Good luck Sunday and hope that you find some goodies around Fort wadsworth..I personally am going to look for a tech shirt that someone discards on the course...and maybe expensive gloves!


You do not have to be nice!


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