On November 12, 1995, I participated in my first New York City Marathon Relay for Fred's team, formed in honor of Fred Lebow, the New York City Marathon founder who died of brain cancer a few years ago. To participate in the relay, each member must raise at least one thousand dollars for Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center. I was among 25 runners who successfully raised this large amount! Many people were older than me and were sponsored by their companies. I raised my money through friends, family, local stores, and businesses. The relay was sponsored by Erector, the company that makes toys.
I was ready to go when the relay day came around. Erector sent each of us a shirt, shorts, hat and meal tickets, including a free dinner at Tavern on the Green and lunch at Mickey Mantle's. On the morning of the race, everyone loaded into two vans that brought us to the starting line for pictures and to drop off the first runner. The vans then drove each of each to our mile marks. I ran the fourteenth mile over the Queensborough Bridge into Manhattan.
When I handed off the baton, a large wooden wrench (with the Erector name on it) to the next runner, I looked into the crowd and saw my mom taking my picture. When I walked off the course, my mom, my best friend, and I walked to Mickey Mantle's, where the team met for lunch.
After eating, I joined a group of relay runners who were going to walk the last mile of the Marathon with the Erector robot. The crowd surrounded us while shouting and cheering for the runners who were finishing their last mile.
My experience in the Marathon was worth every bit of effort I put into it. I met many interesting people that day. I never thought I would experience being at the start and the finish line until I was ready to run the marathon myself. The seven minutes of my mile over the bridge are seven minutes I will never forget fl
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.