I love living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for reasons too various & manifold to name in a single post, but one of my favorite Autumn experiences is to wake up to chanting & well-wishers screaming a few doors down on Bedford Ave as the tide of NYC Marathon runners make their way past the 11th mile. I enjoy the experience of getting dressed & going out into the chilly morning for coffee & a sausage-egg-n-cheese sandwich at Elle & watching the first few runners pass. Today I saw Mary Keitany surge nearly two minutes ahead of the pack only to lose it in the end. I watched Amanda McGrory and Masazumi Soejima whizz by on their way to win the women’s & men’s wheelchair division, respectively, though I sadly missed Geoff Mutai earlier on his way to a setting new course record. I can’t explain the excitement that surrounds this event other than to say imagine hundreds of thousands of people lining a sidewalk shouting support for their fellow humans of global ilk, each throat-closingly, burning-thigh deep in a personal battle with endurance. The cafes are filled with the buzz & chatter of people with friends in the race & folks from the neighborhood & families who’ve made the trek from other states just to stand here in the cold & root the runners on. It’s all very exhilarating; friends of mine say they feel the same way about the Tour de France, but for now I’ll have to settle for being a hometown cheerer-onner. Also, after I ordered breakfast from Ella, I realized I was on the wrong side of Bedford Ave & had to wait for the right time to sprint through the onslaught of runners. The Times published a photo that better speaks to this difficulty:

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