Two Terrace sisters recently took on the ING New York city marathon – one on a broken foot, and the other as a first timer for a full marathon.
They joined more than 46,000 other runners on Nov. 6 for a 42 km journey through the five burrows of New York City.
And both Sue Simpson and Birgitte Bartlett were full of praise for the international marathon, and say given the chance, they would do it again.
For Bartlett, it was her first-ever full marathon, something she had made a deal with her daughter to complete before she was 60. For Simpson, the marathon was a challenge as she ran with a sore foot – which she later discovered to be a broken foot.
Simpson said it was during her last practice run in Terrace that she noticed a pain in her foot, which was slightly inflamed. However she simply loosened her laces and continued running. The pain continued throughout her journey to New York City, and once there Simpson had her foot taped up.
The next day while she was walking Simpson said she felt a little snap in her foot, and immediately the pain increased and she knew that she was in trouble. However, a visit to a physiotherapist resulted in a recommendation that she should remove the tape, and would probably be fine to participate in the race.
“I knew when I started the race that I did not think I could run it,” Simpson said, adding she told her sister to go ahead, and run without her.
“It was painful every step.”
Remarkably, Simpson said, in the end it was easier to run then walk, she thinks because when running her foot spent less time on the actual pavement.
“I just took it a mile at a time,” Simpson said, noting in the face of some runners who were participating on crutches or with other disabilities, it became easier to ignore the pain in her foot.
Simpson said she also got caught up in the atmosphere of such a large, international marathon, where many runners dressed in the flag colours of the countries they were representing.
“It was the most interesting race I have ever been to,” she said.
Simpson ended with a time of 5:01:43, which she said is her worst time running a full marathon, but considering the circumstances of a 42 km race on a broken foot, not bad at all.
Bartlett said when her sister called her with the offer of the New York City marathon she was onboard right away.
“I couldn’t refuse, it was on my bucket list,” Bartlett said, explaining the first full-marathon is a huge accomplishment for any runner.
She had recently made a deal with her daughter Mary that they would each run a full marathon before they hit milestone birthdays of 30 and 60.
Bartlett recently ran with her daughter and husband in the Victoria City Marathon in the half-marathon event, where her daughter had completed a full marathon.
For the New York City marathon, she ran with a time of 4:40:06. a time Bartlett says she is happy with.
Along with the marathon was the chance to travel to the big apple, something Bartlett said appealed to her.
“New York is New York, it’s beautiful there,” she said.
The ING New York City Marathon is a world-calibre event, which draws around 100,000 applicants annually. Applicants are largely decided through a lottery process, but Bartlett and Simpson were able to purchase their entrance through a package deal that included flights and a hotel in New York City.
Runners were bussed to the starting line on Staten Island where they continued to run through Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx before finishing in Manhattan’s Central Park.