Marathon Fever

Normally, I start getting Marathon Fever around the two-weeks-to-go mark. I check the weather religiously, I create my playlist, I check the race website daily for information, I start planning out race day down to the second. It is a magical time that only comes once or twice a year--kinda like daylight savings (which happens to coincide with the NYCM). However, this time around the Fever has set on about two weeks early. Why? Well, I saw this in the Times Square subway station:

At first I thought "whoa, this is really early for the Marathon." But then I realized that it was October 1 and new subway ads go up around the first of each month and will stay up for a month (well, you could buy more time, but in most cases you're only up for a month at a time). So ads that are date-sensitive to November 1 would be going up that day. If my internal cues weren't enough, now I would have daily external reminders that the race is less than a month away.

Over the next couple of weeks I saw more and more ads:

There's even a creepy one for the NBC broadcast of the race, featuring a baby-faced Ryan Hall in his best "give me your effing wallet or I will cut you" pose:

There was also an ad for the Poland Springs Kick-off run (held the weekend before the race), you know, for those five runners in New York who didn't know about it:

And yesterday, while walking around Brooklyn, we even saw street light banners lining the course:

As someone who has worked in advertising longer than he cares to admit I find it really cool how the NYRR uses advertising to provide a backdrop for the race. They don't need to advertise that the race is going to happen: the bib numbers were given out long ago and, in general, spectators know the race date well in advance. NYRR uses its advertising budget to really help build buzz and excitement for the approaching race--essentially the experience I've written about here. Imagine if there were no posters, no banners, no signs. How boring would that be? There would be no anticipation, no tease, just a race on Nov 1.
Well done NYRR. Well done.


Irish Cream said...

OMG OMG OMG!! I am so happy you took pictures of all of that because I am missing all of the excitement down here in Mickey-land! I SO wish I could make it back for the race :(

But holy crap! Getting really close now! YAAAY!!

Adam said...

EEEK! I would have a constant feeling of a jittery stomach all day long if I had to see that stuff all the time!

Going to be a BLAST.

Jess said...

How fun!

But, I didn't realize the marathon was on Nov 1st. That kinda spoils the Halloween debauchery.

Biscuitman said...

How is your training going now that you are into your taper? Must be hard to contain that nervous energy now the buzz of the marathon is building.

Ted said...

Don't even think about turning back one hour while you are running in the NYC marathon. That's cheating !