The Good: This is a mighty fine marathon in oh so many ways. It’s scenic, it’s flat(ish), it’s not too far from home, and the food at the post-race party makes me sad that this is only a yearly event. Let me just say that the countless calories that I burned whilst running 26.2 miles were all immediately consumed again (thrice over!) during my gluttonous soup/pizza/banana eating frenzy. I do not even care for minestrone soup, but one would never have guessed that, given the sheer number of beans and noodle bits clinging to my happy sweat soaked face. Ummm…minestrone. And the chicken noodle was stellar, as well.
Screw the food, though. TEAM YONKER ROCKED!!!!!!!!! We truly were the definition of speed, and this time we mean it. We shaved a cumulative 1 hour and 48 minutes off of our Buffalo times!!!! One hour and forty-eight minutes, people! To an elite Kenyan runner, that’s nearly an entire marathon! We passed countless people who were super-fit looking, and we did it with relative ease. This appealed very much to the small demon who lives within me – the one who whispers sinisterly in my ear, “Run her into the ground! Kick his ass!” each and every time a starting gun is fired. As a kindergarten teacher, I think I give the outward appearance of one who values teamwork and sharing and playing nicely with others. Sadly, though, this is not the case. While I may look like I am ready to break into a rousing rendition of “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” at the drop of a hat, in all actuality I am planning the demise of all runners within my near vicinity. Typically, I am unsuccessful in this goal, but at the Wineglass the gods smiled down upon me long enough for me to pass 40-Year-Old Virgin-Man, Chicken Legs and her partner Worm Dude, and Dr. Rock. (I freely admit that I am a monster, and acknowledge that the dehumanization of my fellow runners is a very foul thing. The aforementioned cruel nicknames refer to a first time marathoner, a 60-ish couple – one with shockingly skinny legs and the other with painful looking varicose veins, and a professor of geology at a local university. All fine people, I am sure, but when that nasty demon rears his ugly head, my transformation is utter and terrible.) My primary adversary, however, was none other than Oprah Winfrey, and I kicked her ass, too! Woo-hoo!!! Okay, okay, Oprah wasn’t exactly there in the flesh, but her Chicago Marathon time some years ago of 4:29 was first and foremost on my mind. She may have her Steadman and billions of dollars, but I have my Chuck, and a PR of 4:04:59! (which I will NOT, under pain of death, round up to 4:05)
The Bad: Nothing comes to mind. This was truly a great race, and someday we will all qualify for Boston here. (Okay, maybe not this year or next year, but someday, damn it!!)
The Ugly: Just three things come to mind – the bloody nipples of the man outside the Corning YMCA, the creepy 9-11 mural amateurishly rendered on the wall of our restaurant, and the cinder block walls of our Budget Inn hotel room.
The Good, Continued: Pardon, please, the syrupy sentiment, but I am awed and impressed by my Team Yonker teammates. They set a goal, then work like hell to reach their goal. They encourage and motivate and inspire and amuse – just read their blogs if you think I’m kidding. “Slack jawed locals” and feminine napkin chafing is some funny shit, I tell you. They share their Cup ‘O Noodles and their sports bras, and I can’t wait ‘til our next big run! GO, TEAM YONKER!!!!