|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.
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.
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