Back in September, when we talked to New York Times "Abstract Sunday" cartoonist Christoph Niemann about his plans to run and live-draw the NYC marathon simultaneously, he was understandably a bit unsure of how the whole thing would play out. Today, we caught up with Niemann post-marathon to see how he was feeling.
"I'm actually not in too much pain, it's the most beautiful surprise!" he laughed. Niemann alternated between walking and running throughout the race, slowing down to draw whenever he had an idea. Overall, Niemann completed about 45 drawings, which he live-tweeted throughout the race here (and here, in a spillover account he set up mid-race) over the course of six hours and ten minutes. (A selection will be published on the Times blog today.) He borrowed a lightweight backpack from his mother, outfitted it with a piece of cardboard as a "table," and flipped it around to his chest to draw every few minutes. "Initially, I thought I would run more, but then I realized the whole point was to do drawings—if I kept running, I didn't have time draw, so whenever I had an idea, I just slowed down because I was afraid I'd lose it," he explains.
Niemann is new to marathons, so we asked if he would consider ever running and drawing again. "There was one moment when we were first starting, that was just so wonderful—I was by myself on the Verrazano Bridge, and I just thought to myself, 'Why am I mixing this up with work? It's so wonderful to experience on its own.' So I might just want to run the marathon next year!"