2014 Boston Marathon
This year was very different because of both The 2013 Boston Marathon, and my injury. I took my time, I took more pictures, I stopped when I wanted. I noticed more and soaked it all in. It did add to the 26.2 mile interactive party that is The Boston Marathon.
There will be many references to people (and their handles) who participate in the forums on Runner's World On Line (RWOL). It's a great place to meet like-minded runners and we have fun there in the dailies.
Now, I want to recognize so many...
In the 5 prior years I've run Boston, I always stayed near the starting line (Marlboro, North of Hopkinton). This year I stayed much closer to Boston and for the first time took the typical busses. They were less crowded this year than in the past (based on my friend's knowledge) at the time we boarded. The drive was nice because of the runners, the conversation and natural ever-present energy that typifies all aspects of The Boston Marathon.
Arriving a bit earlier had it's advantages with slightly shorter lines for most everything.
This year the plan was simple... Get Boston medal number 6, Have fun and Don't increase the injury. To that end, I planned to slowly run the first four and walk much of the rest.
The Start - Mile 4
Since I was in the last corral (wave 1), there weren't that many to pass me... but that would change. :-) The crowd support started off as "merely" great... somewhat like it usually is. Within a few miles, that would change too. As planned, I ran the first 4 slowly.
Mile 5 - 12
I ran up all the hills, and walked down hills. I alternated on many of the flats. When people were around, I spent time high fiving SO MANY, and enjoyed riling up the crowds. It was great fun.
Somewhere in the middle of this segment, I felt a rush of wind coming from behind, moments before wave 2 just BLEW by me. I could have sworn that I heard wave 3 revving up in the background. hahahaha... FAST CROWD INDEED!
Somewhere in this time, DrBart (participates in RWOL forums) came along side me. What a fun time it was to chat with her, see that she and bandit were doing well, and just enjoy the run together. Thanks for pausing in your run Amy!
ShreveRunner (participates in RWOL forums) stopped by for a minute. Thanks man! Britinoz also said hi as he zoomed by. There were SEVERAL who were either strict lurkers (to RWOL) or if they had a handle, they didn't participate much, yet stopped to say hi. I appreciated each one of you and learning a little from each. I ran for quite a while with one of them which was fun. Thanks!
Mile 13 - 16
Oh, the scream tunnel! Wow, what a GREAT segment.
Just before the scream tunnel, NoCoRunner (participates in RWOL forums) slowed to say hi for a while. Thanks man! Was great to see you at the FE and great to chat on the course.
After the incredibly fun scream tunnel, I was looking for the steep drop, and there it was, along with the significant climb that follows it. Not hard work this year. Awesome crowds to power this on too.
Mile 17 - 22
THANKS to whoever it was that gave me the large can of beer! That hit the spot! I heard comments like "is that beer he's drinking?" which made me laugh. With a 5 hour marathon, one can get away with many things that others may not. I only wish I could have found another... yet the not-too-distant Boston College guys didn't let me down! THANKS GUYS!
Along the way I captured many sights that were great. Here are some of them:
The Newton Fire station! ..A milestone in the race. Turn right. I was looking forward to the hills.
I met the IceCreamKid and we ran together quite a ways in the hills, and chatted along the way. Thanks!
The Newton hills were fun this year because I was not pushing hard and they had huge crowds... What a party!
Boston College came through with more beer too! THANKS AGAIN GUYS! Wow, how fun that crowd is!
Mile 23 - Finish
Somewhere in here, I was fortunate enough to run into BlueSky (participates in RWOL forums) and his son. I was engaging the crowd when they came up behind me. Thanks guys for stopping and running with me for a bit. Would like to get to know them better.
Watching for the Citgo sign. There it was. As in each year, the fans pushed me along with their incredible support, and even more-so this year.
The finish... What loud crowds! What a great site. There was the usual feeling of accomplishment, but this time, something new. ...a feeling of catharsis and camaraderie. I love this sport! I love this race in particular!
Note from Days later
The race did not have negative effects on my back/leg/foot. I'm so happy about that. Now the challenge will be go qualify for 2015. But I'll revel in this race just a little longer before worrying about that. :-) What an amazing year!
While this year did not represent the value of HR, I strongly recommend heart rate training and racing.
Race Results as published by the BAA (www.baa.org):
While these are not representative of my capabilities, to me, these numbers represent overcoming, and pursuing what one can with appropriate caution. I appreciate the encouragement of all my friends (many of whom were mentioned in this report).
I will always remember those who died in 2013. I will always think of those who were injured. While I may never have the honor of meeting them, my heart goes out to all families involved. On patriots day in 2014, I was in Boston, running this great race again... and I thought of all of you.
© copyright - Mark W. Rice