4 standouts from the NYC Marathon


I ran my first New York Marathon in November and am excited to think back and ponder some things that really stood out for me. This was my second marathon – the first being the Safaricom (Lewa) Marathon in Kenya.


The crowds of supporters in New York are famous. The crowds at the Lewa Marathon, well, let's say for much of the route the giraffe outnumbered the humans. So I was expecting huge crowds through New York, but nothing prepared me for the volume, intensity and passion that the crowd brought with them.


I ran as part of the team supporting the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. We flew Jacob Lemaron out from Kenya to run with us and for the 2 days before the race, we walked Jacob around the streets of Manhattan. Jacob was dressed somewhat traditionally – and Stand out 2 was the number of people stopping him to take his picture. Really? I thought New Yorkers just dealt with all things unique and unusual….


There is often an “odd man out.” So, it’s quite a performance to run New York – aside from the 26.2 miles. For me – like many – it involved a 430am wake up, drive to the train, train to Penn Station, subway to the ferry, ferry to Staten Island, walk to the corral, corral to the start – start at 1005am. That’s about 5 1/2 hours. And for me – like many – it was one amazing, bonding, surreal experience. I stood at the start next to a man, the “odd man out,” who couldn’t stop cursing and complaining about the commute to the start.


My immense sense of gratitude. Finishing that distance made me feel amazing, but in no way did I feel it was only ME. The hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and visitors that carried me through the distance and my many friends who sponsored me to reach my goal of $5,000 for my charity. My Kenyan running buddies that got me into this, my New York (Japanese) running buddy, my best friend who was there practically every step of the day, and of course my lovely wife Yassi and kids. Yassi and the kids for putting up with my never-ending training, as well as giving me that boost just before the 59th St Bridge – boosting me over the bridge and through the second half of the marathon. I am so grateful to you all!

And with my incredible experience, I bring it back to my profession. I think back to the supporters, mentors, as well as the random bus attendants and dish-washers who helped me get to where I am now. I think of the odd men out – the challenges that come our way – and how we move beyond them, while taking their lessons with us. And I think about how often I pause, pause to give thanks.


Moneys raised helped support the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which works to protect the legendary ecosystems and astounding biodiversity of East Africa through conservation that directly benefits local Maasai communities. Safari with them, join a Simba Circle or Adopt a Project.