Not Unlike When I Didn’t Get Into Yale

marathon


Only now my safety school is...the East River Park Black Fog of Exhaust By the FDR Pothole-Pocked Jogging Path That Goes By the Sanitation Department Trash HQ. I can't help but suspect that the New York Road Runners' Club knows about me and The Mile and is in a dark conspiracy with Coach Betts, my high school gym teacher.

Entry Number: 180832,

Dear Melissa Kirsch

Thank you again for applying for the ING New York City Marathon 2007. I am sorry to inform you that, unfortunately, you were not selected in the random lottery drawing. I wish we could accept everyone, but we have to limit the size of the field to ensure a top-quality experience - and I hope you get to experience it yourself one day!

Oh really?!?! That's rich. I'm a full TWO WEEKS into training for my "top-quality experience." And I don't mind telling you that I have a blood blister on my future-bunion from my Dean Karnazes-esque regimen. Oh, I'll just continue with the remaining twenty weeks in hopes that "one day!" you'll let me into your stupid marathon. -- Ed.

[...]

Finally, I encourage you to apply for the ING New York City Marathon 2008. Did you know that if you applied and were denied three years in a row, you are eligible for guaranteed entry the fourth year? (If this is your third consecutive denial, you may already be guaranteed for the 2008 race! E-mail us with your name, date of birth, and a short note and we'll check our records and get back to you.)

Great! By 2010 I should have paid off my Nike +iPod running sensor with special attachment for non-Nike shoes! By 2010 I will be so old and grizzled from three long years of constant marathon training I will have crickety-crackety knee sockets and gross sinewy calves like the speed-walking ladies in their visors and fluroescent pink shorts, I will have wraparound mirrored sunglasses and skin like an old saddle. I'll be able to limp my way across the Verrazano Bridge on my stumpy buniony feet, just for the glory in participating in the sack race you call a marathon.

I don't need you people. I don't need you one bit. I can run 26.2 miles FOR FUN, my Road Running friends. I don't need a cheering section or a water stop or the streets of the city closed off or a finish line in Central Park. I can run a marathon any day I want on my very own TREADMILL in any of dozens of air-conditioned branches of the New York Health & Racquet Club! Oh, you're not a member? Well, I hope "one day!" you get to have THAT life-affirming experience. Don't hold your breath, New York Road Runners Club! Did I mention NYHRC also offers a summer booze cruise around Manhattan, open only to its exclusive cadre of members? I don't mind telling you that said booze cruise includes NOT ONLY a cash bar BUT ALSO a breakfast buffet! You heard me! Don't believe the signs outside every branch of my special Club advertising a price-slashing sale every day. Not true. -- Ed.

Thank you so much for your interest in the ING New York City Marathon. I wish you a summer of healthy and gratifying running.

Sincerely,

mary

Mary Wittenberg President and CEO, New York Road Runners Race Director, ING New York City Marathon

Okay, super-secretly, I'm relieved. Phew! Close one! Now I can go back to my three-mile jaunts around the housing development. Or do I continue with the training because I do really want to run a marathon and lord knows I'm not getting any younger? What to do? Relief! Disappointment! Relief! Disappointment! Oh, Mary Wittenberg and the New York Road Runners! Quit playing games with my heart! -- Ed.