I don’t even know where to start. I have so much to say about the incredible race I was fortunate enough to participate in on Monday. Believe me, I soaked in every AMAZING moment of my 4 hours and 16 minutes on the Boston Marathon course. I smiled the whole time and kept thinking about how lucky I was to be healthy enough to do what I was doing. I felt extremely honored to be able to run the 118th Boston Marathon.
Because I have so much to share with you, I thought it would be best to divide my re-cap into a couple posts. I just don’t think I can fit it all into one! I hope you enjoy the first part of this re-cap!
I had a hard time sleeping the night before the race, and even though my alarm was set to go off at 6:00 am, I naturally woke up at 4:30 am and then finally rolled out of bed at 5:30 am. I set out everything I needed to take with me to be sure I didn’t forget anything important.
We had spent the night at my cousin Alex’s place in Brighton and he was kind enough to give me a ride to Boston Commons in the morning. After a warm shower and a bowl of shredded wheat, I kissed my hubby goodbye at 6:50 am and Alex and I headed into the city. He dropped me off right at the entrance of Boston Commons. I checked to make sure I had the essentials:
Race bib- check!
Yoga mat- check!
Bagel & Water- back at the house. Oops!
When I entered the Commons, there were runners and volunteers everywhere. An announcer was calling certain runners to load the school busses that would take us to the starting line in Hopkinton. They were calling my wave, so I showed security my race bib and I was able to get right on a bus.
The beautiful commons at 7:00 am.
Who doesn't want some fried dough for the ride to Hopkinton!?
There were SO MANY BUSSES. Just think about it- there were 36,000 runners and mostly everyone catches the bus to Hopkinton. I don’t know how the BAA organizes everything so well, but they do. In fact, everything about the whole race was extremely organized.
The ride to Hopkinton is about an hour. It really messes with your mind because it makes you feel like you are so far away from Boston. During the ride, I was receiving a lot of text messages from friends and family wishing me well for the race ahead. It was great to feel their love and support!
We finally arrived in Hopkinton and were let off the bus about a quarter of a mile from the entrance to Athletes' Village- a big field where we would wait for the race to start. There were state police, military police, police dogs, and all kinds of security around the village. Helicopters flew overhead- some were news media but others were military. It was very different from when I ran Boston five years ago, however, it did not scare me. It actually made me feel extremely safe- and also a little sad that we now live in a world where these types of cautionary measures are needed.
Volunteers in blue jackets lined our path to the village. They all had words of encouragement for us- many well wishes for a strong and successful race. Each had a smile on their face and a wicked cool “Bahston” accent!
The village had two huge tents for runners to chill under. There was music, an announcer, and lots of refreshments. I immediately grabbed two bottles of water, a cup of Gatorade, and a ginormous cinnamon raisin bagel. I was actually really hungry! After laying my yoga mat on the ground to claim a spot, I immediately got in line for the port o’ john. I didn’t have to go, but I knew I would have to by the time I got through the line. Even though there were TONS of port ‘o johns, there were so many runners that it still took over a half hour.
Chillin. I only sat for about the amount of time it took to take this picture.
You always meet interesting people in line for the port ‘o john. It was fun to chat with fellow runners and get the jitters out! By the time I went to the bathroom, the line had doubled and my yoga mat was now being stood on by people in line for the bathroom. Oh well. I did what any seasoned runner did- I got right back in line for the bathroom!
This girl was awesome. She wore a bathrobe over her running clothes to keep warm!
After going to the bathroom for the second time, I got to meet up with Heather @ GirlGoes Running! It’s always a little nerve wracking to meet someone you only know from the internet, but Heather is just as happy, positive and talkative “in real life” as she is on her blog! She was gearing up to run a really solid race… and having just looked at her official results, I see she had a really strong run! CONGRATULATIONS HEATHER! You kicked some serious Boston ass and it was so wonderful to get to meet you! Oh, and we chatted so much that we missed the initial calling of our wave, so we had to rush over to the starting line!
On the way to the start, they had big bags to discard whatever clothing you were not wearing during the race. Because of tightened security this year, runners were not allowed to bring bags to the starting line. Whatever we brought to the start had to be on our person and would be discarded. I smelled sunscreen when people started taking their clothes off. Another oops. I had not put on sunscreen. By now it was very warm and the sun was shining brightly. I got a nice sunburn that day but I'll show you that later...
The starting line is probably over a quarter mile from the Athletes' Village. We were like a herd of cattle walking toward the start. There were already people in their yards cheering us on and we hadn’t even begun the race yet! There was a little tent in someone’s yard with free supplies for runners- band aids, safety pins, you name it. Someone even had out a bunch of black magic markers so people could write their names on their arms or shirts.
Beer, donuts, and cigarettes! All free for runners!
(That is not me she just photo bombed my awesome shot.)
At this point, I still had to use the bathroom before the race and I hadn’t even tightened my shoelaces yet, so I stopped off at another area of port ‘o johns to gear up. My wave had already started but there were so many people in the wave that they were still walking toward the start line. I had plenty of time to use the bathroom, get ready, and join the herd again.
Approaching the starting line, the energy got stronger and stronger. There were crowds, signs, police, and news media.
As I crossed the starting line, the announcer said, “Runners, you did it! This is YOUR day! You dreamed about this and trained for this and now you are HERE in Hopkinton running The Boston Marathon!!!!”
Needless to say, I had tears streaming down my face. I looked around, soaking up the moment. Then it was my turn to step across the starting line.
And that is where I leave you today, folks!
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of my Re-Cap! And more pictures, of course. I took a lot of pictures!
Have you ever forgot something important for your race?
Did you watch the race on TV?
Boston runners- anything I forgot?