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Sunday, May 2

Marathon Brings Local Residents Together

In my little microcosm of the world in suburbia, we had the Long Island Marathon this morning. It started in the big county park across the street from my house.

I'm not sure how the marathon path went this year exactly because they changed it from last year and they closed off my street and many others including main arteries and a State Parkway for the marathoners. I believe they ran to Jones Beach. (I live about 15 minutes from the beach for all you inlanders)

I woke up too late to see my friend appear on Fox and Friends this morning and I also missed most of the marathoners. I got to see the tail end though and I found it both amusing and encouraging. They have more stamina than I. I try to walk everyday. That's my exercise. The neighborhood kids were out in the street mimicking some of the participants and I guess that is what cracked me up. Another bunch of boys were so thrilled that there were no cars, they set up a skateboard jump.

I missed the actual runners because I slept too long. I caught what I call "scooters" because they look like people when they are scooting across the street when the light is about to change. Their arms are stiffly by their sides and their knees don't bend. It's kind of like a run/walk. Maybe I should call it scurrying? Well there were a whole bunch of scooters anyway. The kids thought it was simply hilarious and the kids were 'scooting' up and down the street.

There were some men and women with those strollers that you can push by running or skating. Maybe it was their day to take the kids? Maybe the kids just like the ride.

The gray haired brigade came up next. They were walking and looked out of breath. But I have to give them a lot of credit for coming out as I puffed on another cigarette and drank Diet Pepsi for breakfast. I found out later that this was mile 11. I'm not sure if these folks planned on walking all the way to Jones Beach though. There were school busses going by slowly to pick up people who were exhausted.

After the seniors came chatty women pushing strollers and doling out Cheerios to their whining kids and after them came the people with all sorts of braces on their legs. I was very impressed. I was running out of Pepsi though and I couldn't get my car out of the driveway.

It would haven been no problem to walk a mile to the store on this day that salutes those who master mind over matter and push their endurance to the limit. But I was really running out of caffeinated Diet Pepsi. Still had a carton of butts left, thank god or I would have definitely walked or rode my bike to the store in the rain. I waited.

Finally I saw cars go by at 12:30. I was free! I took my car out and had a bit of trouble getting through a cross street but made my way to the store where they sell Pepsi!

Well talk about a community gathering together against an enemy. When I got to the little strip mall, local residents who barely speak to other unless they just dug out of a blizzard, were telling war stories about trying to navigate through our streets this morning. Imagine the horror that so many people couldn't get where they were going the usual way and had to go waaaaay out of their way and sometimes to the next town, Hicksville to accomplish their goals. (bagels)

When I told people what street I lived on and that it was completely shut down, I became a sort of war survivor in their eyes. [memo to self: print up hundreds of "I survived the LI Marathon" Tshirts.] Yep, it was a long, long morning being cooped up in my house overlooking the park puffing away on cigarettes and lacking the caffeine I so desperately needed to start my day. I heard that a girl on my block who was getting married today was threatening to sue the County for her inconvenience. People were kind of walking around the shops like they had been through the wringer this morning. You know that kind of flat footed stagger people use when they want to signify that they had just over exerted themselves and literally been through hell and back? It was good to see the residents all talking to each other and sharing stories. Haven't seen this kind of comaraderie since 9/11. Yep, war is hell

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