This year’s trip to
Because really, what other word could be used to describe witnessing a 2:03:02 elite men’s marathon finish? (Recognized or not, it’s still a world record!) Or watching Desiree surge and come within two seconds, TWO SECONDS, of being the first American woman to win the course in decades?!? But I get ahead of myself…
As most of you know Spike and I headed to Beantown last Friday were the weekend flew by in a blur of blogger meetups (recaps to come) and other various events including: Hitting up the runnerd-porn-gasm known as the expo, seeing Kara Goucher speak at Niketown, spectating the BAA 5k, reuniting with my beloved B.R.A. peeps, and eating at as many great local places as possible on LPT’s recommendation. (You can check out all the pics from the weekend HERE.)
Bag Holders Spectators Extraordinaires
But the real reason we were there was for Spike to run his redemption lap of
Race morning came upon us quickly and within 45 minutes he was out the door. I attempted to burn off some of my nervous energy at the hotel gym but I was just too excited. I returned to our room and made sure I had everything I needed to get my spectate on. I layered up weather appropriately, turned my crutch bling in to shirt bling, packed up all my gear and made my way, slowly and carefully, crutch free down to Boylston.
After a quick breakfast with V (of the BRA) and Ally, a stop off at the liquor store and CVS for the items needed for ghetto mimosas (Tradition!), we set up shop in front of Trader Joes as promised. It was there we ran in to Gene or @boutdrz for those of you on Twitter. (And in case you are a total ditz like I am, his Twitter handle should read as: b-out-drz as in “be outdoors.”) Not long after that we spotted Danielle, Sarah, Carol from Arctic Ease, and only needed Katie and LPT to round out our spectating extravaganza section.
(For those of you that have never spectated
The Race: Unless you are living under a rock you have heard about the epic finish in both the men’s and women’s elite race. I’m getting goose bumps just recalling it! We watched history happen that morning and the crowd was wild as each duel fought past us heading in to the Finish!
"Our Friend" Ryan LOL! (Long story)
Now all along I had been obsessively refreshing the runner updates on my phone checking in on our friends and loved ones. We were all so excited and nervous. We had a lot of friends out there with big goals and kept giving each other “the look” after each update. I hit refresh every 30 seconds amidst cheering… It was nerve wracking!!!
Spike, Sam, and most of the BRA runner’s were on pace to go by within minutes of each other so as the clocked ticked on and the updates dwindled towards the final 40k update, our hearts were racing. Most had started to slow after the
And that moment was even more epic than seeing those elite’s run by.
Not only did he have his sub-3 in the bag, but had rallied with plenty of time to spare. The look of triumph on his face, his arms pumping in excitement at spotting us; it is one of my favorite moments from the day. I think it’s safe to say we all choked back some tears. We had all been a part of Operation Jack in some way and to be there to cheer Sam on and witness this epic feat… there just aren’t the right words to describe the moment. We screamed, we hugged each other, we were humbled.
I already knew at this point that Spike’s goal time and even a PR was out of the question but he was still within reach of maybe BQ’ing. I continued to obsessively hit refresh as we cheered in the BRA runner’s… After an eternity, but really only a few minutes or so, I finally got the 40k update for Spike and I lost it. I screamed to the girls he’d be coming soon, I jumped up on the rail so I could see better and desperately scanned the crowd … After one false alarm, I finally spotted him.
And my heart swelled with pride even as I started to get choked up. I had been a nervous wreck all morning, I knew the weather wasn’t ideal for him, and as his pace slowed in the later miles I knew he must be having a rough time of it. We had agreed ahead of time that if he was on point to his goal time, PR, or BQ he wouldn’t stop but otherwise he would. And so he did.
With Spike well on his way to finishing his second Boston Marathon, it was time to be on the lookout for the rest of our friends. (Yup even on a “bad” day Spike still finished before most.) We spotted a few here and there, I was able to catch Stephanie on her way to wrapping up her 50 marathon challenge and we also the Hoyts. We missed more than we saw as the crowd’s thickened, but through it all we remained inspired by the determination and looks of joy and relief on the faces of the runner’s.
A short while after he finished, Spike joined us to spectate and it was hilarious. My favorite Spike-ism that morning was “No you are not hallucinating, that is a Unicorn in the distance!” He kills me and wholly entertains those around us. After about 30 minutes or so we decided to call it a day.
As we slowly made our way back to our hotel, me pimp-limping from over doing it my first day without crutches and Spike rocking the marathon shuffle, we congratulated one and all that we crossed paths with. That night we had dinner with all the BRA runner’s and listened to their recaps as we celebrated the day and each other. If you have not caught B.o.B’s “Thankful Thursday” from yesterday you should, Hollster, my perfect-pacing-partner from my Gasparilla Marathon (where she actually BQ’d) had the most dramatic and epic first Boston experience ever! Talk about perseverance. You are amazing Hollster!
One fast group of runners! All were sub-4 Finishers!
So as I said in the beginning of this post, Monday was EPIC. World records were shattered, American records were made, personal bests were destroyed, and others dug deep all in the name of determination and perseverance to call themselves Boston Marathon Finishers. What other sport can you spectate, for free, and witness feats like these?!?! Better yet, what other sport can you share the field with men and women like this?!?
I said it last year and I will say it again, if you’ve never had the chance to spectate a Boston Marathon I sincerely hope you get the chance to at some point in your life. While a small part of my heart ached knowing there’s no chance of a BQ in my near future now that I’m recovering from a significant injury, I do know that I will be on the other side of that rail someday… and until then I will continue to feel honored and privileged to spectate those of you that are.
But enough of my recap, how about the recaps of the real hero’s of the hour, the Boston Marathon Finishers!!! I’ve tried to compile a list of everyone I met over the weekend and/or were a part of the spreadsheet of events. Enjoy!
Spike – Running Spike
Sam - Operation Jack
Emily - Sweat Once a Day
Aron - Runners Rambles
Denise - Happiness...One Mile at a Time
Stephanie – Steph’s 50 Marathon Challenge
Beth - Shut Up and Run
Page - Twenty Six & Then Some
Mel – Tall Mom on the Run
Bethany – Our Love on the Run
Jim – 50 after 40
Sean – In Clean Air
Gina – Running the Dawn
Ty – Seeking Boston Marathon
Cate – Cate’s World Kitchen
Lizzy – Food to Run For
Karyn – MarathonMaiden
Keri – Blue Eyed Runner
Petra – Petra Runs
Dorothy – Mile Posts
Adrienne – Running in Hingham
Laura – The Angry Runner
Joanne - AppleCrumbles
Corey – The Runners Cookie
Luau – Run Luau Ru