Ankling To the International Friendship Run

This weekend’s events were running and running and running and some minor stuff.  Even when it wasn’t running, it seemed to be about running.  Three major events:  the Olympic trials for the marathon, the New York City Marathon, and the International Fun Run.

Right after the Olympic trials, I started walking to the East Side to get into position for the International Fun Run, a NYC Marathon predecessor.  It’s more of a party than a run and is only a couple of miles long.  It starts at the United Nations, goes to Sixth Avenue via 42nd Street, and then cuts up to 54th Street or so.

As I was nearing 42nd street, I began to hear a roaring sound.  For me, that means and interesting sound and something I have to check out.  And there it was, a big rally at the New York Public Library.

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When I first got into position, the group was chanting and doing “the wave”.  Just as I crossed the street, it broke up.  It turned out to be a large group of French runners.

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They were in town for the NYC Marathon, but were also participating in the Friendship Run.

The coolest part about this crowd was a minor event that I couldn’t capture on film.  Right after the above picture, there was a siren from Fifth Avenue and a firetruck passed by en route to an emergency of some sort.  The whole crowd broke out in a roar of cheers for the firefighters and they returned the waves of the crowd.

I fell in behind the group as I was heading in the same direction. 

After a couple of blocks, I cut across and ran into a group of Japanese runners also heading to the run.

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As you can see, some were taking a very lighthearted approach to the run.  But no one took it more lightly than these guys.

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You can’t see it very well, but the guy on the left had a joke arrow going through his head.  There were actually six in this group, but the other three were caught by the light.  I never got a good picture of the arrow.

Another block or two later, I ran into a group of Swedes.

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The crowds kept flowing in and around to the UN.  I knew I was going to view the run, but I wanted to do it from a slightly different viewpoint.

But, that’s another post.

-H

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