Saturday, April 21, 2007

Beantown Success!

Well it was a huge victory. I can now say that I ran one of the most prestigious foot races in the world and also ran it in good form. Check another one off the list of "must do's" Not only can I say that I ran the Boston Marathon, but I can also say that I ran the Boston Marathon during a Nor'easter. Probably one of the most harsh racing conditions I was faced with.
What exactly is a "Nor'easter"? Well here is what Wiki has to say about a Nor'easter:

A nor'easter is a macro-scale storm whose winds come from the northeast, especially in the coastal areas of the Northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. More specifically, it describes a low pressure area whose center of rotation is just off the coast and whose leading winds in the left forward quadrant rotate onto land from the northeast. The precipitation pattern is similar to other extratropical storms. They also can cause coastal flooding, coastal erosion and gale force winds.

Yup, that's right! What a beautiful day for a run. (enter sarcasm) My lack of excitement for the start of this years race may have been due to the numerous weather advisory alerts sent to me from the Boston Athletic Organization stating conditions for race day as "temps in the mid 40's with wind gusts up to 65mph and possible heavy rains." But as they have always said "The race will go on!" I had a hard time sleeping the night before the race as the wind howled and rain poured but I was there, ready to face it in good spirits. Many runners decided to forfeit the race all together due to the conditions. But not I.

so here is my experience in short...
* Got up at 5 am to get to downtown Boston in order to be put on a school bus and shuttled to the start in Hopkinton 26.2 miles away.
* Entered the muddy and wet "Athletes Village" which is no more than a school field where port-a-johns and white tents housed waiting runners.
* Waited in the pouring rain seeking shelter in one of the food tents for 3 hrs before walking a mile to the start in the rain
* Met lots of runners..made some brief friendships.
* Walked to the start in my homeless attire with plastic bags tied over my shoes and a garbage bag over me (did I mention that I described this whole "corralling of runners" as equivalent to cattle in a slaughterhouse)
* Waited for the gun...didn't hear it..but just started to move with the flow
* Zipped through crowds...rain...cheers
* Felt great most of the way but made a b-line for a visible porta-potty at mile 8.
* In and Out and on the road...
* In came the winds and at one point lifted me up while in stride and dropped me a foot to the left
* Slapped the cheering hands at Wellesly College
* Powered Up Heartbreak Hill and didn't even notice it (overrated)
* Saw the Citgo sign and knew I was almost home..reaching it with only one mile left
*Picked up speed through the cheering crowds to finish a strong 3hr37min marathon.

My best race time yet....
As Coach Donely would put it "we'll take it" :)

What you ask did I win? Lack of movement in lower limbs, pain and swelling in calf and quad muscles, enormous blisters...and the feeling of accomplishment.

I ran this race for myself, my family and the fight against malaria. Thanks to all who donated to the cause, raising almost $1,000 to purchase 185 bed nets for children and families in sub-Saharan Africa.

I am truly grateful for your support.

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