November 3, 2003
Exclusive: Sydney runs the city

marathon1.jpglow culture put in a bid for the exclusive rights to Sean P. Diddy Comb's ING New York City Marathon diary, but we lost it to The New York Post, which apparently offered Diddy more exposure and lighter editing. In lieu of the hip-hop/fashion mogul, our correspondent MATT SLONIM took dictation for the marathon diary of Sydney Goldfarb, an importer-exporter from New York's Upper West Side who ran beside Diddy for 18 of the 26.2 miles of the marathon.

I may not be Sean "Puff Diddy" Combs, but I too ran the New York City Marathon. My name is Sydney Goldfarb, and this is my story.

I'm a cancer survivor—I've been healthy for ten years and I've run the marathon for the last five. I'm 60 years-old and my second wife, Judith, says I have the body of a man half my age! This year was a very unique year for me, because I found myself running side-by-side with Diddy, who is a strong runner and very nice man. This, I say, despite the fact that he shit himself twice and complained constantly of nipple chafing. I told him from the very start it was foolish to run a marathon wearing platinum and white diamond nipple rings, but Diddy said to me, "These were made by Jacob the Jeweler, dog!" I don't know Jacob, but I take it he's a friend of Diddy's. I'm sure his friend Jacob would forgive him if he took them out.

Another difference between Diddy and myself: I never made love to Jennifer Lopez (although I would be open to it: Jenny, if you ever find yourself on my 'block,' come by for a nosh). I did, however, make love to Jennifer Weinman on the banks of a beautiful manmade lake at Catskills singles retreat in the mid-70s after my divorce. Looking back, I could call her J-Weins, especially since she whined the whole time about a splinter she got in her back when we did missionary against a tree stump.

Where was I?

Oh, yes. Running beside Diddy. Like I said, he's a wonderful runner. But I must tell you, it was very annoying to run near him and his bodyguards. Several times, his very large, very mean looking guards stepped into my stride and threw me off. Also, several times, his manservant Farnsworth hit me with the umbrella he held over Diddy's head for miles 1 through 9. It was also difficult to focus on my runner's high when Diddy was on his cellular phone for most of the race, shouting at a foreman in Honduras to double productivity before the Holiday shopping season, talking to several women he called 'boo' about 'sexing them up,' and placing an advance order for champagne for 20 at a restaurant called Justin's. I pride myself on being able to concentrate under even the most difficult circumstances—I once managed to do the entire New York Times crossword puzzle (in pen, of course) during my nephew Ari's bris, but this, I must tell you, distracted me to no end.

Then there were all those facacta kids in Harlem crowding around him, grabbing at him, getting in my way towards the end. We're running a marathon here, kids! Or didn't you notice? But don't get me wrong: those poor kids have it so bad in Harlem. Racism is a terrible thing—dreadful. It's no wonder they rob white people all the time. I'm not a racist, I promise you. My wife and I give $150 to the United Negro College Fund every year because a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

I'm proud that Diddy brought attention to the marathon, but I must tell you, he took much more credit for running this marathon than I have for the last five years. And I'm a cancer survivor, did I mention that? I didn't have a fancy advertising campaign to promote my participation in this run. I did, however, get a very nice iron-on T-shirt from my son-in-law Jordan that said "SYDNEY RUNS THE CITY" at a carbo-load party on Friday night. I would've worn the shirt to the race, but I didn't want to get it stained with urine and nipple blood.

By the 15th mile, Diddy seemed to have some difficulty with his knee. I suggested to him that he see the Chinese fellow I go to on Mott Street for acu-pressure. This man is amazing. I can't understand a single word he says, but he's covered in my HIP plan and he's two doors down from a wonderful little dim sum place. Diddy told me he had access to the best doctors money could buy, but I asked him, "Can you get delicious shrimp dumplings from those fancy-pants doctors?" He did not answer, but I assume that was a no.

One amazing thing about running next to a celebrity—even one I hadn't heard of until this week—was that you never expect them to smell as bad as they do. Diddy was sweating profusely; he smelled like an old gym sock. It reminded me of the time I took a schvitz with Leonard Nemoy at the 92nd Street Y. Another pro sweater, that Nemoy! But what a learned man. He could go on and on about anything—history, politics, the Torah. He was so much more than just Mr. Star Trek!

What was I saying?

Oh, right. In the end, we all run for our own reasons. I run to challenge myself and to feel alive after the pain I suffered in my life. I run to make my children proud. My second wife, Judith, says it's a big turn on to see me running. Diddy says he ran for children and I believe him, but he also ran for a whole lot more. Like the 37,000 other runners that day, I walked away with a medal and some T-shirts, but Diddy made it to the cover of the New York Post, got a special on cable television, and managed to become the living embodiment of this decades-old event. And he didn't even have to win! He didn't even place very well for a man his age!

But I'm not here to criticize. I say mazol tov to Diddy, but I hope that next year if he wants to drum up attention for himself, he'll stick to what he does best, like taking old songs and making them new again, and throwing expensive parties in the Hamptons where white people can safely mingle with rappers. Who knows, if I play my cards right, maybe old Sydney Goldfarb will be invited! I have a white seersucker suit and I can bring some nice Nova from Zabar's!

So, Diddy, you did it: you ran the city. Now, can we have it back, please?

Posted in a Satirical, Shallow fashion.

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