Despite a chilly start, it was a GORGEOUS day in the city today for the marathon. When I lived in Monterey, I signed up for a half marathon and had to quit training a month before the race due to horrible shin splints- and that was only to run 13.1 miles! To say that I am in awe of the runners each year is an understatement. The displays of personality (running with their nation’s flag as a cape, 2 guys running in costume as Dr. Seuss’ Thing 1 and Thing 2) and perseverance (gritted teeth, head down but the legs still moving) always make me smile and tear up a little. Over the past few years, I’ve found a spot that I love to cheer from- 91st Street and 5th Avenue. It’s at about Mile 24, just before the runners enter Central Park. At this point, the runners have already experienced the thunderous and encouraging canyon of 1st Avenue, turned west, and as they head down 5th Avenue, the crowd thins somewhat before the park and runners are in need of serious encouragement.
This is also a great spot to take photos. Marathons are a fun time to play with shutter speed, aperture, focus, movement, and perspective. Every year I love the aerial shot of the runners crossing a bridge, looking like a massive rainbow streak. One of my own favorite marathon shots is below. I used the curb as a tripod and got really low to see the marathon from pavement level. I love the mix of fall leaves with marathon sneakers. Congrats to all of the 2011 runners- especially my sister-in-law, the speedy Lauren Greig, who ran the race in 3:11:19 and finished 176th among the women runners!