We want to first thank Jonathan and Amir for taking the head-shots! Second, thank you, marathoners, for sharing your words of wisdom. Read what these marathoners had to say in the weeks leading up to the marathon below. If anything resonates with you, please comment!
Anyone committing to running NYCM in 2018?
"Through running, I have become emotionally and mentally sturdier. I’ve learned to push past uncomfortable limits and to me the marathon is the ultimate form of that. It has prepared me better for life.
I’m also excited to have a non-weight related goal. I spent most of adult life as obese woman and now it's great to do things that challenge me but that aren't about my physical appearance. I remember after a half marathon I asked a woman to take my picture and she told me that she would take several so that I could pick the ‘skinniest’ one. And I thought to myself - I just ran a half marathon! My body did exactly what it's supposed to do but somehow it always seems to come back to appearance. This marathon is about what my body can do and how it performs, not just how it looks." - Azura Mason
"It's not a job. It's fun. Don't beat yourself up if you don't meet your goals of the race. We run for fun and sometimes not meeting our expectations --we get so caught up in that and it takes the joy away from it. So always remember that." - Kevin Glover
"I'm really excited about seeing the city in a new way. That's part of why I joined Harlem Run - I'm not from New York so running takes me to places I haven't yet experienced." - Terry Kim
"I'm most afraid of not being able to live the fitness lifestyle because of health issues. Playing sports all my life as a kid - and finding this new love for running - growing up running felt like punishment (late-laps) but now running is a go to. So afraid my health will get in the way of my goals. Cheering is awesome - but i'm still yearning to be physically active like I used to." - J.D. Davis
"I'm excited about continuing my NYC marathon tradition ... I want to be one of those seniors with the number of marathons on their bibs.” - Dawn P.
"I'm excited because I really trained hard this time. I gave it my all. This year I'm running two marathons back to back. First Chicago and then NYC less that 30 days after. It's going to be epic. I look forward to telling my kids' kids about it all in the future. " - Larry Washington
"I'll be running the Chicago Marathon. It will be my 5th marathon and - dare I say it - I'm surprisingly the calmest I've ever been. Any nerves I'm experiencing revolve around the fact that anything can happen on race day. The 'unknowns' always get me! I just gotta be ready for whatever comes my way. Oh... and also the fact that I may be running the NYC Marathon four weeks later." - Ma Louis
"I'm very excited to run the NYCM for the 5th time in a row. This is in honor of my dad, Jose L. Rodriguez. Since the first time I told him I was running it he was so excited, he wanted to watch it on TV just to see if he could see me. Love you Dad." - Joanne Del Pilar
"In training and preparation I've been running for time but the fact that I have a running family makes me want to finish with them rather than for time. It's all about finishing together." - Jonathan Martinez
"Anxiety is definitely kicking in the closer it gets. I'm running the marathon to prove to myself I can. I'm excited to see people cheering and those who have been my cheerleaders all along. I'm petrified of cramps and all the things that could go wrong. I keep editing my goal time. Trying to anticipate everything but i'm embracing all those things I can't control." - Adalgisa Rivera
"This is my hometown, my city. I'm running because if this is going be my last NYC marathon I want my family to finally come out to see me run. Running has always been my own personal thing for the past 11 years. I've never shared this part of my life with them because I never thought they understood or could relate. I want them to finally understand why I have sacrificed so much of my life for this sport." - Talisa Hayes
"Training for the marathon has allowed me to change my lifestyle, learn new things, and get in better shape" - Max Lance
"When this photo was taken I'd just run 3 full laps of Central Park (18 miles). I never thought I could do that and swore repeatedly that I never wanted to try. The same is true of the NYC marathon. I'm excited (and also a little scared) by the whole process, by discovering what I'm capable of, and how I'm changing my own mind about things. I'm excited that my feet will carry me through all 5 boroughs of my city, and that my family and run family will be waiting for me at mile 22." - Elizabeth Perkins
"I am most excited and looking forward to lots of hugs before and after the NYC Marathon 2017." - Alma Nolasco
"This marathon is all about running smarter. This time around, I understand what the workouts mean and I'm not overdoing it. I'm hoping that all of this will make a difference on race day." - April Cargill
"I'm just trying to finish; it will be an automatic PR which is exciting. I'm really excited to see everyone along the course and soak it all in. I'm also trying not to get too competitive with myself. I want to finish and feel good; not finish and decide I never want to do it again." - Joshua Wessler
"I'm running the New York City marathon because this city is my home and if any place deserves my literal blood, sweat and tears, it's NYC.
I'm most excited about seeing my mom along the course 😊" - Karen Mahrous
"A marathon was never on my bucket list. It was a bit of an impulsive decision – one that I’m glad I didn’t have a chance to think through or I might not be on this crazy journey filled with 5 am runs, foam rollers, valid reasons for chocolate milk in the morning, and miles and miles of dedication, challenges, perseverance, friendship, and crew love...I’m excited for the marathon – but I’ve already discovered that my heart and mind and body can do a lot more than I gave them credit for. That’s a win." - Michele Damiano
"I'm working my way thru the 50 states - I've done 10 states so far and I average 2 a year. I'm excited for a challenging course." Kari-Ann Wanat
"I'm running my first marathon to follow in my dad's footsteps, to embrace the unknown, and to become a part of something bigger than myself." - Kristen Calgaro
"I'm running a marathon because it's big and it scares me. Sometimes I think about how I will describe my youth to my future grandchildren and I want them to know that I pushed past my limits and did what I didn't dream was possible. Running my first marathon terrifies me, but I know that it will change me for the better in every sense imaginable." - Robyn Burgess
"I'm most excited to say that I completed my 4th marathon with such pride and joy. Something I never ever thought I would say after dealing with my weight gain, to come this far is a feeling I can't begin to explain." - Natasha Alfaro
"Why am I running NYC? For the feeling of connection with the city. And I'm looking forward to the congratulations from strangers while I walk around sweaty and disgusting, wrapped in a tinfoil blanket."
"I'm running to see what this little 400 meters dash running body is made of. Catch you at the finish line 42164.81 meters." - Portia Dudley
"As some may or may not know running has been in my life since I was young. Running was always something I enjoyed and has molded me to be the person I am today. I have always wanted to run the NYC Marathon (on my bucket list) but thought I could never do it. It's something I hold very important like graduating college but its different because its something I enjoy and I want to do. So I am running this marathon for ME." - Michelle Ferreira
"I'm anxious. But super excited. All I keep thinking about is seeing people that I know and me accomplishing something that is bigger than me. Can't wait for that feeling!! My brother is running with me and i'm excited for that too." - Marisa Shuman
"I'm running the NYC marathon to check something off of my bucket list!" - Juliana Stinson
"I'm running the marathon because I have learned there is strength in trying." - Philippa Godoy
"Every year, for the past 10+ years, I've been a NYC marathon spectator. I always felt so excited for--yet envious of--those running. Each year I would plan to run, then never follow through. I'm so thrilled to be running my first marathon, here in NY, and finally cross this goal off my bucket list!" - Liz Rubenstein
"[I'm most excited about] The half-dozen strawberry-frosted donuts I'm going to scarf down at 3 in the morning before the race because I couldn't sleep." - Henry Zhang