Marathon 28 - Boston Story*Training*Injury*Schedule*Spectators*Statistics

After running Birmingham in agony, I decided to take some time off. A month of little to no training, and 2 missed marathons (New Orleans and New Jersey) didn't loosen the hamstring, but I wasn't going to pass up what could be my only chance to run Boston.

Not being able to lower my best time by 30 minutes, and a desire to give something back, I signed up with Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training... While running Mad City, I met a TnT coach (actually, she met me, by getting me thru a grueling mile 24 with much needed support). I decided then if one of their coaches would go out of the way to help me, I should at least return the favor.

I heard that the Massachusetts chapter of Team in Training had an alternates list (in the event that people got injured or couldn't raise the required funds), so I signed up. I got a call from Alyssa in February, saying I was on the team. I was in the middle of a Canadian deployment, making the paperwork transfer a living nightmare.

With a month off after Birmingham, and a light month after that, and with 5 weeks to go, I had to ramp up quickly. Week 1: 9. Week 2: 12. Week 3: 18. 2 weeks off. Ready to go.

I had stayed in Hopkington during a deployment last year, so I chose a hotel near the start. I arrived around 10, and it was already warm -- in the 70s.

I ran into a a local (Laconia, NH) runner, who is in the running club I'm in, as I got to the athletes village.

I then ran into Malcolm Gillis -- Race Director for the Huntsville marathon -- walking around the village. Small world.

Into the corrals and the temps rose to 80. The Team in Training groups was all around me -- the unqualified charity runners are in the later corrals -- and we were all sweating.

Then the gun, and the 15 minute wait to get to the start, and we're off.

Great crowds, great support.

I held a sub 10MM thru 10, and managed to keep a 2:06 half (sub 10), but by then the temps were in the mid 80's (88 @ 23), and that was it.

People everywhere, handing out Oranges, water, Ice, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownies, and spraying us with hoses.

Shannon and Wyatt met me mid way up Heartbreak hill, with some Gummy Bears and Gatoraid. Awesome.

There were runners collapsing left and right -- every aid station was packed. I had to sprint a half dozen times to Medical to get help for people. I saw a woman physically removed from the course, and the stats I heard were 1100 went to medical with 100 going to the hospital and 4 heart attacks.


Updated April 19th, 2004