This Sunday, November 6, 2011 tens of thousands of people will flock to New York City to participate in an event that challenges the mind and the body, an event that requires no more equipment than your two feet (and perhaps a good pair of shoes), an event that pushes many beyond the breaking point, the ING New York City Marathon! UjENA Fit Club Photographer Keith McNulty will be on hand to capture the excitement, and will be posting photos on the day at UjENA Fit Club.
The New York City Marathon was both a starting point and a turning point for the sport of running and for professional runners. Compared to the 127 participants in the first NYC Marathon in 1970, 45,000 runners are expected to run in this Sunday's race. Many world class professional athletes travel to NYC to not only compete for the $600,000 in reward money, but for the opportunity to compete and excel under the watchful eyes of the media capital of the world as two million cheering spectators and 315 million worldwide television viewers look on.
"Modern Marathoning owns its start,
and its world class status, to New York."
1970: Avid runner and President and Member of the New York Road Runners Club, Fred Lebow created and organized the first New York City Marathon. 127 runners paid a $1 entry fee to run 26.2 miles looping within Central Park, 55 runners crossed the finish line.
1976: To celebrate the country's bicentennial, the New York City Marathon course map was redrawn by Fred Lebow to include all 5 New York Boroughs. Although some resisted the course change, 2,090 runners showed up at the starting line, including two-time Olympic marathon medalist Frank Shorter. "By reconfiguring the course, Lebow had drawn the city together and attracted recognition around the world." (www.newyorkcitymarathon.org).
As running exploded in the US and the world over, New York became center stage and in...
1978: More than 9,000 people participated in the New York City Marathon, including Norwegian Grete Waitz who set the Women's Marathon World Record 2:32:30
The New York City Marathon not only became the place to set and break world records, but it became an opportunity for athletes to showcase their ability.
1992: The South Africa Sanction was lifted and Willie Mtolo became the first official South African to run in the New York City Marathon. He finished 26.2 miles in 2:09:29, and became a leader and figure in organizing and supporting opportunities for black South Africans to participate in sports and beyond.
1994: Tegla Loroupe showed that African women are on par with African men in their ability to run 26.2 miles
2000: The first official wheelchair division was created.
2001: Just two months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, community spirit and patriotism ran high, and the race became a symbol of hope and renewal for participants, spectators, and New Yorkers.
2002: Maintains it's leadership role in race management, specifically with the separate start for professional women runners.
2003: ING became the official title sponsor and advocates and promotes running across New York.
2010: UjENA Customer and Friend, and UjENA FitClub member Alison Williams ran the New York City Marathon. This weekend she is running her Lucky #13 marathon in New Hampshire. However, the NYC Marathon remains her favorite marathon so far because of "the adrenaline from people lining the sides for 26.2 miles to cheer runners on. Seeing the NYC Firefighters with their flags hanging from their rigs every few miles and the spirit of the New Yorkers makes it a race like no other."
November 6, 2011: 31 years since the first New York Marathon was run, several UjENA Fit Club members, including elite runner Meb Keflezighi, Michael Wardian, and Honor Fetherson will join with more than 45,000 other participants to run what has become one of the most iconic marathons of all time.
Meb Keflezighi will be running the NYC Marathon for the 7th time. He was the ING New York City Marathon Champion in 2009. Additionally, he is an Olympic marathon Silver Medalist, former 10,000m world record holder, and most recently we saw him here in the Bay Area at the San Jose Rock n' Roll Half, winning the event with a 1:02:17 finish time.
Michael Wardian has had a great year. He is currently at the top of our UjENA FIT Club 2011 Men's Runner Ranking with 1445 points. He ran 2:17 earlier in the year and qualified for the Olympic Trials.
Honor Fetherson should do well in the female 55-59 age group. She placed first in her division at the San Jose Half Marathon. She has run a 2:44 marathon in the past.
Crossing the finish line in Central Park is a once in a lifetime experience, and UjENA FitClub photographer Keith McNulty will be on hand to capture the fun, excitement, the adrenaline and sweat of the runners.
Keith McNulty is undertaking the challenge to have 150 or more photos of the event up here and here, within hours of the event finish. While many stories circulate after such grand events, the amount of photos we are projecting to have up is not often seen.
The best of luck to ALL participants, UjENA Fit Club will be rewarding $700 of Fit Dollars to 14 winners.
If you're running on Sunday, or are planning on cheering on the runners, we would LOVE to see YOUR photos and hear YOUR experiences. Share below in the comments, post to UjENA Fit Club's Facebook, UjENA Fit Club directly, or UjENA Swimwear's Facebook.