Below is the wrap-up email I sent out to interesteds and participants in the NYC Replacement Marathon run at 8am on Sunday, November 4, 2012, in Central Park. The post below is slightly modified from the original email. UPDATED: 11/18/2012
Many of you participated in the NYC Replacement Marathon. Others of you emailed me and subways got in your way. Others just contacted me interested in the story.
I wanted to give you a wrap-up.
First of all, I hope your experience of this phenomenal day in Central Park was memorable. I have never seen so many people running throughout the park, during a race in the park or even during the NYC Marathon! And that it was largely impromptu was extra extraordinary. I’m the author of a new book titled Long-Form Improv, and in a weird way, this spontaneous marathon was true “long-form improv”!
Based on video footage, we ended up with somewhere around 16 people starting with us at the SE entrance to Central Park. I handed out PowerGels and spirit bracelets to those who attended. Angie Atkinson gave an incredibly moving rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before we set off at 8am. We had runners with target times of anywhere from 3:10 up to over 5 hours. We had runners from several different states and countries. We got coverage from the Huffington Post and the Associated Press, a story that got picked up by countless news organizations. We even had a documentarian come in overnight from Montreal to record our event.
If you ran a marathon yesterday, you are a winner. If you just ran in Central Park to be a part of the experience, you’re also a winner. From what I can tell, two runners of our group really shined: Chris Weber and Ruben Arredondo. I started with them but couldn’t keep pace after about 4 miles. I saw Chris after I finished and he managed around a 3:11, astounding for how densely packed the park was. Chris said he was with Ruben until very close to the end, when he lost Ruben around the Finish Line of the park. Ruben, I’m going to presume you finished and were also very pleased with your time.
I finished in 3:38. When my Garmin hit 26.2 miles, I kept running until our finish (also our start), managing somewhere around 26.6 miles. That was the farthest distance I’ve ever run. I’ve run much faster before, and I’m not sure why I wasn’t able to manage a faster pace on Sunday, but that matters so little given the extraordinary experience of Central Park yesterday.
One of the really fun parts was seeing Menachem nearly every time we passed each other in the park. Menachem was a runner in from Australia who was going to run with us but decided to start earlier with his group including Yanke, Bruno, et al. We were running opposite directions, and I would suddenly hear “Ben!” It would be the distinctively bearded Menachem! Eventually, I started yelling back “Menachem” when I’d see him! After Menachem had finished, somehow I picked him out of the park and surprised him by shouting his name again!
Another fun part was accidentally finding Australian runner Malcolm Anson running along wearing a thick wool cap. Malcolm was interviewed with me for the Huffington Post. He was blazing along somewhere around his 18th mile I believe, and I shared with him that the article had come out with his name and photo in it. I hope he remembers to check! We chatted a bit but I didn’t want to slow him down because he was moving at a great clip!
Below are some links of media related to the NYC Replacement Marathon.
Aimée Davison bused in from Montreal to shoot and edit this short on the NYC Replacement Marathon experience. Feel free to pass it along in memory of the event:
Also, Aimée edited together Angie Atkinson’s national anthem rendition into its own video. It is online in two places:
Katherine Bindley of the Huffington Post, Damon Dahlen of AOL, and Cara Anna of the Associated Press, covered the NYC Replacement Marathon. Cara Anna’s story was picked up by countless media outlets. In the HuffPo article, I was quoted and some photos made it in. In the AP article, Ruben was quoted.
HuffPo Story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/03/new-york-marathon_n_2069275.html
AP Story: http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2012/11/04/14921186-ny-marathon-canceled-tell-that-to-the-runners
Other media outlets running the AP Story: http://bit.ly/PxOpoJ
After the race was done, I was interviewed by Lucy-Jade Norris for her internet radio interview show On Air with Lucy.
On Air with Lucy Interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/onairwithlucy/2012/11/05/on-air-with-lucy-featuring-mr-vinny-vella
Primarily, I promoting the NYC Replacement Marathon on Twitter using the hashtag #nycrm.
I hope you had a fantastic Sunday running whatever distance you ran in the park. I’d be interested to hear about your experience, whatever it was, so let me know by contacting me via email or posting a comment below.