Monday, November 4, 2013

Best Job Ever

My life overlapped with the NYC Marathon in many ways this year. Maybe more than anyone else.

First, forth and eighth as part of the leadership of the Prospect Prospect Park Track Club, I helped organize our "NYC Marathon Activities."  That started 8 days before the race with a group run of the last 10 miles of the route.  We also rented our own buses to get to the start and had our own post race meet-up at a public school only a block and a half from the finish. I was the face and voice of these events, but the volunteers were really the backbone.

Second, as an employee of NYCRUNS I got to help set up their booth at the expo.  I got to see this in in packing crate marked PORT-A-POTTIE

Third, sixth and seventh I was an official pacer in the race.  That meant that I had to spend a half a day at the expo explaining what a pacer is.  We chose to run the race significantly slower than we could, but carting a little sign that says our goal time.  It the past 2 years I completed three marathons in about 4:30 so I was assigned the 5:00 pace group.

At the expo we didn't only help people learn about the pacing program, we helped them deal with all the stress of running their (mostly) first marathon.  Most of the other pacers were members of a club I just joined.  The Marathon Maniacs.  I am am member at the Bronze level because last year I ran 2 marathons in 2 weeks.  Getting to hang out with members at higher levels was a real treat.  Some ran marathons in over 35 states, some ran over 100 marathons.  I gave the man the right of the photo water at mile 80 of the  The Great New York 100 Mile Exposition.

He looks much better in this photo.

I did not just get the hang out with the other pacers at the Expo. We all got to the start early.  But it was worth it.  Below was our home

One of the biggest negatives about the NYC Marathon is that you HAVE TO get to the start early. 50,000 people have to get to the start, and the majority of us have to get across the bridge that is the first 2 miles of the course. So we have to get there early. In November it is never very nice out at 7am.  Once I saw this HEATED tent with its own bathrooms it told the person organizing the pace teams that I will do this every
Yea, Click to enlarge.
year.  He said that I will only be asked back if I do a good job.  He will be tracking me and I have to run (lead) and an even pace. Well here ya go.  Every mile between 11:15 and 11:30, finishing in 5:02.  I think if I were allowed to go out a little faster, we would have come in just under 5 hours.

But for me it was not just about running at an even pace.  I got to talk as much as I wanted without looking like an insane person.  My partner in pacing, Pauline, kept everyone together and on pace.  But I (hope) that I kept everyone sane. Giving a tour that ranged to making sure people knew what Borough we were in to all the places I threw up over the last 20 years.

Once in Central Park I realized that I had used up all my mental powers because I heard someone yell nice skirt and I actually looked down at my knees to see if they were talking to me.

My only regret was that I can not remember the name of the women from Scotland that I spent most of the 26.2 miles with.  My regret is that I did not get her email address (or can even remember her name.)  It would be great to become pen pals.  .

Fifth: For the past 3 years the NYRR has considered me a "Streaker" because I have run more than 15 of their marathons. Every year they give me an extra piece of swag.  Every year I tell them (in their official feedback) that streakers have more than enough t-shirts.  What we want is a party.

This year I got it.

No beer, but coffee and a lot of cookies.

I do think I might be the youngest person in this club

So, looking back up at the title of the blog.  I don't want anyone to think that I am congratulating myself for doing a good job.  I am saying that I had the best job.  I got paid in a free race entry, a heated tent and hugs.  Totally worth it.

My only regret is that because I was a pace team leader I could not stop and pick up the 2 MetroCards that I saw on the course.  It kept me up all night.

But I still have this.


  1. Hey, I saw you go by (at Union and Fourth ave) this year, and you looked so happy and relaxed! Alarmingly, I saw the girl carrying the 5:15 aign run by less than 5 minutes after you, so she was probably too fast (as it's unimaginable that you were behind pace, Mr Chicken Underwear). GREAT job, BTW.

    1. that is not good, because I was a little ahead of schedule in Park Slope.

  2. Congratulations on your finish AND your awesome race report. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoy Bitchcakes posts.

  3. Thanks Dianne. Being in the same blog world with Bitchcakes is like sharing the pacer tent with people who call 26.2 miles a training run

  4. You're doing great with this Marathon thing, and I'm sure all your blog-followers are as proud of you as your family is.
    Have the twins shown any interest in becoming marathoners?
    Congratulations on having the best job. That's the job everyone wants—the best one.

    1. At this point my kids can beat me in any race under 5 miles. But the time they are old enough to run a marathon, we would only be able to start together. Then like they have for their entire lives they can meet me at the finish line.


You do not have to be nice!


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