NYC Marathon: A Runner’s—and Singer’s—Dream

Karla Bruning will sing "American the Beautiful" at the start of the 2010 ING New York City Marathon. Photos by Phil Hospod.

After four months of training, five races, four physical therapy appointments, one x-ray and one MRI, it’s finally here: the ING New York City Marathon. Tomorrow I’ll toe the starting line on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge with 45,000 other runners.

But I’m not only running; I’m singing too. New York Road Runners has asked me to kick off the wheelchair and professional women’s races with “America the Beautiful.”

It’s an honor for a singer to be asked to perform at any major sporting event like the New York City Marathon, but as a singer who also happens to be a marathon runner, it’s like having your cake and eating it too. Singing for athletes who are able to accomplish what most of us only dream is humbling and a privilege. I’m already anticipating getting shivers, and not from the cold.

It’ll be a busy day. A 5:30 a.m. bus will whisk me to the start village, where I’ll pick up my credentials and head directly to the starting line on the bridge. I’ll sing for the wheelchair competitors around 8:15 a.m. and then for the professional women around 9 a.m. Then I head down from the bridge to get into my corral by 9:40 a.m. for my start (back on the bridge) at 10:10 a.m. Oh yeah, and then I run a marathon. Phew!

But this is the moment I’ve been training for. This is the moment we’ve all been training for. We’ve all ridden the roller coaster called “Marathon Training.” We’ve been to hell and back, we’ve suffered the agony of injuries and relished the ecstasy of euphoric long runs. We’ve PR’d in shorter training runs, hoping they’ll translate to the marathon. And we’ve done it all with the same goal in mind: to get to the starting line.

So here we are. We’re running for charities. We’re running for loved ones. We’re running for teams. We’re running for ourselves. Let’s go out there and enjoy it.

Good luck and Godspeed!

Karla Bruning is an award-winning journalist and running nerd. She has completed three marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning. To listen to an interview with Karla, check out The Marathon Show, available for streaming or download on BlogTalkRadio and iTunes, or listen to a panel of runners, including Karla, discuss the ING New York City Marathon.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


11 2010

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  1. 1

    no way! i remember you singing! nicely done and way cool. how did you do on the run?