It was less than a week ago I was on a flight to New York City. I had set up volunteering at the #TSCNYCMarathon & was very excited to go & hopefully see friends. The energy of the race is so fun, even if you aren’t running. To work the race number pickup & chat with runners from around the world is a blast.
While on the flight up on Halloween morning, I was trying to tie up loose ends on why I kept getting notifications for only 1 day of volunteering, (when I’d put in for two). Long story short, after about 3 emails & a confirmation that it would be fixed, I was changing my hours of volunteering on my social pages. After posting the changes on FB, I got a reply from a contact in Israel, Ron Golan, mentioning that a running conference was taking place, once again. Because I was on taxi-in to JFK & about to get my bags, I didn’t watch the link of the video. I was just wanting to get off the plane and deal with the trains to NYC. I had hoped Jordan was going again because he’s fun.
I went last year to the conference, & had a ball, and even drove over to Jerusalem to check out the holy lands. I knew if I could get on a flight there, I’d look into accommodations. Tel Aviv goes out full, (this I knew from my friends at work that are Hebrew speaking flight attendants who work the flight often). .
After getting to the city, I was on a trek to find my friend George. but before I even thought about going over to the RunCenter, I needed to drop my bags at a friends place in the UWS. I wasn’t staying with her, but it was a great place to store my bags & I was grateful for the help. Probably the best thing about that muggy & rainy morning was that I was able to chase down a senior lady outside the CVS who had left her phone in the cart next to mine In the store. I had gone to CVS to get Halloween candy, a diet Mountain dew & a few things before going the RunCenter. This lady was hard of hearing, and I told the guy at the CVS Checkout counter to watch my cart because I just wanted her to have her phone back. I know the “passersby” at the corner of west end and 71st thought I was a fool, running down the street yelling , “m’am, M’am, you left this” to a woman who was hard of hearing. It was a half a block run, but I caught up to her & she was glad to get her phone back. When I got back to CVS, all my things were intact. I trusted the guy running the counter, as I’d seen him there before on previous visits,, and there was a camera to record anyone jacking my stuff.
When I got to the RunCenter, the guys sent me straight to the Javits Center. I had just missed George, but was told to find him there and not to expect it to be easy. (I already knew this). I merely wanted to catch up.
When I got off the escalator at the Javits Center, there was a man standing outside of the expo, & he asked how my day was going. I noticed his “Jerusalem Marathon” logo on his shirt, so I asked him if he knew Ron Golan and the people in Tiberias, (and about the conference w/Jordan). Oddly enough, (at least to me), he knew of them all. He said he’d been invited earlier that week & was going. After about 3 minutes of chatting & finding out how small the world is, we ended up at the booth for the Jerusalem marathon. What are the chances? It was so weird to me. The first person I’d chat with at the Javits center knew the man that sent me the link to the conference on taxi in from my flight that morning. Such coincidence and we all were laughing at the Jerusalem marathon booth.
After tooling about 5 or 6 booths, and inviting them all to the Gate River Run, I decided I needed to get rolling over to Stamford, CT where I’d be staying the first night of my visit. I’d gotten a room off of hotels.com. The next two nights would be with my dear friend from middle school who I’ve stayed in touch with since. ( Her husband was leaving for China the day I got into CT, so it was better for everyone that I’d show to her house the next day).
I knew that leaving the Javits center Thursday, that I’d be back over to the Runner’s World booth at some point to hopefully meet up again with Kit Fox. He had published a book, Mighty Moe, and I wanted to chat on video about it, and the race headquarters for Jacksonville, Florida (1stplacesports.com). I liked his enthusiasm and he knew of an outstanding legacy editor, Amby Burfoot. (We got the video done in five minutes on Saturday, which was all the time I had. Check my Instagram or Twitter pages at @bethadair13 , if interested).
I was effectively fried when I got to Stamford. The stress of getting up at 3 through the trains in the city and down stairs at the Subway, and deal with the city traffic on Halloween, all caught up. I decided to take an hour walk around Stamford and hit the hay early. Before doing that though, I checked the video on the link I’d been sent that morning. There was Jordan Metzl chatting on the video about the conference and my very favorite skeletal prototype, “Rex” in the background. I smiled and knew I’d make the trip to Israel if there were seats open. I travel standby, and go on available space.
I know Jordan through my contacts with Runner’s World Magazine. The first meeting w/him was when I had made a trip to a Running Strong clinic several years ago, and I remember getting a few of his books and also some by Meb. At the book signing, Jordan asked where my books were. I hadn’t budgeted for my own, (or more than 3 of his books and 3 of Meb’s books), too. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone by not buying more, and was trying to motivate a few guys from my running club at work (one a paralympic runner). With taxi’s, subways, buses and all kinds of expenses to get to the conference, I was glad he wasn’t offended, neither was Meb. I needed to get a magazine signed by Meb, too, for a kid who looked up to him.
I have a good time. The volunteer adventure was just that, an energetic blast:-) I made people laugh, got pictures with any runner who wanted one and took pictures of runners who were alone but wanted proof they were in corral 100-1,999). I joked I was also running “PR for race number pickup”. One of my favorite families was from Spain. Two men were running and brought in 8-9 members of their family to watch the race. That was an expensive trip, plane tickets, accommodations and his wife said “get a picture with this chicas”, so funny! I was in their photos.. It was important to me to do race number pickup this year, as once I’d made a trip to a race and the peeps working the number pickup could’ve cared less I’d traveled to get to their race. (Like money grew on trees for hotels or it’s easy to schedule time off). It was a learning experience that if I ever worked a race number pickup, I’d thank everyone making the trip (even if they were locals). I did that at the Runner’s World Half and Festival back in 2017. I remember there was a guy then who’d driven all night to get from the outskirts of Boston to make the race in PA. It was “off the chain” dedication to make his work schedule and running schedule work that week. A “work horse” is used to pulling an allnighter. It’s like studying for an exam in college, or in my job, when you get a weather delay and it adds an additional six hours to the 8 hour flight you only thought you’d be working. It still shows their passion for the sport.
I knew I’d be revved to work harder after being around “gung ho” New Yorker’s and sure enough, I was. I never caught up to George, but did get a nice email before leaving the city from him that he was tied up and we’d catch up again, soon. Once I finished my volunteering both days, I’d head to my friends place in CT. I picked up a trip to London to fly out on marathon day and know that I’ll be in the city for the race again next year. It’ll be the 50th, and full of excitement.
2020 will be a blast of a year. I’m excited already. I’ll be checking out the conference in Tiberias (running-medicine.co.il), and the Stadium Blitz clinics throughout the year, too. I’ll be training for my first ever bikini fitness contest using the Bill Phillips concept, and adjusting my weight training to get my body shaped up better. I may have to hire a trainer for a few sessions, as over the years I’ve gotten into a chain of habit, and it might be time for an adjustment. With my travel schedule, staying fit is essential. I’m 52, and am always looking for a new goal. My fitness keeps me going and I like fun new projects. It’ll be fun to put the energies into new projects.
What are your goals for 2020? I hope they are well planned and easy to attain, and if not, you have it mapped out well:-). Keep up the positive vibe with a lot of laughs:-)