The Last Person to Finish the New York Marathon

The Last Person to Finish the New York Marathon

Large crowds of journalists, TV reporters, and regular folks await the first runners to finish the New York Marathon. But what about those competitors who finish last? The video below is about those people who arrive at the finish line running, walking, or being pushed in a wheelchair many hours after the journalists have gone home.

Watching this, I cried from beginning to end. Why?

Cause in the race of motherhood, I often feel like one of these final finishers stumbling across the finish line at 10:30 PM.

One mother cooks better than me.

Another mother is more patient with her children than me.

Another mother does more fun stuff with her kids than I do.

Another mother has a cleaner house than me (not much competition there though).

Another mother is a kinder person than me.

Another mother knows more Torah than me.

Another mother is thinner than me.

Another mother is smarter than me.

Another mother is prettier than me.

Another mother dresses better than me.

Another mother is happier than me.

Another mother is wiser than me.

Another mother does so much more than me, and she does it far better in every possible way!

But when I cross the finish line at the end of every day, way behind those other mothers, my kids are there waiting for me…

“Other mothers have their strengths. But you are the only one we love. Thank you, Eema, for running the race today, again, for us.”


  1. Just curious – how many other mothers have such an amazing and inspiring site for Jewish moms? I think you certainly win the marathon first place on that one!

  2. I loved it!! I usually feel that “marathon mood” and dont like it at all because sometimes feel i wont be able to make it. The hardest is when the other competitors are also me! So i compete with myself and it is son tireying…. i have to Work on that! We always get to the final line
    And agree!! You and your blog are gold medal

  3. Messy Closets

    by Bracha Goetz

    Some women have shiny floors and messy closets.
    Some women have grimy floors and tidy closets.
    Some women have shiny floors, tidy closets, and thrown-together
    Some women have grimy floors, messy closets, and really
    put-together outfits.
    Some women have shiny floors, messy closets, thrown-together
    outfits, and very fancy …

    But there’s one thing few women have,
    ‘Cause it’s a quality that’s rare.
    Some women only look within themselves,
    And they don’t constantly compare.
    For who can judge another?
    And yet we do it all the time.
    Who knows how mitzva closets sparkle?
    Whether or not those floors shine!

    • I absolutely love your songs and perspective! And Chana Jenny…i am totally with you. Yesterday was a hard day! Only day off of work and too much work to get done. Which job should i start first?? I could sit and think about the exact words you said above.
      Thankfully at the end of the most of the work got done!

    • I love this poem, I think we all have a yetzer hora to compare ourselves to others and be judgmental towards ourselves or others (even if we never verbalize it) We don’t know what handicaps are impeding others and have no idea of the effort required. I know that each child wants to have his/her own mom to love and would not be happy having to get someone else to fill that role.
      This past winter I went to the Miami marathon and half marathon because my grandson was running for Friendship Circle! The mood is amazing. I am tempted to join just to say that I did the half marathon even though I don’t run. Walking is worth it. As I am constantly telling my students you only have to compete against yourself and do a better job this time than last time.

    • love this, thank you bracha

  4. Dezaree Haviland

    I really needed this today. Thank you, as a non-Jewish mother learning to live a Jewish lifestyle, these reminders of grace truly touch my heart, that is often on the brink of crying these days. Thank you so much.

  5. B”H

    As a mother, a runner, a baalat teshuvah, and a teacher–I loved this! We can all go the distance with G-d’s help and perseverance. If you ever need some extra inspiration, I recommend spectating (even briefly) at a running race–or running any distance in one.

    Many thanks!

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