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Boston Marathon – Done !!

April 17, 2019

I don’t know how many “you got this John”, “Great Job John” & similar shouts I heard but there were hundreds of them : There may not have been as many spectators out supporting the runners as in London but they were magnificent. From the minute I arrived in Boston it was apparent that this was a Marathon put on by the peoples of Boston & surrounding areas and they owned it. Boston put on this Marathon rather than this being a Marathon in Boston. An experience not to be forgotten.

As a race it was challenging for many reasons the first being that 8 days prior had been my Manchester Marathon and the legs were still tired. But the weather … well that was way off being ideal. The Boston 2018 Marathon had been a storm with heavy continuous rain & strong winds and that is what started the moment I left my AIrBNB to get to the start @ 6.45 am. That carried on until 10am when I moved to the start pens. Fortunately that stopped and everything calmed down to what could have been good running conditions. My shoes even started to dry up at this point but as we began the race the sun came out. Temperatures climbed and the sun came on strong. But the support along the way was extraordinary and the sound at Wellesley College around half-way was deafening – click Wellesley College ‘Scream Tunnel’ to get some idea of what that was like.

I had in mind a modest but achievable 4 hour target but it became clear that this was going to be a stretch, having to take both salts and 2 cups of water at every mile. I subsequently was told that Massachusetts means rolling hills (or something like it) in the language of the indigenous Algonquin people – there were a lot of ups and downs but while my time was slow I can at least claim to have run every single incline & hill, including the infamous Heartbreak Hill. Indeed I wasn’t aware that I had got up that hill until I saw the sign at the top.

By the time I reached the last mile or so I was somewhat sunburnt but then the weather changed with a return of the torrential rain & winds reminiscent of the 2018 race. After finishing I grabbed my race bag, donned as much clothing as possible and made my way to the subway. I was both shivering cold, wet through and sunburnt at this point.

My slow time of 4h 7mins was incidental to the experience but I can at least be consoled by it being a Qualifying Time for Boston 2020 should I be minded to enter ….

It was special. And as a BTW here’s a good You Tube about the course.

 

MS Trust

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