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   TOURING THE BIG APPLE  Via the New York City Marathon
2011 - Volume 1 Issue 1
Vida Fronteriza
Article: Joe Burgess
Photos: Cole Pofahl
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“I’ve talked about running the New York City Marathon for twenty years,” says El Paso/Las Cruces builder Jim Pofahl. “You are selected through a lottery system, and I began applying three years ago. Once I was accepted, the realization struck me that I had to quickly become a distance runner.”

    Additional Photography

courtesy of NYC Marathon

For more information
on the New York City
Marathon visit:
  “What an extraordinary experience. Visiting one of the world’s great cities and participating in one of the great foot races of our time has to rank highly among one’s personal accomplishments.” This was the 40th annual New York City Marathon and in 2009, there were 43,660 participants from across the country and around the world that completed the 26.2-mile course.
“Once I began running the race,” states Jim, “time was a consideration, but to be honest, once you start running through the five boroughs and over the five bridges you quickly realize that each of the areas has its own personality and I began to really appreciate the thought that there I was...RUNNING THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!! Starting at Staten Island and running over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the U.S. and a double decker, is a pretty dramatic way to start off a race. Then the runners pass through Brooklyn, the longest portion of the race, with multiple thousands of spectators cheering. One of the most dramatic scenes is running into Williamsburg, a Hasitic Jewish community where, because of their beliefs, there are very few spectators and no noise, a marked change from the other areas of the race. From there, runners cross the Pulaski Bridge into Queens, then over the Queensboro Bridge back into Manhattan. First Avenue leads to the Willis Avenue Bridge and into the Bronx. From there, the runners cross the Madison Avenue Bridge back into Manhattan, following Fifth Avenue through Harlem and into Central Park.... The end was in sight!”

It is estimated that 2.5 million people lined the streets. “They were everywhere and in some places two and three deep. Many had signs encouraging the runners, there were several bands every mile, and lots of yelling and cheering for the runners. If your name was on your shirt, you'd have people encouraging you and yelling your name...Run Jim was unbelievable!!”

When asked how many marathons he had participated in, Jim replied that this was his first. “I have run several 10 Ks and a couple of half marathons, but training for a full marathon was a real challenge. My son, Cole, gave me a copy of the Non Runners Marathon Trainer by David A. Whitsett, a professor at the University of Northern Iowa. It is a 16-week training program outlining the running regimen, nutrition and light upper body workouts. Week one started with 15 miles and progressed to a high mileage of 36 each in weeks 12 and 13. The total number of miles I ran while training was over 440 during those 16 weeks.”

The morning of the run, temperatures were in the low 40s with light rain. The rain stopped by race time and the temperature was probably in the high 40s to low 50s.

“There was a record turnout for this race and the runners started in three waves. Even with that many runners, everyone was respective of each runner’s space. It was a little crowded before the start line, but once there and you start running, things space out pretty quickly. All the runners were extremely courteous and if any of the runners saw anyone struggling they would assist them or see that they got help at aid stations.”

“My goal was to complete the race in under five hours and my actual time was 4hrs.36min.24sec... I exceeded my expectations. Seeing my wife and family along the way at two different spots, one in Brooklyn and the other in Queens, really encouraged me along the way. Hitting 5th Avenue and running alongside Central Park, it finally dawned on me that I was going to complete this race. Seeing my family again right before the finish line and my son right as I crossed the finish line, I realized that I had accomplished a long time goal with my family there to cheer me on... in the greatest city in the world. At that point, the emotions overflowed for all of us.” ///
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