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Life in the City
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Marathon Runs Deep Through The Heart of New York
by:Chris Davis
On the unusually warm New York Sunday morning of Nov. 2nd over 34,000 runners from around the world took part in the world famous but widely feared New York City Marathon. Along side professional and recreational runners was Sean “ P.Diddy “ Combs, who planned on raising $1 million for NYC children but actually raised 2 million.

P. Diddy held his own and had the entire city on his side. Especially in his hometown of Harlem, where hundreds of fans screamed, “Don’t stop Diddy, Don’t stop” and held up signs that proclaimed, “ Diddy Runs The City.” But to some of the lead runners Diddy didn’t necessarily run this city. One runner shouted out “ He must be an half an hour to an hour behind!” while another runner wrote, “ I beat Diddy “on his t-shirt. It is clear that he was not the best runner out there but he was one of the most important. He has attempted to raise money for charity and complete the grueling physical challenge despite a knee injury.

He trained for months on his own time and even at the Nike lab, where he had his own sneaker developed to fit his body movements. The equipment was supposed to aid his injury by adjusting the way he ran. Apparently he was well prepared mentally and physically for the race. He had the right people in Corporate America lined up to help the cause.

Daddy’s House in association with the Children’s Hope Foundation and a Host Committee comprised of top entertainers such as Jay-z, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ervin“ Magic” Johnson, and Russell Simmons all pitched in to raise the $2 million.

As for the day’s winners Margaret Okayo from Kenya came in first for the women and for the men Martin Lel, also from Kenya arrived first in line. They ran through all five boroughs starting from the Verrazano Bridge in Staten Island and ending in Manhattan’s Central Park. The sultry sun blazed on their backs while they faced a humidity of 98. The winners for the male and female divisions broke the course record with a time of 2:22:31 and 2:10:30. So did wheelchair division champions Krige Schabort and Cheri Blauwet who came in at 1:32:19 and 1:59:30. But no one in this race was a loser. A record breaking 34,662 participants crossed the finish line. Some were conservative while others wore flags of their homeland, colorful hats and wigs, and some even dressed in full costume or drag. What more can you want? It was a perfect race.

Along with now, the Marathon has a long and memorable history, especially to those who participate in the Harlem portion. Al Eford, a volunteer marshal of the race, says that he and many of his associates brought music to the race since the seventies. He explained that in those days Harlem had a bad reputation all over the world. So when runners from Europe, Asia, and other parts of the globe ran through the black community they would go back home and tell their families how much they loved Harlem. The music also brought inspiration to the athletes. “Ain’t no stopin’ us now” played in the background while Al Eford sang along. The DJ also put on “the eye of the tiger” and plenty of Bad Boy music.

Although all the hype about P. Diddy may have overshadowed the rest of the marathon, the cheers of fans all across the city created a unity throughout New York and the world for at least one day.  


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