As I mentioned in my last blog post when I signed up for the Badger Mountain Challenge I knew that I wouldn’t be in peak form for the Boston Marathon due to the different training strategies for a 100 vs a Marathon and the lack of adequate time to recover.
So I decided to have fun this year and really soak it in rather than all out racing it.
And then I decided that if it would be fun to do it once it would probably be twice as fun to run up from the finish to the start before the actual race, and then join up with the real race on the way back down – the 52.4 mile Boston Double (this was inspired by Gavin Woody – someone that it’s dangerous to be inspired by). So that’s how this hair brained adventure came to be.
What transpired was perhaps the greatest bit of buffoonery ever inflicted upon the hallowed Boston Marathon course. I took a lot of pictures so I’ll mostly just stick them in here and add the captions similar to what I posted to twitter the day of the race. If you are curious to see how it all went down on twitter you can find it here: #2xboston.
It was surprisingly hard for me to navigate my way up the course despite the fact that there are only like four turns on the whole course.
I wanted to make sure to get to the start before they unleashed waves of runners down the course as I knew it got tight up towards Hopkinton. So I decided to run the first half faster than the second. I aimed for around a 3:45 marathon on the way to the start – which has significantly more uphill then the traditional course.
I was right on pace at the half. It was a beautiful morning to run. I entertained myself in the following ways:
- Thanking all the cops, soldiers, and volunteers that were setting up
- Thinking up comebacks to all the people who told me I was going the wrong way. My favorite: Wait – I could have taken the bus to the start? Ahh Man!
- Trying to come up with witty things to post on twitter
- Posting useless photos to twitter
It was cool to see all the elite women and the wheelchair folks come racing by in the early starts.
When I got to the start I had time to hand my running vest off to my friend Bob and his wife who were there to cheer on their daughter. I probably should have hung out at the start for 30 minutes or so and actually started the race with a slower wave. But I wanted to find some of my team members so I jumped in my corral. This made for a messy start because I was already in somewhat rough shape. The day had been a bit hotter than would have been ideal and I spend the entire previous day walking around Concord instead of resting. Add to that the fatigue from taking a redeye and sleeping in a hot as an oven hostel with a large shirtless Russian and overly friendly Canadian it was shaping up to be a long day.
As we started I tried to run a 8:30 pace. However I had 7000 folks behind me that all wanted to run a 6:30 pace. This caused some difficulty. I mostly tried not to get ran over and hid at the aid stations every so often as the first wave rushed over me.
This is when the buffoonery began. As I was running so much slower than everyone else I began to goof around with the crowd. When do you get a chance to run in front of 500,000 people? They are such a fun crowd and support the race so well that I wanted to really savor the opportunity to interact with them. So I high fived every kid I could. I ate more orange slices than I probably should have. And then I started to try to come up with some creative ways to play with the fans.
The last few miles were emotional. If you look back at all these pictures you will see a ton of smiles, a mountain of joy. I love that the people of Boston come together and give running this gift each year. They not only put up with all of us descending on the town in our dorky jackets and turning it into the Disneyland of running but embrace us in a breathtaking fashion. I get choked up the last few miles every time.
In retrospect I probably didn’t need to do the double to have a fun experience out there. That was mostly hubris. Mostly it came down to what I would remember 20 years from now and tell my grandkids about when I am a grumpy old man. I’m satisfied that I completely fulfilled that goal despite an official time of 4:55:13.
Brooks Singlet, Compression Socks, Launch 3 shoes.
My favorite piece of gear this year has been the Brooks Sherpa 5″ shorts. Love the fabric and the pockets for gels and wrappers. The sweat resistant back zipper pocket is perfect for a couple of gels and although this is a little gross I love that it warms the gels up enough to make them nice and smooth going down the gullet.
Track on Strava.
Running the Cougar 10 on May 14th but plan on backing off some the rest of the season with the baby coming and due to a bit of burn out. I’ll probably end up racing as many of the Cougars as I can because they are my favorites.