The Staten Island Half Marathon

Stumbling off the bus from Hartford my body was tired and my muscles were sore….. I made my way to the subway and caught the 1 train at Penn Station to South Ferry. It was rush hour and I had minutes to get to the Staten Island Ferry.  While this leg of the trip is provided to residents and guests of NYC free of charge (which is honestly, quite remarkable) I had not made this journey in a long time.
After what felt like an eternity of hurrying and hoping I would make it – I turned around on the deck of the swiftly moving vessel and saw The statue of Liberty, bathed in the setting sun, directly behind me. All of my worries seemed to melt away. It matters not how many times I see her, Lady Liberty always brings me a sense of calm and comfort. 
I carried this calm into my hotel with me on the island, too late to get my packet tonight, I would have to do it in the morning.

It was cloudy and windy, which seemed appropriate for this race, the Staten Island Half Marathon, which was being run in benefit of the continuing recovery from Hurricane Sandy which had hit this Island so hard a year before. I received my bib and shirt, which I wore until the race start and then tied around my waist before we began, and looked across at Manhattan. Even in the haze of the morning The Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center stood proudly, 1,776 feet tall –  marking the renewal of the Iconic Manhattan skyline devastated by September 11th. 

Immediatly after the race was Staten Island Day – I wandered and watched the vendors setting up. The NY/NY Superbowl Committee venue displayed the time until Kickoff 2014 – down to the seconds. They had an interactive staging area with field goals and a sample locker room.

Just before the singing of the National Anthem, the runners, huddled in the corrals were watching the FDNY vessel…. which then majestically sprayed from all of its hoses. While I may not have wanted to get wet on a cold morning like this – pictures alone cannot capture how moving and fantasia this was to witness. 

The race ran up and down the coastline, and I was heavy with thought. I love New York, and I love running here. I joined NYRR when I signed up for this race and I intend to make this journey more often. 

The medal was, breathtaking. In the palm of my hand its weight and meaning felt heavy. I was honored to have been a part of this day, in this place, in New York City – my hearts home. 

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