By Liz Robbins

Whilst 39,195 rivals thunder over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to start the thirty-eighth working of the famed big apple urban Marathon, they event the most exhilarating moments in activities. yet as they move 5 towering bridges and 5 exact boroughs, carried 26.2 miles through the cheers of 2 million lovers and via their very own indomitable wills, grueling demanding situations watch for them. long island occasions sportswriter Liz Robbins brings race day to existence during this gripping saga of the 2007 Marathon, weaving the unforgettable tales of runners right into a vivid mile-by-mile portrait of the world's biggest marathon. the pros pound out the suspense in exciting races. Paula Radcliffe, the women's global checklist holder from nice Britain, returns with new unravel after having given start 9 months prior; Gete Wami, her longtime rival from Ethiopia, attempts to win her moment marathon in precisely 5 weeks; and Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka desperately hopes for her 3rd immediately ny name. If the women's race performs out like a enthralling chess online game, then the men's race speedy becomes a high-speed vehicle chase. South Africa's Hendrick Ramaala, wanting to recapture glory at age 35, surges to steer the pack as Kenya's Martin Lel and Morocco's Abderrahim Goumri remain inside of notable diversity. whereas the pros provide perception into the serious, usually painful adventure of being an elite athlete, the amateurs offer undying tales of braveness and obsession that typify cutting-edge marathoner: Harrie Bakst, a melanoma survivor at 22, who's a first-timer; Pam Rickard, a 45-year-old mom of 3 from Virginia, who's a recuperating alcoholic; and 65-year-old Tucker Andersen, who has run the race each year on account that 1976. Enlivening the background of the recent York urban Marathon with tales of such legends because the overdue Fred Lebow, the race's charismatic founder, and nine-time champion Grete Waitz, A Race Like No different presents a curbside seat to the drama of the 1st Sunday in November. consider the anxiousness at the beginning in Staten Island. hearken to gospel choirs in Brooklyn and the accordion in Queens. indulge in the delirious sound tunnel of Manhattan's higher East facet. Hit The Wall within the Bronx. And conquer soreness within the final hilly miles sooner than arriving in imperative Park—exhausted but exhilarated—at the end line.

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Additional resources for A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York

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2 EPIC ASPIRATIONS A Verrazano-Narrows Bridge F ive helicopters and a blimp hover like buzzards above the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, pounding out a steady pulse. The heartbeats from the herd of 39,265 athletes echo below. Runners are assembling, elbow to elbow, in groups of 1,000, and they stream endlessly, it seems, onto the bridge’s two decks to compete in the world’s largest marathon. , runners are in line, stretching, laughing, befriending strangers, dancing to music from headphones, trying to stay warm, trying to stay positive, nervously bouncing on the balls of their feet, some even squatting and f lushing their bodily f luids right there on the bridge as the minutes tick down to a day of certain torture.

Paula Radcliffe, Gete Wami, Jelena Prokopcuka and Catherine Ndereba are the most decorated in the field today. Each has an enlightened husband who supports and trains with her. Only Prokopcuka, who is 31 and the youngest of this group, is not yet a mother. The other three women each have daughters; Jane Ndereba is the eldest at ten. Her mother’s nickname is Catherine the Great, and as the reigning world champion from Kenya at age 35, Ndereba 36 A RACE LIKE NO OTHER has established a benchmark for women in Africa to be successful as mothers as well as professional athletes.

Runners are assembling, elbow to elbow, in groups of 1,000, and they stream endlessly, it seems, onto the bridge’s two decks to compete in the world’s largest marathon. , runners are in line, stretching, laughing, befriending strangers, dancing to music from headphones, trying to stay warm, trying to stay positive, nervously bouncing on the balls of their feet, some even squatting and f lushing their bodily f luids right there on the bridge as the minutes tick down to a day of certain torture. The assault on the senses is typical New York.

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