This list comes from a friend of mine. Substitute 'Chicago' for 'New York' and take out the part about hills and it's perfect for this weekend's race. My favorite: 'It’s the last mile and knowing you can do it.'

DEFINITIONS: What is 26 Miles 385 Yards?

It’s more than a race, it’s a state of mind.

It’s sore muscles.

It’s stiff legs.

It’s pasta parties and port-a-potties.

It’s a number and four safety pins.

It’s love

It’s hate

It’s glory.

It’s 20 miles of hope followed by six miles of truth.

It’s cramping muscles and aching legs.

It’s sweat on your forehead.

It’s tears in your eyes.

It’s anguish and agony.

It’s elation and ecstasy.

It’s blisters and black toenails.

It’s aching armpits and tender nipples.

It’s knowing better, but not caring.

It’s orange slices in the hands of kids.

It’s crumpled cups underfoot.

It’s smiling volunteers.

It’s screaming spectators.

It’s uphills and downhills.

It’s potholes in the pavement.

It’s messages on T-shirts.

It’s signs in the crowd.

It’s training programs.

It’s pace charts and splits.

It’s the wind in your hair.

It’s Uta and Cosmas.

It’s Joes and Jacks and Janes.

It’s doctors and lawyers and teachers and secretaries.

It’s tight turns.

It’s long straightaways.

It’s passing and being passed.

It’s the last mile and knowing you can do it.

It’s a warm hug at the end of the finish chute.

It’s a medal.

It’s a certificate.

It’s a photo crossing the line.

It’s success and failure.

It’s the ultimate test.

It’s never having to say you don’t try.

It’s 26 miles 385 yards of pleasure.

It’s 26 miles 385 yards of pain.

It’s the marathon.

It’s New York.

It’s more than a race, it’s a state of mind.

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