One great thing about living in Boston is having access each year to watching (or running) the Boston Marathon.
I took the kidlets to mile 15.5 yesterday to watch the race. I had nineteen friends/athletes/fellow bloggers/running-club mates to cheer on. At mile 15.5 there is a massive playground, so it is the perfect place to spectate if you are a parent with kids who only like watching a race for five minutes before they are thoroughly bored and ready to move on. Mile 15.5 also comes on a downhill, about a mile and a half before the hills start. Runners usually look fresh at this point--few are walking and most (most) look happy. It's a great place to cheer. Some people love spectating at the hills, because that is where the runners really need cheering. The hills aren't that difficult, but they do come at a bad point in the race (17-20). I like seeing the runners fresh and happy. It breaks my heart to see people struggling, even though I know I struggle all the time when racing, and it's not something to be SAD about it, it's something to honor. It's just that dreams are broken on those hills. I don't like seeing that.
I was prepared to spectate. I had my iPhone to track runners and my camera--and for the kids a giant bag full of snacks, drinks, extra coats, and blankets to sit on should they get tired of playing. My planning paid off. I cheered for three hours and they didn't want to leave when I told them it was time to go.
This was their day:
Even though I had my camera I didn't take one picture of the runners. What is wrong with me! Actually, my excuse is that I was scanning the runners so carefully to find my people I couldn't focus on taking pictures. As is I only saw about one third of the people I wanted to see. I first saw my friend Petra's huband, Mike, who despite a tough winter of being sick and have a bum foot, went 2:50 (and he's in his mid-late 40s!). He is a stud. I then saw my friend Dave, and then a Maine friend, Jeanne (3:15 and 7th in her AG!) then one of my athletes, Rose! Rose looked incredibly strong and was RIGHT on pace. In the end her last miles slowed her slightly, and she just missed a PR, but re-qualified by 15 minutes just the same. In the time between Dave and Rose I missed a ton of people. I clearly need more spectating practice. My friend Paul went by on his way to a sub 3:00. Another studly performance... My friend Petra CRUSHED it and PR'd by 10 minutes, running a 3:10. She is coached by her husband, and clearly this has worked for her! My teammate Don sped by too. He ended up running at 3:15--and he is 60! Amazing. I also missed my athlete Maria, who ran a 3:24, PRing by 5 minutes. Awesome performance. I was so thrilled! Teammates Tom, Keith and Mike F also ran by at some point. I think Tom was at 3:25 (re-qualifier!), Keith did a 3:22 (ditto!) and Mike a 3:29. Ana-Maria also ran by and I missed her. She had a rough race given a totally nasty toe problem. Ugly--but she still PR'd and re-qualified! Another David (a GNRC teammate) ran by--and I missed him too. He ran a 3:28, which is a PR for that course and also a re-qualifier. Blogger friends Meg and Adrienne also kicked ass, both finishing in about 3:35!
I am shaking my head at myself. I've known idea how I could've missed so many people given my total focus on the race. Annoying.
I saw my teammate Tracey, who despite having a hammy injury all winter ran a 3:40 and re-qualified. I then saw my teammate Mike, happily ambling along. He runs Boston faithfully every year, and just looks happy every time he does it. I then saw Kristina, who stopped and gave me a hug! I was so excited. She looked adorable with her little pigtails and MVS shirt. She ran sub 4 despite being injured all winter. Impressive. I missed my friend and teammate Melissa, too. Boo! I think she finished in 4:15? My teammate, John, another missed, finished in sub 4.
Okay, I know that was a long boring list, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned everyone. The day was perfect: sunny with a few clouds and cool. I had my usual Boston envy. This is the third year in a row I've missed it because of "my important" summer races. I am running it next year, no matter WHAT is on my summer agenda. Because of BayState last fall I'm qualified and ready to go. !
It's an incredible race. It's my hometown race.
As an extra bonus of skimming this post, I have a very exciting link to the Ange and Mary show! We are still working on our coaching website, and I made a photo album of us racing over the years. There are also shots of a few of our athletes sprinkled throughout. I love it--but that would probably be because I am just a little overly self-involved. ha! Just click here.