NYC Marathon Opening Day – The excitement behind the scene!

As I posted yesterday, I was going to be part of the NYC Marathon Opening Ceremony, but in case you don’t know what it is, it’s a Kick Off party for the marathon, they bring some elite runners, some celebrities who will be running, there’s interviews, and it is all live. And as soon as it ends, the lottery is picked.

Anyway, the live transmission starts at 12 and I was asked to be there at 11 am. Love that they hold it in Columbus Circle, the .2 of the marathon!

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People were already lining up. If you are in the lottery you might get an email a few days before inviting you to be part of the Opening Ceremony, and the people there have a chance to get their name picked live!

Oh, HELLO.

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new york city marathon opening day (56) CARRIE tollefson

Transmission was all set up for live broadcasting!

Soon enough, all the lottery participants that rsvped and made it there were ready, all dressed in the NYRR shirts and with all fingers crossed…

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And the fun started… The MC was Victoria Brumfeld, an impressive athlete and also someone I work with!! She is one of the organizers of the NYC Tri and NYC Ironman and given that I am the triathlon manager for Team in Training… well, it’s a SMALL world!!! Even when there’s 10 million people in this little island!

new york city marathon opening day victoria blumfield

Ready to go on stage!

Two seconds later, I am, OF COURSE, screaming and jumping, trying to get this people pumped. They always respond! It was a gorgeous day to be there and, having done this marathon so many times, I get excited just thinking about it, even if I already qualified!

Then I talk and talk and tawk!

new york city marathon opening day (48) new york city marathon opening day (49) new york city marathon opening day (51)

Soon, we are down… Phew… I get sometimes nervous because I know I say a lot of stuff I sometimes shouldn’t, or I curse a bit much, and I don’t censor much either. But it went fine. People seemed moved and excited and some stopped me later to talk about the stuff I had said, it was really nice to be able to share and maybe inspire others. That’s always an honor.

We remained, there, by the stage, as we were asked to do little vide interviews soon. We see this guy:

new york city marathon opening day (26) james blake

Is that…?? Is that..?? OMG, yes it IS! How did I not know James Blake would be there AND running the NYCM?!?!?!? How? I love tennis, and mostly I love tennis for the men… hmmm. What is wrong with my life that I wasn’t on top of this?! Priorities, Elizabeth, PRIORITIES!!!!!

He goes up, selects a bib winner…

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okay, wake up, pay attention!!! ffffffffffffffffff.

I really wasn’t paying attention.

So, a few minutes later I have to ask around WHO on earth is that on stage??? I have no clue!

new york city marathon opening day (17) zeddie watkins

Who????

Ah, Ridiculously Photogenic Guy!!!! Apparently he IS real!

NYRR KNOWS how to do media…!

Now… head to head… what say you?!?!?!??!

new york city marathon opening day (20) ridiculously photogenic guy Zeddie Watkins

HUH??? who??? just say it!!!!!!!

Best part: Mary Wittenberg goes on stage, and they keep selecting bib winners.

new york city marathon opening day (8) mary wittenberg

Meanwhile, I see Kim Smith and she looks bored… We had met before a bunch of times, last time was a month ago at the Dinner with Champions when we spent some time talking about the course. She seemed to remember me (?!?) so we talked about Boston, the 5K and the hot marathon, and a lot of stuff, mostly boys…! hehe. autofoto!

new york city marathon opening day (64) kim smith

Meanwhile, in front of the stage, the live transmission is still going… Amani Toomer is being interviewed. No clue who he is. If it’s some kind of sport that is not Track and Field, Tennis or Soccer, I have NO clue.

Kim goes on stage, gets interviewed by Victoria, and selects one more lucky winner.

new york city marathon opening day (22) kim smith victoria brumfeld

Soon enough, too soon maybe, the live broadcast is about to be over and the lottery results are going to be picked… they gather all stars on stage to symbolically shoot a cannon with lottery results into cyberspace…

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Exciting right? Even more so if you got IN. The problem was that… the site seemed to have crashed for a few hours… And I was getting so many text, as if I could do anything about it… Some people found out because their credit cards got charged, some had to wait hours. But when we were there, names were scrolling in the screens… I can’t even imagine what it must be to see your name scroll by… Now, should we start planning?? Who is IN?

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