Barefoot Rick's New York City Marathon Report - November 4, 2007

The New York City Marathon. To runners and non-runners alike, the very name evokes a variety of emotions, memories, or possibly the dream of one day being part of this great event as either a runner or runner-supporter/spectator. I guess I had an idea of what to expect having ran the Boston Marathon several times and Chicago once. These large city marathons are a piece of work, to say the least, especially regarding the logistics of herding 38,000 runners as was the case on Sunday November 4, 2007.

I was pleased, to say the least, when I was accepted back in June to run this highly celebrated and popular marathon. It truly is an international event that spotlights our largest American city each year in the eleventh month. My wife was not able to go on this trip, but as I was getting ready to leave for the airport the Friday before the marathon, I received a call from Fox News Corporation in New York City. They had received one of my press releases that I have been sending out regarding my marathon running this fall for the Kansas City Rescue Mission. I was delighted to hear that they wanted to do a live spot the next evening (marathon eve) regarding my 50th marathon (32 sans shoes and barefoot) and my Soles For Souls donation drive for KCRM.

The trip to NYC was fine and I settled into my hotel Friday evening. Saturday I went to the expo and picked up my packet and then returned to my hotel to rest. That evening, FOX News sent a car to pick me up and to take me back after the interview. The interview was fun and went okay (I am told - see below or here) so then I returned to my hotel to get a good night's sleep. Next morning, I shared a cab to the Staten Island Ferry with 2 other guys from the hotel. The logistics of transporting the many thousands of us went well and relatively smooth as we ended up at our respective green, blue, or orange waiting areas for the marathon start. It was a little chilly but I was wearing some old running shoes and sweats that I pitched for the homeless right before the race.

We heard the cannon go off up on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge at 10:10 a.m. and anxiously awaited when our Green Corrals would start moving. We finally started toward the bridge and ended up crossing the start line about 12 minutes after the start. No worries since of course it was electronically chip-timed from when we crossed the start mats. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge seemed to go on for a long time. I believe it is nearly 1.5 miles long! We then entered Brooklyn where the crowds were fun and engaging. At about mile 9, we went through a very Hassidic Jewish area on Bedford Avenue. I could not resist witnessing for my Lord Jesus by singing "Baruch Hashem A Meshiah Yeshua -- Baruch Hashem Adonoi!" by the Messianic Jewish group Lamb. It is the only Hebrew I know but translated it means "Praise the name of Jesus the Messiah -- Praise the name of God!" They may have thought I was some silly "Goy" (Gentile) -- but no matter. If only one of them was looking for a sign from God on that particular day to find the true Messiah, then maybe their prayer was answered. Truly, I spoke the Word of which none can accuse me before God someday that I did not speak the truth to them.

I continued my way through the Burroughs, on through Queens and over the Queensborrough Bridge. The excellent echoing affect of running in the lower portion of the bridge gave a tunnel type resonance to my singing of hymns. I do enjoy sharing my faith and many around me encouraged me by saying "Keep it up, Barefoot Rick -- keep it up!" We continued into Manhattan and then back over the Bronx Bridge into the Bronx and then back over to Manhattan a couple of miles later. Winding through Harlem we entered Central Park at about mile 23 and continued on until emerging on 60th Street and Columbus Circle. We dove into the park again for the finish. Clock time for me was over 4 hours, but my official time was 3:55:10. I hurried out of the park, caught a cab to my hotel and then headed to the airport for a 5:10 p.m. flight back to Kansas City.

I am very glad I ran the NYC Marathon, but once may be enough for me. I have done the 3 biggest marathons in the country -- Boston, Chicago, and now NYC. Large marathons are nice, but I do prefer the smaller ones. Nonetheless, the memories of that November 4th will still be special as I remember all the great spectators and celebration as New Yorkers get behind a truly splendid event.


Marathon Pics!


Barefoot Rick's FOX News Live Interview! - November 3, 2007

Click Here for BEST RESOLUTION - Courtesy GodTube


Finish Time - 3:55:10 (8:58 Pace)
51st Marathon (26.2 Miles or Ultra Distance)
33rd Consecutive Barefoot Marathon Since April 2004

Place Gender
First Name Last Name Age Team State/
1/2 Mar.
10055 8195 777 11152 Barefoot-Rick Roeber 51M     USA 3:55:10 0:26:55 0:54:01 1:22:04 1:49:02 1:55:26 2:17:58 2:44:45 3:13:25 3:42:57 8:58

*I am a marathon runner and do not prescribe to a run/walk method for MY marathons. Likewise, I do not judge anyone else for "finishing" a marathon in whatever way they can propel themselves across the finish line, whether it be walking, crawling, etc. All marathon finishes are notable in their own regard.

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