Mile 8: The New York City Marathon’s Best Mile

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11/02/2010 3:25 PM |


(Consider this a late addendum to our 50 Best Blocks in Brooklyn.)

With the New York City Marathon on Sunday Times today runs a sneakily bittersweet profile of Michelle Randall-Williams, the NYC cop who’s volunteered to run a water station on 4th Ave between Dean and Pacific—Mile 8—since 1979. A bit further up the route, after the course turns onto Lafayette Avenue outside BAM, is Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, famed for playing the theme from Rocky for the duration of the race (before finally closing with “New York, New York” and a promise to see you next year nearly drowned out by the dropout van and streetsweepers). The Times‘s Fort Greene blog profiled the band this time last year.

I eagerly await next year’s Times profile of the late-middle-aged couple who stand at the corner of Lafayette and Vanderbilt, kitty-cornered from the band, handing out bananas for the entire race: him, in a barn jacket, on the curb, arm outstretched, a single banana in hand; she, behind him, holding a canvas bag, always ready whenever a runner grabs one (every time they succeed in giving a stranger a banana, they just beam at each other).

Other benefits to watching the marathon somewhere along Mile 8 (which the Marathon itself also recommends)? You can watch the leaders go by, then the serious amateurs, and then the people in viking costumes, and then retire to eat or drink unhealthily on DeKalb Avenue while watching the winners cross the finish line. Anyway.