I am holed up because of Hurricane Sandy during the start of Marathon Week. The NYC Marathon and I go back a very long way. In 1981, my brother camped over at my apartment for his first NYC Marathon. Since he was getting up at some horrible hour of the morning, I arranged to volunteer as a bus loader at Lincoln Center. I put him on the first bus at 4:30 in the morning. I continued to load buses for the next 15 years when I wasn't running.
In 81 or was it 83, after going to the movies or the theatre I went to the post office to hand in my brother's request for an application at midnight. In 84, I joined the wait at the Post Office line right after work. I once hosted Jan Ettle, an invited runner from Minnesota. She won Grandma's Marathon in 1985. We went to Mass on Saturday night and joined hundreds of people in running clothes at St Patricks lighting candles.
In 84, I was doing a lot of volunteering at Road Runners before my first Marathon. Since everyone knew I was planning a slow Marathon, they asked me to accompany 85 year old Noel Johnson, the oldest man in the marathon. He had written a book - A Dud at 70, a Stud at 80. I had to wear a special number and check in at the mileage posts so he could get his TV coverage. He did but he did not finish that very hot year. I ran again in 86 and 91. I volunteered on the Marathon throughout the 90's and usually had a marathon brunch. We always watched the live coverage on TV and then went to the streets after the winner won.
One year, through Big Apple Greeter, I accompanied some Italian journalists along the course. I even snuck them near the finish line via the Ramble in Central Park. Back when birth year was included in AOL profiles, my running "twin" Mike from Georgia found me before he came to NYC to do the Marathon. I gave him a mini tour of NYC a few days before the race.
Fred Lebow, the man who took the marathon out of the Park and into the boroughs said "never underestimate the power of a T shirt" was right. During my marathon years, T shirts multiplied in my drawers. Since its inception, the New York Roadrunner's Club has done an incredible job of enticing a well documented cross section of the world running community to visit New York.
My volunteer days were reduced with the new century but I still remained a part of the NYC Marathon.