Rewind the clock to the year 2008. I had only recently rediscovered the "pleasure" of running. I was having breakfast at work, as I usually do, but this time with someone I can't even remember who was telling me about his experience in the New York Marathon. Up until then running a marathon was something I thought at best was very unhealthy but, after hearing what this guy had to say, I was hooked. That afternoon I was already registered to run my very first marathon in Amsterdam.
But I have been waiting FIVE YEARS to run the New York Marathon, the one that inspired me. As you may know, I got selected by the lottery process to run last year but was not able to take part as the race was cancelled due to the Sandy Superstorm. I was then given the option to either get my money back or to get a guaranteed spot for this year and I opted for my money back, thinking that I would "easily" get a qualifying time. Well, it turned out that my qualifying time was good enough provided I was one of the 2,000 lucky people pulled out of a hat (after giving priority to those having qualified in a NYRR organised race, mind).
Not only did I get a qualifying time but I got chosen!! YES!! Weather permitting, I will be running this year in the New York City Marathon. It is that much more satisfying to have finally made it by qualifying rather than by sheer luck (well, in the end it was a combination of the two). In my slightly warped way of thinking about things, I effectively "won" $350 in that Half Marathon I ran in January in 1:19:03.
As it happens, I will be passing through New York in the next few weeks on a business trip, so I will get to go to New York twice this year.