The moment you do the first step

There are many reasons a person decides to run a marathon.
I have never been a runner but I have always been sportive. Running the NYC Marathon was my 40 years old challenge.
It was my present for reaching such a milestone.
I have worked and trained hard to be able to run 26.2 miles. I ran for 1 year in all weather conditions, training in 3 different continents.
It has been an unbelievable experience and I am not just talking about the NYC Marathon itself.
The journey was as important as the day of.
It kept me focused at home, at work, with friends and family.
I learned what running gives you back…. a sense of freedom, accomplishment, pride, positive thinking.
The moment you are about to start THE run, you have million feelings and questions….. “OMG, I have never thought I would be here”… “How many bridges do I need to cross”… “Will I get to the finish line”…. And so on and so forth…..
Then you start and, as a first marathoner, you are not really sure what you are getting into. But you end up taking a mile at the time.
The NYC Marathon is a huge event. The city literally stops and cheers for you. It doesn’t matter how good or fast you are. You are there and to their eyes, you are a winner already. From mile 1 to the very end, there are thousands of people cheering you on, showing their support, standing on the side of the streets for hours on a Sunday morning. They could be anywhere else, but they decide to be there.
They want to be there for you, to let you know how much they admire you drive and determination.
There are bands, singers, kids, old people, gay, straight, all races, all religions, all beliefs. It is a glance of what America is. The land of the free.
The last 4 miles were terribly hard. I wasn’t sure I could do it but I would have gotten to the finish line not matter what…..
When I got to the end, I cried. I had tears of happiness, pain, accomplishment.. I knew that was the moment I had been waiting for a year and up to now, I still tear up when I think of that time.
The medal around your neck will be a keepsake for my entire life as much as the memories of November 1st 2015.
The days before the marathon, New York City is surrounded by runners, all nationalities, all languages.
They even have “marathon runners” menus for the athletes…. You know, nobody can beat the US when it comes to market events well!
This experience is not for everybody but it is for people that love to challenge themselves….
If you are up to the challenge, you won’t be disappointed.

Vivi Pellegrini