A Belated Boston Marathon Race Report
This race report is a long time in coming: I completed the Boston marathon 5 months ago, and have run 3 marathons since then! But I felt guilty not having a race report to refer to, so here goes.
I generally enjoy writing race reports: why was this different? Boston was different this year: and not just because I was coming from Denver but many of my friends were from Columbus. I saw the gang only a few months prior when I ran the Last Chance for Boston race.
For the first time in Boston, I stayed with Helen at a hotel close to the finish. Helen and I have always been great marathon traveling buddies: I arrived, and saw she’d already stocked the room with water, gatorade and bananas. I just added the marathon toaster to the mix, and we were set! I went and met a former coworker to watch roller derby and we went out for dinner; but when I arrived back in the room, Helen and I visited for awhile before heading off to bed.
The next morning, her dad was running the 5K race. For the first time ever, they charged for this race. It was an unwelcome change: in the past, the free Freedom run was a great way to stretch your legs and get into the spirit of the event. We watched her dad, and then headed to the expo. I tried out and purchased some Newton shoes, and way more other stuff I had no idea I needed!
Due to the size of our dinner party, our dinner reservation had been set very early: something like 4pm. Helen, her dad and I arrived a few minutes early: to discover there WAS no reservation! Thankfully, the restaurant owner was very accommodating and made room for us.
The group was so large that there wasn’t much chance to visit. In fact, we sat Helen, Meredith, Dave and I at one end of the table; quite a few folks we didn’t know in the middle, and then our other friends all the way at the other side. There was some disagreement as to what time to catch the buses in the morning: last year, we were quite rushed, so some of us decided we wanted to leave earlier. As soon as dinner was over, folks dispersed. It was a bit disappointing. We headed to Mike’s pastries, and then headed back to the hotel. Helen and I dialed up a movie and relaxed and prepped for the race.
We arranged to meet the next morning, and found some of the gang had decided not to take the bus, and were driving up. So much for the discussion the evening before. While it shouldn’t bother me, it was a bit of an annoyance: we had all “gone along with the flow” in the past, for the sake of the group. This year just did not have the same sense of comradery as years past.
Then there was the run. It was ok, but I think the novelty of Boston has worn off. Also, I hadn’t been training very hard for this race: I was just there to finish. In fact, I had roller derby test-ups (to be eligible to bout) a few days after the marathon, and that was occupying my thoughts as well.
I ran. Looking back 4 months later, I can’t speak to anything noteworthy: I guess that’s why it’s important to do these promptly, right?
We finished the race, and everyone met up in our standard spot. Meredith had set a new PR (at Boston? Amazing), and Helen and I finished within a few seconds of each other. We all decided to meet up at the pizza place we found the year before for dinner later. At dinner, Helen and I were already looking at the next challenge: the Pikes Peak marathon in August! Sitting with the same folks I had for several years, I felt a bit estranged: sometimes you do things because they’re tradition, but at what point does tradition lose its meaning? When I left Boston, I wondered if I would bother returning in 2010.
That being said, on my flight home there was a small group of African runners. Right before we boarded, some folks started taking pictures of them. It turns out the winner of the men’s race and the second place female were on my plane! The male winner was carrying his trophy, and put it in the overhead bin. Later, I was trying to fit my carry-on above, and realized I was slamming it against the trophy! At least it didn’t break.
So that was my Boston experience. While I enjoyed my time with Helen running another marathon: it is almost simply that, “another marathon”. Now as registration for Boston starts up, we’ll see if I feel differently. But as it stands right now, I feel that I may want new experiences, new races.