I placed this cache in honor of my very good friend George Oscar Cash, who competed in the famous New York City Marathon on November 4th! Although George and I first met in 2002, we’ve only really become good friends in the past year or so – which is how I found myself recently cheering him on in the final stretch of the crown jewel of New York’s running scene. From humble beginnings, the New York City Marathon is now one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. Organizers have angled the event into one of the five races that form the World Marathon Majors (along with Boston, London, Berlin and Chicago); New York now has a permanent hand in establishing the greatest marathoners in the world each year.
The start of the race was exciting - almost 40,000 people! George kicked off at around nine in the morning. In fact, as George charged up the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the West-most point of the entire race, I glanced up at the official clock the moment that he crossed the starting line – precisely 8:57:05 AM. Interestingly, instead of the usual digital display, officials had placed an oversized analog clock circa 1970 (the first year of the event) at the beginning of the course with beautifully ornate Hour and Minute indicators. I thought that was a really nice historical angle; I really had to hand it to the organizers.
Now, George is an avid outdoors enthusiast, hiking trails all around the world (although I’m sure he would admit he spends much of that time walking in tiny little circles, over and over and over). But he's quite an accomplished marathoner in his own right. And I gotta tell you, it was a real kick to watch George charging North across the finish line at 12:07:25 PM (a bit shy of his three-hour goal, but establishing a new personal best). Okay, maybe “staggering” is a little more accurate than “charging” – as he angled down the last few hundred yards of the course he was obviously exhausted, but I was still proud of him and gave him a huge hand just for competing (congratulations George)!
One of the coolest things about the New York City Marathon is that the finish line is right in one of New York's greatest treasures - Central Park. The above listed coordinates are the finish line of the 2007 race - *your* finish line is somewhere else in the park, hidden in the base of a tree. Keep an open mind and approach this problem from as many different angles as you can, and soon you'll have a small plastic waterproof container safely in hand.
Of course I am well aware that some of you are unsatisfied by the mere hunt, and also require the added adrenaline of the race (keeps with the spirit of this cache, yes?). For those focused on the more competitive angle, I have included FTF and STF gift cards good for credit at a local watch retailer - no further hints will be given until these prizes are claimed, so your fate is entirely in your own hands!