2006_10_bearoutnyc.jpgIn a little more than two weeks, the ING NYC Marathon will take place. It's a little too late to sign up to run (unless you run for a charity - more here), but there are ways to get involved. One is to volunteer at the start of the race. Since the race starts early, volunteers are needed to help out at the start of the race in Staten Island - they will "help set up the refreshment areas and help corral the runners to the staring blocks." While it's an early, early start (4AM-ish), the volunteers will get bused back to Manhattan and get passes to watch the race at the finish line. For more information on volunteering, check here.

If you don't run but have wondered about the course, the New York Road Runners have also set up three mile audio guide for the last three miles of the marathon. Each podcast is $10, but it's an interesting novelty as there are four podcasts to choose from. There are four differently paced podcasts and each is narrated by a different celebrity:
- 6 mile pace - Catherine Ndereba, four-time Boston Marathon winner
- 7 mile pace - Anthony Edwards, Goose from Top Gun and Mark Green from ER
- 9 mile pace - Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, also presumptive governor, who runs in Central Park
- 10 mile pace - Model Kim Alexis - she's running her 8th marathon this year

Finally, a great way to join in the marathon fun is to stand along the route and cheer the runners. Have something soothing to drink handy, because you'll go hoarse from the cheering - seeing signs like "Cheer for Amy's Grandpa!" or a guy wearing a bear outfit can be inspiring.