It's four months until my big New York City Marathon. I started out really nervous, and I've grown to be pretty excited about the race. This is a cool race. I'm lucky - I was picked! First try, even! I'm still apprehensive about the logistics of the start line and the crowds, but this will definitely be a race to remember.
In order to get myself excited, I watched the 2008 documentary "Run for Your Life," which I thought was about the NYC Marathon, and it was, but it was more about Fred Lebow, who basically started the marathon:
I liked it, although I do wish that it had been a little bit more about the marathon and less about Mr. Lebow. That being said, Fred Lebow was a pretty cool guy. First of all, he was slow. He was described as being able to run a mile and a half in 15 minutes. Guess what? That's my pace!! I love that about him.
Fred was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1990, but even through that he ended up running the 1992 New York City Marathon with a time of 5:32. Again, that's my pace!! It was so inspiring to see him running with Grete Waitz at his side. I mean, he trained for and ran a marathon with brain cancer. What excuse can you possibly come up with to not run when you've seen that. I'm certain I'll think of Fred during my marathon.
Fred Lebow died in 1994, and there is a statue in Central Park of him checking his watch. Each year, it's moved so that it is within sight of the finish line. Provided I'm feeling ok, I'm going to go find the statue and get a photo on race day. Like The Penguin and Jeff Galloway, Fred Lebow is an inspiration to all of us mid-to-back-of the packers out there.