2000 Boston

104th Running - BAA Boston Marathon

 This was my first “race” as a bandit.  I didn’t qualify, but I ran the race anyway.  I drove up Saturday with Tom, after a really nice 12 mile run through Green Lakes.  We got in about midnight, after stopping in Albany for a burger and a beer.  We stayed at the Wellesley Inn on the Square in Wellesley Square, MA.  Bob and his family had the room next door.

Sunday we all met for breakfast.  Bob had run, but not I.  Tom went to watch Marty Robb’s sons run the Johnny Kelly races at Heartbreak Hill, while I went with Bob’s family on the commuter rail to Back Bay station.  From there we walked to the expo, where Bob got his number and we browsed a little.  We had a light snack and read the paper for information on how I could get to Hopkinton, since the buses were for official runners only.  Bob then left for the aquarium, and I returned to the expo to sample the wares.  I ate some free samples of energy bars, and bought some socks for Cathryn while waiting for Tom.  Tom and Marty showed up, and we found Robin and Kelly Wheeless, and we all visited a few shoe booths.  Then Tom, Marty and I left for the subway to Tom’s car and drove to Marty’s house.  We went to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Watertown.  I tried hard to eat light, since I have always overeaten the night before a marathon and then paid for it on race morning.  I held my ground and did very well, having a light pasta meal with vegetables and a little cheese, and a glass of wine.   After dinner, we went back to the hotel by way of Kinko’s.

Race morning we got up at 6, Bob came over and he and I ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant, which they opened a little early for us.  Oatmeal and a banana was my breakfast.  We met Tom at the train station and rode to Back Bay (Tom paid) and then the subway to Chinatown (Tom paid) and went in the bus area.  I flashed my home made bib from beneath my jacket and the man let me into the area.  The group boarding the first bus was checking numbers rather closely, so I went to another bus that wasn’t being checked at all.  Then Bob and Tom joined me.  The bus was less than half full, and we each had our own seat.

In Hopkinton they let us off the bus in town, not at the school, so we had a little walk.  Bob and I went to the square for the toilet – what a zoo!  Bob used the Nextel booth to call his Mom.  We found a spot behind a church and parked for an hour, then began our rituals.  I stretched and greased.  We used the facilities numerous times.  At 11:30, we went to put their bags on the busses.  But the low numbered busses were closest to the school, and we were near the starting line.  So we ended up running all the way back to the school, then sprinting back to the start for Bob and Tom to get in their corrals.  I took my time, stood in line for a final porta-can visit, and then stood at a gap in the fence near the 17000 pole.

I crossed the start line at 12:10, and started jogging about 3 minutes later.  Then I was able to move right along.  Since I was in no hurry, I decided not to weave, but just to go with the flow.  I enjoyed the spectators, who were the entertainment for me.  Especially the biker bars.  At 10 miles, I was very comfortably running 9:00 pace.  At 15, they were handing out GU and I got all I could.  At 17 they were passing out Power-Gel, and I got a bunch of those.  At 20, I decided that I could race the last 10K if I wanted to, but since I wanted to continue running all week without “recovery,” I would just continue to run as I had been.  In fact, I tried to slow a little and jog in, but my legs just kept going.

It was in the 40s and a 15 mph headwind.  Some people thought it was cold.  Some people got dehydrated from the wind, thinking they needn’t drink a lot.  I felt fine, although a couple direct blasts of wind felt a little chilly, I thought it was perfect conditions, temperature and overcast.

At the finish, I got my space blanket, and headed for the Four Seasons, our agreed rendezvous.  On the way, I overtook Bob, who was suffering badly from hypothermia.  I helped him to the lobby, and Tom attended him with hot tea with sugar while I changed into dry clothes.  By then, Bob was recovered, and we walked back to the train station and returned to the hotel.  It was a very pleasant ride.

We all showered after the race, Bob first, since they were returning to Syracuse right away.  Tom and I drove to Marty’s and went for calamari at a neighborhood bar.  Then we stopped for another Guinness at an Irish pub on the way back to the hotel.

Tuesday morning, I rose early and went downstairs to not bother Tom.  I took a little walk.  We had breakfast, checked out, and went to Marathon Sports, just down the course a mile.  We tried on shoes, and I bought two pair.  Then Tom drove back to Syracuse, while I rode the entire way.  A very enjoyable experience!

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