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Athletic Achievements: Baseball Vs. The Marathon

Ellen Levitt

Posted on November 4, 2019 07:26

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This past week we witnessed a most unusual World Series win, as well as a typical New York City Marathon. Both show what sports prowess and ambition are all about.

There were two big news stories this week: the Washington Nationals won their first World Series, and the annual New York City Marathon was run. This was a most unusual World Series not only because the Nats finally won their first series, but also because every single game of this seven-game series was won by the "away" team. The Marathon was not unusual, as far as NYC Marathons go, but it was a well-executed event with no major hitches.

I enjoyed watching both of these sporting events: this was a rather dramatic World Series, between two well-matched teams. There were come from behind wins, big home runs, precision pitching. If you are a baseball fan, this was one of the more fascinating series in recent years, with no clear leader. The element of surprise was front and center! (Disclosure: I was also pleased that Nationals won because I favored them.)

The Marathon was won by two Kenyan nationals, but for New Yorkers, just watching the Marathon in person and cheering on the average runner is a big part of our sports joy. As I've done so many times in the past, I took a subway train ride to the Atlantic Avenue center, and watched part of the race at Atlantic Avenue near where it crosses Fourth Avenue. Then I went over to Lafayette Avenue at Carlton Avenue, where some of my friends live, and watched more of the race with my friend Jacqui. She has run the NYC Marathon previously and I peppered her with questions about the race course, about training, and other pertinent topics.

I've long admired the Marathon, and those who participate, for their determination and ambition. Runners have different goals in mind when they train and race, and the thousands upon thousands of people who come out to cheer on the runners will cheer for both individuals they know (family, friends, work colleagues) as well people they have never seen before. The Marathon brings out civic mindedness, inspires people to make and reach their own goals, and is seen as a local event that everyone can embrace. We watch as locals, and visitors come to New York and run.

The World Series is certainly different: the ball players are professionals, they are paid (handsomely) for their efforts, and they are scrutinized in the media. They perform tough physical feats. The Marathon runners are rarely professionals, they pay to run, and most are ignored by the media. But they also perform tough physical feats. 

We watched David Fraser go by in his wheelchair, with a few assistants in front and back of him; he raced the course in his chair because he has cerebral palsy. Everyone cheered for this man and his immense determination to compete. (It was his 13th race!)

There are so many reasons to admire athletes who push themselves to achieve great things, and who also encourage the rest of us to believe and achieve. 

 

Ellen Levitt

Posted on November 4, 2019 07:26

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Source: NYT

The Armory NYC Indoor Marathon was a perfect event for runners seeking to break an unheralded world record.

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