Posted at 05:06 PM ET, 11/07/2011

New York Marathon: a flood of 47,000 people (Video)

Every fall, I always seem to wind up in New York City the weekend of the marathon. It’s completely by accident. I spend the day looking aslant at the foil-wrapped runners, grumbling to myself about the clogged streets.

New York City Marathon runners are greeted by a crowd of spectators. (Kathy Kmonicek/AP)

As much as I think it’s just dandy for folks to exercise, I have never understood the hoopla or why all these folks choose to spend a perfectly lovely fall morning torturing their body for 26 miles.

But my hardened heart softened ever so slightly by this video of the race. Put together by the MTA, it shows the flow of thousands and thousands of runners streaming over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The size and scope of the marathon is spectacular when taken in from above.

On Sunday, 47,000 people — or about one and half times the population of Juneau, Alaska — pulled themselves out of bed and pushed their bodies to the brink. (One even sketched himself as he did it.) It’s a great, gorgeous flowing river of humanity running because they can run.

Update: Man, I am officially a marathon lover now. I’m also a crumbling mess. Read the Lens blog on Joao Silva, the New York Times photographer who lost his legs in Afghanistan, and his race this weekend.

By  |  05:06 PM ET, 11/07/2011

Tags:  National, New York Marathon, New York City

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