So on top of the Great New York Marathon Snub Of 2009, it seems there’s no photographic record of my first big run of the season. The indignities just don’t stop coming when you’re Jake, I guess.
See, I got up at freaking 5:00 in the morning on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend—which means I went to bed at 10:30 on the first night of a weekend packed with barbecues and parties and chatty brunches with high-powered celebrities, assuming I had been invited to any of those things, ahem—to run the Soldier Field Ten Mile run.
Aside from the lack of fun—and chatty brunches with high-powered celebrities—that it caused, the run was totally worth it. The weather was on the cool side of fabulous, which is actually even better than fabulous when you’re running. The runners were focused and easy to run with (most likely because they were serious runners who had enough training under their belts to run ten miles so early in the season). And the food before and after the race was plentiful and delicious. We even got free bottles of Muscle Milk®, which sounds kind of dirty but I get the feeling that’s on purpose.
Oh, and it finished on the freaking 50-yard-line of freaking Soldier Field. I’m a big ’mo who hates football and even I was impressed by the fact that I was standing on Soldier Field when the race was over.
Best of all, I beat my goal time by a whole eight seconds according to my watch. But when the official times were posted, I’d actually beat my goal time by a whole TEN seconds. Which makes me some sort of demigod in certain cultures.
But! Like in any big race, there’s an army of Joe Photo people all along the race route snapping your pictures, which you can eventually find and purchase online simply by searching for your bib number. And two weeks after the race, with all the photos ostensibly tagged and ready to be found, my bib number searches still turn up everyone in the race but me. Like these dudes:
I’ve even slogged through all the unidentifiable photos of guys who got snapped with their bib numbers obscured. And I’ve searched for individual segments of my bib number on the off chance that I was photographed with a hand in front of my bib—not that a thespian of my caliber would ever let himself be photographed in a moment of not-ready-for-his-closeup sloppiness. But just in case …
And still: no pictures of me.
So it seems that all I have to show for the race is my entrance receipt, my medal and my unphotographed bib. And the picture of those dudes who aren’t me. Which I guess I will treasure forever.