Boston Marathon 2008
Monday, April 21 2008
1st Half: 1:46:46 (8:08 pace)
2nd Half: 1:39:47 (7:35 pace)
The 112th running of the Boston Marathon was “freebie” race for me. Having qualified last May at Sugarloaf Marathon with a 2:56, a time that is very good for me, I had earned a spot in the 2nd corral. But having had raced a marathon in the London Marathon only a week earlier when I clocked in at 2:59:34, I wasn’t even sure if Boston ’08 would happen. I knew it wouldn’t be smart to run Boston only a week after London, but Boston… it was too good to pass up.
So on Monday, April 21 2008, I toed the line of my 40th marathon of all time. Coming into this race with the only goal but to run easy and have fun, I dropped back from my starting position in corral 2 all the way to corral 8. Just as I did, I heard my name. It was Cristina and Kelly from my running club. Cristina and I have logged a handful of miles together over the years, but Kelly and I, although we knew each other, have not. They welcomed company in their quest to hold 8:15 minute miles. Seeing an opportunity to soak in the experience of the world’s most prestigious marathon with company, I jumped at the chance.
After the National Anthem and a flyover by two fighter jets, we were off, clicking 8:10 minute miles or under for 13 miles.
At about mile 9, Kelly saw up ahead the camera bridge and had the three of us close in together for a picture.
Mile 9 – Pacing Kelly (left) and Cristina (right), both of whom needed no help.
We continued with easy chatter (or, really, me telling stories) and high-fiving children big and small by the side of the road.
Shortly after mile 10, Kelly, feeling good and looking extremely strong, pulled away to run her own race. That left Cristina and me running side by side.
Through Wellelsey College with the half mile long line of screaming girls, where I of course stopped for a sweaty but very sweet kiss, we contined on pace or slightly under until I knew the point came where Cristina wanted to slip into her zone.
So starting at mile 15, I pulled away and got more into the crowd. By mile 16, I was having a blast and getting all Goofy.
Mile 15 – Getting Goofy
Over the Newton Hills, I picked up pace until just after Heartbreak Hill where I stopped for hugs from my nephews, little niece, and brother and sister in law, the very spot where I see them every year. I talked with them for about a minute before prancing onward for what I believe are the 6 very best miles in just about any marathon.
By mile 24, I had slapped so many hands, cheered so loudly, that my voice was going rasp and my arm was getting tired. My hand even hurt from all the slaps. So much fun it was that I had to keep going, all the way through the finish, with high-fives and breif stops to shake a little boy’s hand and even one who’s mother wanted a picture.
Mile 25 – Bringing it home in style with a smile – this was fun!