As part of the lead up to the New York City Marathon, a trio of decorated runners spent some time Thursday with city school kids.
European champion Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez joined Yolanda Caballero, a Colombian Olympian, and wheelchair athlete Rafa Botello at Manhattan's New Design School to talk about their sport.
"I think that for the kids that are already there right now mentally that identified themselves as runners, I think to see professional athletes that are running in the marathon, we've drawn a map on our wall that we track the marathon progress that we've been doing throughout the year, and so to actually see it and to see the people involved in it, I think probably makes it that much more real for them," said John Johnston, a gym teacher at the New Design School.
Meanwhile, runners that will be lining up on the Verrazano Bridge on Sunday checked in and picked up their bibs at the Javits Center.
More than 45,000 participants are expected to take on the 26.2-mile run through the five boroughs.
The marathon is returning after a one year hiatus because of Hurricane Sandy.