Sunday, November 4, 2012

the road trip that wasn't

New York City Marathon weekend is a big deal. And this year, it was a really big deal. If you'll remember, our friend Amy raised funds and was running 26.2 miles in honor of Leah and so many other girls with Rett syndrome. 

We had planned a quick weekend to cheer her on and were more than excited. 

And then Super Storm Sandy hit. 

We waited with baited breath to see if the marathon was still a go. And, on Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg announced it was. Amy and her husband boarded their plane in Texas and made their way to the big apple for what was to be an unforgettable weekend. And then, as she emerged from a subway station into bustling Times Square on Friday, she read a scrolling news ribbon that the marathon, in fact, had been cancelled. 

Now, I am not one to judge here. There are many differing opinions on whether or not the race should have been run and whether or not it would have been good or bad for the city. I think there are good arguments on both sides. It drains resources and it brings resources to the city. People were trying to rebuilt from complete devastation and see it as a distraction and a waste. Others see it as an inspirational way to unify the city and bring normalcy back into their lives. But from a runner's perspective who was told the race was on, it's just plain awful. Training for a marathon is no joke. 

With the marathon cancelled and traffic and gas lines in the city a mess, we decided to stay home. I was really bummed, but just felt it was the right thing. 

Amy, in true Amy fashion, wiped the tears from her face and decided to live it up for her few days in the City. Sunday morning, she decided to still go for a run through Central Park, since she was planning to run that morning anyway! And as she entered the main path, she saw thousands of runners running anyway. Four laps through the park, which includes the last few miles of the original course. The signs were up, people were passing out energy gels and water and spectators were cheering loudly. 

So, right then and there, Amy decided to run a marathon. And run she did. 

You can read her experience here

As I read an Instagram update from her stating that she was running anyway, I felt so bad that we had decided to not come! I had to keep reminding myself of the many reasons we decided to cancel, but I wish I could have been standing there with big signs - and Leah - cheering Amy on as she passed us all four times. 

Thousands of runners completed their 26.2 miles that morning. And thousands of others {including some who ran!} helped with relief efforts in various areas of the city. So all in all, it turned out to be a pretty memorable and productive and inspirational un-official marathon weekend. 

I'm so happy to have been a part of Amy's training and racing the past few months. Our family is humbled that someone would do something so selfless and giving. She raised nearly $1,000, which is just amazing! 

So thank you, Amy. Thank you for training and fundraising and racing. Thank you for helping us have hope. And congratulations on your first 26.2. I'm sure it won't be your last.


Amy said...

as you know, this was one of the best experiences of my life - from the first day of training to the last footsteps across the finish line. I was so happy to do it with purpose. I truly believe there will be a cure someday!
I'm happy you didn't try to come and face all the chaos in nyc - I felt your support from afar!
Thank you, Maren... :) That last pic of Leah's sweet face melts my heart.

Josh and Laura said...

Why do I cry everytime you post about Rett Syndrome!? I read Amy's post on her blog and it had me in tears. What a neat experience...even though the official marathon was cancelled. The one good thing about big trials like Rett Syndrome is it's so inspiring to see people care about each other and help each other raising $1000 and running a marathon for someone!