Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boston - 1

Ok I am going to label these Boston posts from 1 on up so you can follow in order if you like. I have a ton of pictures and of course some movies. No not joking, took movies coming across the line.

I arrived in Boston on Thursday. Chloe and I got to have some quality time touring the city with my brother and his wife. Later Doug, my mom, stepdad and grandmother would arrive. We had a huge crew, it was awesome. I was however, exhausted by Monday. My legs were tired each night from walking so much and my arms felt like they might fall off from carrying Chloe so much. But, you know the PR didn't matter so much, having a great time with my family and enjoying Boston for all that it was did matter a TON.

This race was beyond all of my wildest dreams. I have never seen a whole big city come together for a running race. There were runners everywhere and everyone asked if you were in town for the race, so I got to smile and say yes it was my first time. It was awesome.

The Expo was insane, by insane I mean NUTS. We went on Friday and then again on Saturday because the Garmin folks said they would look at my watch if I brought it back. We saw Bart Yasso, I couldn't muster the courage to ask him for a picture with me so had to just take this one as I passed him, ha ha. Oh and Garmin says my bezel has an interupt and they will send a new one, well maybe, it depends on when it was purchased but, they totally agree it is messed up and the engineer said they would replace it, we will see. I tried on a ton of shoes, tried every energy drink and chew you could imagine and bought a top.

For Race Day, we had to leave the hotel around 0600 to grab the subway to Boston Common.  Doug wanted to go with me and it was awesome to have some familiar company.  You can see the runners waiting on the subway platform and the huge crowd leaving the station at the Park exit.
Once we got to the park and saw all of the busses and the line.  I told Doug I needed a cup of coffee to get me through the morning so we did what anyone in Boston would do, we hit the Dunkin Donuts (they are on every street corner, literally).  Then I stood in my first bathroom line of the day and we went to get in line for the busses. 
This was the crowd waiting for the busses.  As soon as one line of busses would fill up with runners, they would pull away and another line of busses would pull up, it was insane.  The race was so organized.  They had tons of volunteers and all of the waiting in lines was kind of fun.  You got to meet all sorts of people with some great stories.  I just loved it.
Doug finally had to say goodbye when I got to the gated area for the busses.  He headed back to our hotel and I was on my own.  He said he waited for a minute to see if he should stay and by the time he looked over I was already gabbing away with the girls around me.  I didn't take a drop bag and maybe I should have.  If I had I would have changed into a skirt for the race but, my tights were fine for most of the course, they just got a little hot during the end of the first half.  Not to worry Newton fixed that.  I had my hydration pack with me so I put my extra vest and gloves in it when the race started.  Most of the ladies thought I was nuts to carry it. My Grandmother said the night before "you know Tara, they have water on the course." Come on now that is funny.
The site of the all of the rowers on the Charles that morning really put me at ease.  There is nothing more peaceful than a nice early morning row.  This picture is from the bus window.
Katherine and Stacey.  I met them along with Dagmar (not seen in photo) in line waiting for the bus.  Dagmar as it turns out lives about 10 minutes from me.  Katherine and Dagmar were running their second marathons.  Yes, that is right.  They both ran their first marathons, qualified for Boston and went to Boston for their second marathon EVER! Katherine is 56 and has only been running for 2 yrs, she and her husband made a lifestyle change a few years back and this is where it has landed her.   She was such an inspiration.  Stacey was super nice, from upstate NY (Rochester I think) and she had worked really hard to get to Boston.  Funny fact about her: in her drop bag she had some clothes and a brush so she could redo her hair, lol.  Now that cracked me up. 

I just wanted to get a picture of the insaness of the busses.  There were lines and lines of busses everywhere, full of runners, taking us 26 miles to our starting point.  It was truly amazing.Don't know this lady just wanted the picture saying we were entering Hopkinton, the town the race starts in.

This was the sign entering the Athletes Village.  The three ladies standing at left together are Katherine, Dagmar and Stacey.  I just had to get a picture.  Honestly I went a little overboard with pictures but, who can blame me?  It was the Boston Marathon, if there was ever a time to be a crazy picture lady it was this well and any even that involves Chloe :).
The actual village.  A Village is apparently tents, a Ton of Port-a-Potties and some food.  Oh and about 30,000 runners.  It was cool.  I hit the bathroom line and then went to find a warm place to hang out.  I found a small plastic bag about the size of my booty and took a seat inside a tent.  There I met Pam.  She is a mom of 4, this is her 2nd Boston Marathon, she wants to get a medal for each of her kids, thought that was sweet.  She came last year with her family and this year she came with girlfriends.  I should have taken a picture of her but I was just trying to stay warm, dry and relax.  Around 45min to start, I got in a line again and then headed for the start with 40 mintues to spare.  Ummmm, yaaaa, that isn't enough time.  The start is .7 miles away from the village and it was tough to get to the start.  I had to really work to try and stay calm as time ticked away and I still was makng my way down to the corrals in a huge crowd of people.

This is what it looked like as I rounded the corner to get to my corral, notice anything wrong here, the people on the right are all running.  Yep they too hadn't planned for the long walk in a huge crowd, so we were all literally racing, doging and weaving trying to get to our corrals before the gun went off, I didn't make it, I just jumped into the nearest corral (only a few shy of my assigned one).  By the time I had made it up the road to the 17000's I realized it was go time and  better get in a corral, any corral, so I could start the race.


Unknown said...

This is soooo cool...I am reading this out loud to mom and Carl...I feel like I am there. AWESOME POST!!!

jill said...

great post! i lived in Boston for years, and you really had me back home...thanks!

Anonymous said...

SWEET! I made your bolg! Truly is a small world - glad you and your camera were able to cover the course with ease. Congrats to you and best of luck in all your ultra-runs!!! It was great to meet with you!

tara said...

Dagmar, It was great to meet you. Did you qualify again at Boston for Boston? Impressive. Hope you had an awesome race.