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2014 Boston Marathon

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Boston Runs As One

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...

Gratefulness to Volunteers, Officials and Spectators

We runners SO APPRECIATE the volunteers, officials and race spectators. Your help year after year is nothing short of amazing. There is no race anywhere like this, and YOU make the Boston Marathon what it is! Thank you so much!

  • In 2012 your support helped us runners through the heat.
  • Little did we know that it was in 2013 that your full character and support would shine, by providing food, shelter, warmth and understanding to many fellow runners... earning the gratefulness of ALL of us runners.
  • Then, you made 2014 one of the most significant and meaningful races ever. Thank you yet again!
To those directly affected the 2013 tragedy

I borrow the words of the BAA: At this time, we remember Martin Richard, 8; Krystle Campbell, 29; Lingzi Lu, 23; and Officer Sean Collier, 26. We also remember all of those injured on April 15, 2013, and their families. BostonStrong. BostonProud. We runners would rally around you if we could. We care deeply. We stand as one. The Boston One Fund - Contribute to directly help victims


PRE-RACE THOUGHTS: My only goals were to safely complete this race (without endangering my injury recovery), continue my streak in Boston (this is number 6 in a row) and have fun.
BORING DETAILS: In late 2013, I injured my back causing a herniated disc. I had to cancel a January 18 (2014) race because of this and have had very little opportunity to run before Boston 2014. I made a conscious decision to have a fun run because I must heal.

THE DAY OF THE RACE: I planned to slowly run the first 4, walk all further down hills, run slowly up all hills, and alternate on the flats. So I knew it will be the slowest race ever for me, but I was determined to complete it without causing damage.
TRAINING: For 2013, my training was exceptionally strong. For 2014, and because of the injury, training has been limited.
2014 Boston Marathon Bib

Race Report

The Start

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.

The bus ride to Hopkinton
Bus to Hopkinton


In the blurry picture below, I'm the one in the fashionable white trash bag... where most seem to tell me that I belong.

jbcBoston (John) is the fast one next to me. I appreciated staying with them and getting to know his family a little. That added greatly to the whole weekend experience. Thanks John.

John and Mark going to Hopkinton


Athlete's Village

AV supplies Coffee and Begal

Not worried about time, so I fully enjoyed the coffee, bagels and more. Yum.

AV supplies


Red Dot Gathering is below. It was great to see these guys.

From Left: Multi, Baker (in red behind), Multi's friend Jon, MarkRice, RedRunner, SpiderPig.
Mark had the single glove... influence from Michael Jackson? No. I carelessly lost the other.

It looks like FederalHillRrunner is behind us.. I didn't know it at the time.

Red Dot Gathering

Potties to the left and right

So many, yet never enough


Headed to the Corrals

Headed to Corrals

While heading to the corrals, I was fortunate to meet up with Marco59 (participates in RWOL forums).
Thanks for stopping Marco! I enjoyed chatting for a while.

Another introduced himself as a lurker (no sign-in ID) and we had a good talk for a while. Thanks for saying hi.


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.


In my corral. The helicopters overhead were interesting. Enjoying the energy and the start of the party.

In the Corral Helicopters overhead

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.

Do Not Pass sign Given our context, and with me as the most passed person ever... This kind of made me laugh.

Loved these hydrants!

Same as The Boston Marathon colors. What are the odds?
:-) :-)

Hydrant with marathon colors


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.

Man in cape Cool Cape!

Cups and volunteers

Some of the awesome volunteers with JUST THE START of the incredible mess they take on! THANKS ALL!

(To thank them, consider


I saw many kiss her...

Boyfriend won't mind... CHECK!

Run faster Wow! AWESOME! Thanks ladies! I laughed so hard at this!

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 Hoyts on their last year I was sure hoping to catch the Hoyts on this their last Boston! It was great to see them again this year! What an inspiration!
Drum Group Love these guys every year! It's so awesome to run by them and feel the rhythm in their music! LOVE IT!
Bunny Costume

Cracked me up!
Note the feet!

The Boston Marathon seems to bring out the best in people... in many ways.

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!

Fun with the Crowds

The crowds did not need anyone to get them going, but at times it was fun to further engage them. I was intuitively feeling how best to raise the volume. I noticed what seemed to work best was not a sudden burst, but going a little louder than the loudest in the crowd, and have 2 or 3 volleys like that. For example, one would yell "go MARK"! and I'd give a whoop or holler back a little louder, the crowd would respond, I'd pump my fist and holler again, and they'd go crazy... I could then yell something like "YEAH BOSTON!" and that would send the crowd over the top, spilling to both sides of the street!. The spectators are so awesome and make this race SO fun! (We can thank them on every race with notes.)

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!

The Finish


Ah! My 6th consecutive Boston Marathon Medal! SWEET! My 6th Boston Medal

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!

END of Race Report - Additional Details Follow

Results (You can skip these boring numbers)

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 (

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).

8811 Rice, Mark W 53 M Atmore AL USA    
5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:27:01 1:00:30 1:36:38 2:21:02 2:30:22 3:02:28 3:43:34 4:23:36 5:01:09
Finish: Pace Proj. Time Offl. Time Overall Gender Division
0:12:05 5:16:36 5:16:36 28601 16038 2278


2014 Boston Marathon Medal
My 6th Boston Medal


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.


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