Batten Kill Valley Runners
Batten Kill Valley Runners
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  In 1997, I was NOT a runner…cycling fanatic-yes, runner-no. My wife, Julie, was a runner, and in 1997, ran the NYC marathon. After seeing this magnificent event, I decided that I had to do it! I trained and ran the Maple Leaf Half in 1998. I trained throughout 1999 to run NYC, only to be denied due to a hip injury. There is nothing worse than going through marathon training without actually realizing your dream of running the marathon. When I was able, I continued to train, and on November 5th, I completed the 2000 NYC Marathon. This is an experience that you must claim, if you are into epic experiences!!

  It is estimated that well over 30,000 lives were lost at the battle of Gettysburg. I did not fully grasp the magnitude of this number until I was sandwiched in between about this many people at the start. And what happens when you corral 30,000 highly hydrated people onto a bridge and make them wait for an hour? You guessed it…I did my best to avoid the little rivulets running around everyone's feet. I, fortunately, was able to fight off the urge until after the bridge. The New York City Marathon also attracts a very large international contingent. No one around me spoke English! I wanted to share my first marathon excitement, but not being fluent in Japanese, French, Spanish or German, I was left talking to myself (the Aussies were out of earshot).

  The first ten miles go by surprisingly fast, especially if you are following a guy wearing only a jock strap and a grass skirt with an open back. (I am not kidding). The spectators' reactions were priceless. It is the spectators that make this race epic. For 3,4 or 5+ hours (depending on how long you want the show to go on), you are cheered and entertained like never before (and probably never again, unless you continue this madness). This, and the sense of personal accomplishment are what make the 5:00AM runs, the interrupted weekends, the swarming deer flies and the long term general fatigue all worth it. If you have ever considered becoming a marathoner, a well known marketing slogan says it all: JUST DO IT!!

by Phil Hoar