Name: Birch Shambaugh
Profession: Information Technology
Race day tactics
You're running in Sunday's NYC Marathon. Have you run the marathon before?
Negative, nope, never.
Do you plan to pee off the side of the Verrazano Bridge? And what are you planning to do with this race?
Have never micturated off the Verrazano though I will make a point of it. I understand it to be a sound offensive strategy as well as a lucky talisman if you manage to strike a mariner. This leads directly into the most important strategy of the race -- avoid crossing on the lower deck at all costs.
Other than that my strategic points involve finishing, avoiding the dread chafe and, sadly, not deploying a heroic moon in each borough. As much as my every fiber desires to moon all five boroughs in turn on a single day, me thinks the charity I am running for would be none to impressed.
Will you be wearing standard runner's gear, or a costume? Are you worried about nipple chafe? And the 70 degree weather?
I'm running to raise money for Team for Kids [to donate, go here; you can enter Birch's entrant number, 60429, for donation referral] and will thus be decked in the Team for Kids mandatory outfit. I fear it'll be some horrifying day glow singlet affair. Otherwise I'd be running swaddled in my club's menacing colors of light blue and red. I'm also convinced that a proper headband and fake handlebar moustache will channel Prefontaine and inspire general 70's goodness; so I'm on the hunt for both before Sunday.
Nipple chafe, while not as onerous as the dread thigh chafe, is none the less a crafty adversary. I will take protective measures. Duct or athletic tape over the little fellers is a known anti-chafinator.
I interpret the anticipated 70 degree temperature as a wanton and malicious act executed against The Dukes of Flatbush by Los Compadres.
Are your friends cheering you in one location? Or are they using the pronged-attack approach, where they are staggered along the route?
Well, it's my dear friend the fabulous Paolo Audiberti's birthday brunch bash on Sunday. [Happy birthday you old rapscallion.] He happens to live in a building directly on the marathon route in Long Island City. I expect he, his equally fabulous lady, my darling betrothed and the rest of the monkeys to lob an enormous barrage of heckling, beverages, bbq and possible frilly unmentionables from their rooftop perch.
I hope to see other familiar faces along the way.
And how can other marathon watchers know to cheer for you? Any special requests?
You will know me by my roaring "AWOOOOOGAH". A heartily bellowed AWOOOOOOGAH in response, artistic heckling, beverages sprayed, undergarments tossed or a stylishly executed moon will all inspire extra racing quick-osity.
Tell us about the Dukes of Flatbush.
The Dukes of Flatbush "DOFB" is our fledgling running club. My friend Graham "The Ram" Johnson and I had been running races with the New York Road Runners Club for a while and became jealous of the many snazzy club uniforms we saw passing us by. We figured that forming our own club, and the requisite addition of our own snazzy uniforms, might make us fleet of foot as well. We live on opposite sides of Flatbush in mighty Brooklyn, hence The Dukes of Flatbush. Both Graham and I are running in this year's marathon.
The Dukes of Flatbush are dedicated by charter to Beer, BBQ and Running in equal parts. Consequently we remain none to swift. We also still don't have jaunty uniforms which doesn't help matters.
As Gothamist well knows, everyone needs a sworn enemy and the rival NYRR club Los Compadres is ours. Los Compadres are much to fast for their own good and count among their ranks El Bandito Rapido. El Bandito Rapido has the audacity to burn through whole half marathons in a Mexican wrestler's mask at a 6:40 mile pace. Damn you and your speedy ways El Bandito Rapido.
Do you normally run? What do you do when it's cold/hot/raining?
My partners and I run our own technology business and, as immensely rewarding as it is, the scene is never short on stress. Running is a bad-ass outlet for all that, keeps my head clear and my actions focused. Cold, hot, rain, snow; I dig it all. As my friend and DOFB teammate Jeff "Holler Atcha" Eckhouse is known to howl mid race - I LOOOOOVE TO RUN.
And what's your post-marathon plan?
First I'll enjoy a languid celebratory kiss from my massively patient and encouraging lady. Then I intend to do my damndest do make up for the many weeks of pints I've missed. There will be drinking of beer, probably throwing of beer and possible dunking of my barking dogs in beer.
To be honest I'm thirsty just thinking about it. Damn, thanks a lot. Parched over here.
Non-race day NYC:
Favorite subway line:
Best/worst gentrification trend:
Best - Target at Atlantic terminal
Worst - Loosing our loft because of the Atlantic Yards Ratner project.
Favorite places to run in the city:
Fort Green Park stairs, Prospect Park, Coney Island, Roosevelt Island, any Hash House Harriers Run
Favorite running gear shops:
Slope Sports on 7th Ave in Brooklyn. The owner Kirsten is super cool.
Restaurant worth running 26.2 miles for:
Birch, along with thousands of others, will be storming all five boroughs on Sunday to run in the ING NYC Marathon starting at 10 AM. To find out where to cheer on the runners, check out this PDF of the course map. Good luck, all you runners!
And to donate to Team for Kids on behalf of Birch, go here.