This was part two in my two-race-two-coast-in-two-day extravaganza, having jumped on a flight immediately after a 3rd place finish at the Presidio 10-Mile in San Francisco, CA, to arrive just in time for the Patriot Day celebration in Boston, MA. I just can't get enough of this race (this is #8!), in particular meeting all the first-time Boston runners decked out in head-to-toe shwag. Great stories of triumph abound when you ask about their qualifying races.
The weather made for more nervous runners this year, but only a few hundred took up the Race Directors on the offer to defer to 2013. I hoped my race number (#911) wasn't a premonition on my race! I hovered with the other runners in the unusually hot Athlete's Village at the start, as everyone helped each other apply sunscreen and anti-chafing cream. I got my usual pre-race massage (still the best kept secret at the race start), and spent most of the next hour handing out over 30 little bags of S!Caps electrolytes and sharing ultrarunner tips on dealing with the heat. The conversation usually went like this:
- Put away the watch. This is not a PR day. It's not macho to DNF with heat stroke when it's 80 degrees at the start...it's just stupid. Just enjoy the experience and listen to your body. There's always another race to go fast!
- Bring some sunscreen. That's great you have it on, so bring some more for the halfway mark to reapply to your nose, ears, neck, and shoulders. There are free 1-2oz tubes at the Village. Nothing makes you feel overheated like a sunburn kicking in around mile 18, so nip that in the bud.
- Drink at every opportunity, and stay on your electrolytes. If you miss a water stop, don't just wait for the next one. Let the spectators help with their water and ice. If you feel overheated, slow down and find a hose. And stay on your electrolytes - Gatorade or plain salt is not enough. And keep moving!
- Have fun! If you find the right pace, there's no reason you can't finish this. You've done the work. Be a part of one of the epic Bostons!
|(Getting warm at the start)|
|(Derek Bolyard checks his shades, while Derek Schultz checks his 'stache)|
|(...and we're off!!!)|
|(Here we come! Photo courtesy of Damien Strohmeyer)|
|(One of the many bands crankin' out tunes along the way)|
|(Mark Lantz passes me by)|
|(The hoses feel goooood...)|
|(Crazy Jason Reed)|
|(Getting some elbow room)|
|(Boston families brought out the big guns)|
|(Getting some love from the Wellesley girls)|
|(Plenty of happy faces at the Scream Tunnel)|
|(Miss you, Rocky!)|
|(Santa dons his short sleeves this year)|
|(Aid station carnage)|
|(The heat takes its toll on one of 2,100+ needing medical attention)|
|(Doin' it the hard way)|
|(Some would rather watch...)|
|(Lots of walkin' in the final miles)|
|(Remus Medley finds a clever way to avoid leg cramps and finishes on his hands)|
|(Kenya's Wesley Korir wins!)|
I got a post-race massage, meeting SF-area Ironman champion Kyle Welch, and commenting that "my new definition of an angel is a 5-year-old with a popsicle". I thought my race schedule was tough - Kyle has ITU Worlds, 70.3 Worlds, and Ironman Hawaii coming up. Nice!
|(A congratulatory hug from one of the great volunteers)|