Crowd Surfing, Salsa Dancing, Hot Dogging, and Running the Boston Marathon Twice in One Day

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.

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Starting at the finish. 5:48 AM

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.

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Hit the half before the Wellesley scream tunnel was in place.

I was right on pace at the half. It was a beautiful morning to run. I entertained myself in the following ways:

  1. Thanking all the cops, soldiers, and volunteers that were setting up
  2. 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!
  3. Trying to come up with witty things to post on twitter
  4. 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.

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Arrived at the start in time to get a pic of my teammate Evan who ran a spectacular 2:38

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.

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I did pick up enough speed to capture this shot of Derek who ran an awesome race as well (2:46)

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.

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I love Beagles. And when I saw this one I knew I needed a picture to show to my two beagles at home.

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This crew from Mexico was having a great time. I stopped to do a little Salsa dancing with them.

relaxing

Is this seat taken? Enjoying the relative peace between waves.

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The frat party was more than happy to accommodate my request to crowd surf. This place in Framingham had already been going strong when I passed them on my way to the start at 8:30 AM. It was even more wild on the way down.

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Was so excited to see this poster. Abby Jo is my daughters name and seeing that on a poster with my name too was a great photo op. Super nice folks.

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I’ve seen Santa every year but this year I was excited to take some time to share with him my Christmas wishes (more amazing Brooks Running gear of course).

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Having been a missionary I was so excited to spend some time with this crew. I actually stopped here for about 30 minutes because I was just beat and it was a great place to relax. Two funny things happened here. One was that a woman in an Oiselle singlet tried to kiss an Elder which scared him out of his wits. He managed to evade the kiss but jumped about 12 feet in the air. The other was that they all lined up for a huge cheer gauntlet to send me off when I finally left. Love the Massachusetts Boston Mission!

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Hot dog I ate while spending time with the missionaries. I needed some real food at this point. Didn’t cause too many issues for the gut. My only regret is that there wasn’t a higher meat to bun ratio.

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This guy played the Rocky theme for me on the trumpet. It was amazing.

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I’m trying to wag my finger at the Wellesley girls since all my kisses are for Carrie but I’m horrible at selfies and didn’t bring my stick with me on the course

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I see these folks every year as well and it always swells my heart with Idaho pride. This year we had a nice chat and I sang the Idaho State Song with them. Here we have Idaho…

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Made it to the top of Heartbreak and decided that I had better stop taking pictures and just finish this thing or I would miss my flight

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.

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One last photo down Boyleston

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Last step before getting on the plane. My first ice bath. I think it helped.

Gear Used

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.

Whats Next

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.

 

 

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