The last time I ran the Boston Marathon was in when the temperature hit about 90 degrees… The forecast was SO bad that day that the Boston Athletic Association sent out an email the day before saying “Don’t do it!!” Okay, I’m kidding just a bit… What they said was that if you chose NOT to start the race, you would be already qualified for the next year’s race. This year, looking at a forecast of cold, and wind, and rain…. I sort of hoped that they would make the same offer….
But I am getting ahead of myself. Boston 2018 was a great marathon weekend experience. Let me report from the beginning.
My adventure began on Friday. I had a 6 am flight east so I was up at 2 to leave the house before 3 to get to LAX with a close to 2 hour recommended cushion. A non stop AA flight had me in Boston mid afternoon. A T ride and a half mile walk brought me to the team hotel.
This year I ran the Boston Marathon as part of Team Hyland’s . Hyland’s – official Cramp Relief Remedy for the Boston Marathon…. put together a team of 17 teachers who had not qualified, but had great compelling stories and were able to run under Hyland’s sponsorship. In addition to the teacher runners there were a number of others, they called Legacy runners. Some of us were also teachers, but we were already qualified… we got to participate with the team… without as much homework.
The Hyland events started Saturday morning. We all gathered in the very small lobby of Hotel Alise. The hotel was an older hotel, maybe 4 or 5 blocks south and a couple east of the start line….pretty handy location. After checking in and unpacking a bit. I decided to head toward the finish line area, and wander, and have an early dinner.
Saturday the Hyland’s activities began. We all met in the very small lobby and the team coach Mike Ehredt led us over to the BAA 5k. Mike, btw is an awesome, encouraging, experience coach. He did not directly coach me, but he coached a number of the teacher runners and I heard many awesome comments. His words of inspiration and wisdom for the team as a whole were always on point.
Anyway, we all walked over to the Boston Commons and found our way to the start line. The 5k had thousands of runners. It had the vive and feel of a major marathon. The race getting ready to begin and I had lost the team trying to find my way into a starting corral. The race itself was just an easy run for me. At first I though maybe I would run it at marathon pace, but as the race got started I found myself in a huge pack of very slow runners.. and walkers… I would have been very frustrated if I had really wanted to go fast.
After the race we picked up our medals and shirts and headed back to the hotel… for a team brunch… There was a nice little “continental breakfast” spread… and then a menu of options to choose from… I enjoyed a nice breakfast burrito. I also enjoyed getting to know Bethany Brown, Kristin Clark and one of the Hyland employees… It turns out that one of Hylands base is in SO Cal so we got to talk about the local running scene. Following breakfast most of us got cleaned up and then headed to Fenway… for a game courtesy of Hylands.
4 other High Desert Runners members were qualified and registered for Boston this year… Erik and Krysti Ruble, Dora Gutierrez and Steve Brumwell… The first 3 were in Rhode Island doing a half marathon while Oscar Gutierrez ran the full – he is working on 50 states. Steve who had traveled to Boston with a friend was also at the game. After a while he found me and we enjoyed an inning or so together.
About mid game a cold front moved into town. You could feel the temperature drop. Some of my team mates had left to go see the sights with their families… I decided to head out myself. I walked back through the finish area and found some dinner and a quiet evening.
Sunday morning some of us headed to Trinity Church. Trinity church. They had a really nice Anglican (I believe) worship service. Part way through they called forward all the runners and gave us a blessing! Very nice… (Picture by me… 2012…. blue sky!)
From there we headed over to Margo’s house. Margo was the leader of the Hyland’s group. She lives a couple of blocks from the hotel and church. The teachers, the legacy runners, the Hylands people, families… there were a lot of people at her home. The food and company was great. At one point we headed outside for a group picture.
That is me, upper right. But do you notice the guy in the front row? That would be no other than Boston Marathon Race Director David McGillivray. He stayed after the group shot for some individual ones…
I asked him about his 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents tour… something I stumbled upon online a while back… He just said he had done it last month…. after the pics he literally ran off to another appointment…
The next stop for my Sunday was the marathon expo. It was quite crowded… of course. I made my way up and down all the aisles. At one point I notice Scott Jurek posing for pictures… but there was a big line. I had started in the back row and worked my way forward. In the front row was the Hyland’s booth. I was talking with some of my new friends when Scott Jurek walked up. In the booth they were filming a series called Breakfast with Bob Babbitt. An interview with Scott was about to happen and later one with Team Hoyt..
I did get a chance for a picture with Scott after he was done with his interview…
My final activity for the day was a trek to the BAA pre race dinner at city hall. The plan was for Steve, Erik and Krysti, Oscar and Dora, and I would all meet at 5 for dinner. I started on my way to get there just before 5. Erik texted while I was on the way and cancelled. Steve got there early waited through the line and was being seated by 5. When I got there the line had grown to a couple hundred meters. So I got into line and waited… in the cold and the rain… as we got to the last part they stopped the line and gave a couple of speeches…. very short ones fortunately. By the time I got in I got to say hi to Steve on his way out…. Still I had an awesome dinner…. I just hung out and visited with whomever set at my table… It was a multinational dinner. I met people from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Montreal, Toronto, Dallas, Colorado, Virginia….
Another great day….. but the weather forecast made it difficult to get excited about the race itself…. They forecast rain, all day, temperatures in the 30s and winds stronger than 20 mph from the East…
Well, this post is long enough…. Boston Marathon Race Day will be part 2…. stay tuned.