Boston Marathon 2009 Pre-Race Report

This year was my 4th Boston, and I was really looking forward to seeing my race buddies as much as anything. For the first time, I was going to be staying at a hotel close to the action, and Helen and I were going to share the room.

I didn’t really have much opportunity to be looking forward to the race; I’ve been traveling nearly every week and just trying to keep up with everything. The day of my flight, we got a dump of snow and there were concerns the flight may be delayed or canceled. When I went through security, they confiscated my 4ox of peanut butter, but left the marathon toaster (because, really, PB is more dangerous than a big metal box??) We left on time, but then sat on the tarmac for about 45 min for de-icing. I was pretty convinced I’d miss my flight in Atlanta (I only had an hour to make my connection). But when we arrived, I turned on my phone to two text messages from Orbitz – my flight’s gate had been changed, and the flight was delayed. I ran through the airport, and arrived at the new gate in time to find it had been delayed further, and I actually had about 10 minutes to wait to board!

I got into Boston only to realize I’d also forgotten my phone charger, so I bought a spare battery in the airport. THEN I somehow ended up on the wrong shuttle bus, and was headed t the red line rather than the silver. Eventually I got to the hotel, where Helen was out but the room was already stocked with bagels, gatorade, water, PB, honey and bananas. Helen is the best race buddy ever!! She wasn’t there, so I jumped in a cab to go meet a former coworker at the Boston Derby Dames game.

The cabbie didn’t know where the Shriner’s Auditorium in Wilmington was, so I started to look it up on my nearly-dead phone. Then he just started driving, so I thought he had it figured out. He asked me again for the address, then handed me hs GPS to program it in! As we drove…and drove… I watched the meter climb up to 30..40..50 dollars. Finally I saw signs for the auditorium and “derby tonight!” He pulled into a business park and tried to drop me off next to a closed building.
“This isn’t it”
“This is the address you gave me”.
“Well, I don’t want to be here. I want to go to the auditorium”.

So he pulled a U-turn, and started going back, but I redirected him to follow the signs to the auditorium. I told him it was an event, so there would be people there. He finally seemed to understand, and happily announced to me when we pulled up in front of the auditorium that he thought this was it! (He then asked if I wanted him to come back and pick me up – I politely declined). Thankfully Devon and his wife offered to give me a ride back to the hotel after we went for dinner. It was fun to watch the game and great to catch up with Devon and hear about their trip to Iceland!

On Sunday, Helen and I got up and watched her Dad run the 5K. I think it’s a shame they did away with the free Freedom Run and now run a “competitive” 5K for $40 the day before the marathon. After that we headed to the expo, where I bought way more than I ever new I needed! Recovery and Injinji socks, a brooks running outfit and Newton shoes!

Boston marathon expo purchases

We met her dad for lunch, and then pretty quickly it was time to get ready for dinner! We headed over to La Dolce Vita, and were the first to arrive. I went in to tell them we were with the party of 22 for 4pm. They didn’t have our reservation! Thankfully, the owner (Franco), was extremely accommodating and had a table set for us – it took up about a quarter of the restaurant! He also told us to feel free to make any special requests if what we wanted wasn’t on the menu, and offered to split the checks up (no one in Boston has EVER split checks for us!). Not to mention, the food was fantastic!!

Meredith, Helen and I took our requisite “three of us outside the restaurant picture”:


We’ve been doing dinner before Boston for years now, and it’s getting a bit ridiculous. The table is so large we don’t even talk to people on the far side, and I didn’t even know many of the people with us. After dinner everyone went their separate ways, with Helen, her dad, Meredith, Dave and I heading to Mike’s Pastries. I think we all felt like dinner was a bit crazy and not as much fun as it used to be.

We were back at the hotel by 7, and Helen and I dialed up a movie on pay-per-view for a relaxing night.

Actual race report to come đŸ™‚

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