[The first part of this race report is going to sound unusually positive given what you already know about the bombings, but I feel it's important to capture the emotions at the time they happened. My apologies if you consider it inappropriate.]
|(Corral #1 gets fidgety)|
|(Excited and ready to go!)|
|(And we're off!)|
|(The weather was ideal!)|
|(Running legend Joan Benoit Samuelson on her way to a age group record 2:50 finish)|
|(Crowds were outstanding, per usual)|
I hit the halfway in 1:20:20 perfectly, and was still feeling good enough for a negative split. The first half of Boston is easier than the second, so some reserves would be needed to keep the pace. Loren started clicking off 5:55 min/miles, so I had to let him go (he went 2:40:04!), and instead fed off the amazing crowds that came out in droves. Nothing like a few high fives to get your spirits up!
|(Peter Gurney gets some love from his spontaneous crew of supporters)|
|(2013 Boston Marathon winners Rita Jeptoo and Lelisa Desisa)|
|(Massage volunteer and 10-time finisher Donna Cormier assists the medical team in helping an elated Liang Wu from Austin, TX, who didn't let a pesky blister stop him from setting a new PR)|
|(World class service from Boston massage volunteers)|
|(The first explosion was just 100 yards from the finish)|
I hustled across the Boston Commons park and stepped into another pub with lots of big TV screens, texting my wife and parents that I was okay before the phone lines jammed up. The efficiency of the Boston Police Department, medical teams, and volunteers was stunning, and the medical tents for the finish line quickly turned into MASH units. The videos showed as many runners going TO the scene as running away from it, and it was clear there were 100 people helping on scene within five seconds. Then the counts started to come in...three dead (including an 8-year-old boy), 125+ injured, 10+ amputations already. Then another explosion at the JFK Library. It's not over, people.
I looked at my cell phone which said I had 53 texts, 85 Facebook messages, 30 tweets, and 18 phone calls. It was family, friends...it was you guys. Yes, I was okay. Yes, I had been at the finish line ~30 minutes before, but my need for beer may have saved my life. In fact, let's have a few more beers. I opened up a tab and invited everyone to raise a glass to the Boston Police, the families of those who were affected, and to celebrate being alive. But in classic Boston form, the staff of the Beantown Pub just kept bringing free drinks. Hugs were welcome, but my money was not.
|(Runners were stopped along the course soon after the blasts)|