By Liz Robbins
While 39,195 opponents thunder over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to start the thirty-eighth operating of the famed manhattan urban Marathon, they event probably the most exhilarating moments in activities. yet as they move 5 towering bridges and 5 detailed boroughs, carried 26.2 miles by means of the cheers of 2 million lovers and by way of their very own indomitable wills, grueling demanding situations wait for them. manhattan 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 biggest marathon. the pros pound out the suspense in exciting races. Paula Radcliffe, the women's international list holder from nice Britain, returns with new unravel after having given start 9 months past; 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 long island name. If the women's race performs out like a spell binding 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 notable diversity. whereas the pros provide perception into the serious, usually painful event of being an elite athlete, the amateurs supply undying tales of braveness and obsession that typify ultra-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 improving alcoholic; and 65-year-old Tucker Andersen, who has run the race each year because 1976. Enlivening the background of the recent York urban Marathon with tales of such legends because the past due 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. consider the nervousness at the beginning in Staten Island. take heed to gospel choirs in Brooklyn and the accordion in Queens. indulge in the delirious sound tunnel of Manhattan's top East aspect. Hit The Wall within the Bronx. And triumph over anguish within the final hilly miles sooner than arriving in valuable 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
Possessing a rock-solid body and a blistering turnover, the modern female professional marathoner—mother, wife and champion—takes the center of the Brooklyn-bound roadway. The toll has already been paid. Paula Radcliffe, Gete Wami, Jelena Prokopcuka and Catherine Ndereba are the most decorated in the field today. Each has an enlightened husband who supports and trains with her. Only Prokopcuka, who is 31 and the youngest of this group, is not yet a mother. The other three women each have daughters; Jane Ndereba is the eldest at ten.
Here, the sheer volume of humans, smells, noises, accents, anxieties and ambitions is enough to overwhelm anyone, even those who think they are prepared. And even those who are no longer running. It has been two decades since Norway’s Grete Waitz captured her ninth and final New York City Marathon title, a record that no Liz Robbins other runner can or likely will match. Sitting in the backseat of the red convertible pace car, where she will serve as the grand marshal of the women’s professional race today, Waitz cannot help but feel the spark of Marathon electricity on the bridge this morning.
His strength from a deliberate way of life fuels his speed while running. Ramaala runs to defy his doubters and to honor the country he loves. He runs because the more purposefully he strides, the more real the world beneath his feet becomes. Other people tried to tell him his place in their world. The white family that employed his mother as a housekeeper during apartheid said he would not make anything of himself, because he was black. His own family initially said he would have more success as a lawyer.