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Leader of the Pack(age)

Come Fall, runners worldwide put foot to pavement for the NY Marathon. I never really understood the marathon phenomenon until I participated in the crowd. The energy is palpable. A feat of both mental and physical endurance, the marathon tests the runners' limits. They move en masse, a human stream of sweat and neon colored spandex. Yet, an individual can stand out in few ways:

  1. natural talent where he or she lead the pack;

  2. costumes—from tutus to capes to full fursuits; or

  3. each running bib is printed with a name

The latter allows the onlookers to cheer specific runners. This is where things took a creative twist. I stood next to a particularly vocal onlooker. For at least a half an hour, she called a steady flow of names: “Go Harry!” “Go Val!” “Go Chris!” Her cheer stamina was impressive and automatic. She wasn't processing what she was saying. This was apparent as one runner with the initials “N-A-D-S” ran by.

She shouted “GO NADS!”

...and, without missing a beat, she moved on to the next name. I, on the other hand, immediately burst into a fit a giggles. Go-nads! Brilliant.


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