This blog post will be about my experience as the Hungarian Flag bearer at the New York Marathon’s Opening ceremony. If you want to read about my time at the Expo you can read it on here 🙂
So it’s all started a few months ago, in the summer time I’ve found an application form at the marathon’s website about becoming either the flag bearer or a delegate. I thought I’ll try my best and apply for the Flag bearer position. In September to my surprise I’ve got the email that they have selected me as the Hungarian flag bearer.
Hubby and I decided to get to Central park way before the suggested time, which was 4pm. Because mainly we wanted to have a look around at the Pavilion. Just before 4pm I said goodbye to hubby and sent him towards to the spectators area. We got him a free ticket to the grandstand seating at the Expo so he will be able to watch the whole ceremony in the first row 🙂
He had an awesome view 🙂
So 4pm came and i was petrified, I never done anything like this before and had no idea what to expect. Never met with the fellow Hungarians so I was even more nervous.
As the flag bearer I wasn’t able to carry a bag with me, so was great that I had my new York marathon pouch, my passport and phone fitted in perfectly. Hubby had the camera so we were all set. At 4pm promptly I was able to go into the starting area, had a passport check and they made sure I was on the list. Went to find the volunteers with the massive flags. Told her many name and she crossed me off from the list and gave me my flag, oohh and also received a surprise present. All flag bearers received an Official Opening Ceremony Scarf. You can’t buy this at the shops so I was even more happy. When I got my flag I went to find our country sign and smaller flags. Still no other Hungarians were around Met with a lovely guy from Honduras , he was by himself as well. So we took photos of each other and had a great chat about the marathon.
Slowly the Hungarians started to appear and it turned out it was 14 of us, 1 flag bearer and 13 delegates 🙂
The whole ceremony didn’t start till like 5.30pm so we had a long time to wait, but at least we had the option to chat with each other and get to know each other.
When it started the countries were going out in alphabetical order, and the announcer guy announced all flag bearers and had an interesting story about the country.
Ready to march.
Hungary ‘s interesting story was: that we will have 30 runners on the day, and every summer olympic we attended we got at least 1 gold medal 🙂 Impressive, I think.
So when we marched down till the end , the delegates had been sent to a seperate area to continue their street party with the other nations. Me as the flag bearer was sent back to the top and been told to send on the side of the marching route and wave the flag as the rest of the countries walking down. Have to say it was totally amazing.
It really felt like we were famouse people and got loads of love from the spectators.
USA marched in last and they got the most and loudest roars, but I’m not surprised because it’s their home.
When they were done the massive fireworks started and they played Alicia Keys – New York song. Amsolutely amazing! Everybody was singing and dancing along.
When it was all done I had to go back to the starting area to return my flag. When i was done with that I got a unique pin badge saying ” New York Marathon 2017 Opening Ceremony, Participant “. All these little presents here and then made the experience even better.
Scard for the Flag bearer, flag for the spectators, Pin badge for everybody
Close up photo of the pin badge.
When they hit the gong, the marathon weekend officially started
It was a long and tiring day but if I can give you one advice, please apply to be part of the opening ceremony if you running the race in the upcoming years. It was awesome and you definitely wont forget it 🙂
I’ve made a short video about the whole opening ceremony, which you can watch below.
My next blog post will be about the race day it self, so please keep tuned and thanks for reading.