the 114th boston marathon is in the books! it was my 6th boston marathon in the last 7 years, and, in some ways, the most fun! amazingly, after getting closed out last year and having to sit out the 113th edition, there was a nostalgia element built into this one. it's hard to believe that missing just a year could engender that feeling! on the other hand, was the first boston marathon that didn't double as a family trip, so it was a little bittersweet. pat and katie would spend marathon weekends with friends (pat went to college in cambridge and some of katie's summer camp friends live in town).
still, this a great weekend. while we were there to run a race, socializing was a big part of the event. i drove up saturday afternoon with emmy and stayed at the copley square hotel with my friend hugo. we went straight to marathon expo that afternoon (and saw kate and tom there). the low point of the entire week belonged to sam adams and their lame booth - which ran out of beer at 4 o'clock (at an expo open until 6). later on, walked over to the cambridge brewing company with emmy's son, andrew, for dinner.
the next morning hugo and i watched the baa 5k and invitational miles (and met up with my buddy, gene - who was volunteering at the race). continuing the lousy weather from saturday, we had more rain and raw conditions on sunday. we had brunch at emmit's pub on beacon hill (and, for the second time in two days, was soaked coming home from a meal!). that night hugo invited us to have dinner at the hotel with his "fred's team" teammates. it was a relatively early night, with a wake-up call set for 5:30 the next morning.
i walked over to boston commons from the hotel (disappointed to find that the starbucks en route was late opening, so i had to forego a green tea). the plan was to meet up with gene and emmy at the boston massacre statue, then take the bus to hopkinton as a group. as we all met up at the statue, got to see kate (who had a meet up of her own). about a dozen of us rode to the athletes village together. as we got off the bus, hugo was already there - having arrived via a separate "fred's team" bus.
inside the village, i ran into a bunch of friends -the first of whom were bekkie and joe (bekkie in full minnie mouse costume)! also saw my friend mark and eventually tracked down my buddy todd (and his friend micah). just after 9, we all started the trek over to the baggage trucks (ran into herb) and the corrals. that 3/4+ of a mile walk to the corrals was broken up by a quick trip to the parking lot of colella's market for one last pit stop at the porta-johns. then into corral number 10 for me.
it took a solid 7+ minutes to cross the starting line! my only time goal was a 3:30 finish - but was probably too ambitious under the circumstances. i hadn't done any marathon specific training leading up to the race, so wasn't sure i could maintain a sub-8 minute pace. that proved to be the case when the only sub 8 miles i ran were all before mile 5! starting with the fifth (in 8:11), each mile bounced between 8:08 and 8:57 for the next 21.2 miles! i eked out a 3:38:02 finish.
here are my official splits:
3:38:02, 8:19 pace
it was incredibly windy - despite the bright sun - at the start. however, the wind wasn't much of an issued throughout the race (crosswinds, mainly). but, during the last few miles, especially along beacon street, we faced a nasty headwind. it wasn't a pleasant way to close out the last couple of miles! wind aside, the weather was perfect - hardly what seemed in store for us in the wake of the two lousy weather days leading up to race morning!
last, but not least, the spectators were incredible and really added a positive vibe. so too the volunteers. as for the runners, the most frequently overheard chit-chat: "so where did you qualify?" i didn't see any runners in distress (and only a handful walking the heartbreak hills). although afterwards, i did read that one runner had a heart attack (thankfully, he survived). i was disappointed that ryan hall didn't win - but amazed that the old course record was smashed (and hall did reset the american record for boston)!
back at the hotel we had a few beers with some of hugo's friends from "fred's team" before heading home. all in all, it was a fantastic weekend! i suspect that i won't be the only one signing up for the 115th edition once registration opens up next september!
here are the rest of my race photos.