Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Boston (Non-Running) Marathon Recap.

I did not run the Boston Marathon, I repeat...I DID NOT RUN THE BOSTON MARATHON.  I want to make this clear to everyone.  This year I went to Boston not only to watch my crazy fast brother Tim run the race, but also to honor everyone involved in the bombing and aftermath last year.  When Tim decided that he was going to indeed go to Boston and run, there was no question in my mind that I had to go with him.

On the road. 

We drove.....yea....probably wouldn't do that again. The drive there wasn't too bad, we ended up stopping in Niagara Falls and stayed with my parent for a night, who were on "vacation" up there again.  The next night, we stayed at a buddies of mine in Syracuse, NY, a perfect half way point between Cleveland and Boston.

We got to Boston on Saturday afternoon and both of us were pretty overwhelmed from the second we exited the highway.  We were planning on staying at a Hostile for the weekend, we checked in, made our beds (didn't even get the same bunk). We got back in the car to leave and realized the expo was over 5 miles away from the Hostile, we originally thought it was less than 2.  I don't know about Tim, but at that second I wanted nothing to do with that Hostile. Drove near the Expo and decided to park at MIT and walk to the Expo.

The Boston Marathon Expo is literally heaven to me.  That's the best word I can use to describe it.  All things running, elite runners, free samples, just everything imaginable. Pretty overwhelming, but an amazing event.  Tim got his bib number and race packet, which was pretty emotional to me. Just walking around and seeing everyone who was going to race was so inspirational.  I want to run this race so bad it's ridiculous.
Met Leo Manzano at Hoka
Tim got to meet here, I just got to see here, Kara Goucher

Heaven on earth.

Saturday night was very emotional to me.  We decided to walk by the finish line.  There were a ton of people around, but it was an awesome experience.  Just everything that has happened at this race over the years, including, and especially last year just really hit me.  This race is so historical and significant.  The Boston Marathon is the mecca of running in this country in my opinion and it was such an honor and privlege to be here, especially this year.
Standing at the finish line Saturday night. 

One very emotional spot for me was near the Marathon Sports running store which is right by the finish line, and where one of the bombs went off last year.  They set up a temporary memorial at this location that was a very emotional moment for both Tim and I. 
The memorial by the finish line and Marathon Sports. (I hate to say it, but it really bothered me that they spelled forget wrong.) Very emotional moment.

Marathon Sports near the finish line.  Their glass was broke, floor destroyed and also lost a good amount of inventory from the bomb.

After walking around the city a bit we got back in the car and I decided we should stop at the Hyatt Regency just to see if there were any room, and unbelievably there was! We ended up getting a room for 2 nights, but Saturday night was still a problem.  We met a couple of Tim's friends out for a beer.  Neither one of us wanted to go back to the Hostel.  Got a beer with them, and ended up crashing at their place, THANK THE LORD.  

Woke up Sunday morning and decided to see if we could check into our room early.  God was on our side, and we got our room at 8:30am. 
Our Beautiful room at the Hyatt Regency.  (Good Call).

After we checked into our room, we decided to go for a run around the city.  We ran around Fenway and then back to the Finish line.  A great run, the emotions and adrenaline were in full effect, didn't even remember I was running.  Did some more exploring of the city and went back to the expo but laid low and went back to the room early so Tim could rest for the marathon. 

Race morning was pretty awesome.  Woke up around 9 and walked to the finish line area.  Absolutely beautiful day, blue skies and a good temperature for running.  Didn't think I would be able to get close to the finish, but ended up getting super close.  I was in the second row behind some shorter girls and the jumbo-tron was right behind me.  Perfect spot to watch such a historic race.  The security was pretty tight, everyone had to have their bags checked from all streets merging on Boylston.  I actually wasn't really nervous at all about the whole situation, Boston really did a great job. 
Walking to the finish line after just turning onto Boylston. 
Getting very close to the finish line on race day.

Watching Meb come in as the 2014 champion was an amazing sight.  Everyone was chanting "USA USA" and the crowd seriously sounded like a football stadium.  Watching an American come in to win the race for the first time since 1983, and probably the biggest single marathon in history with what happened last year was so incredible emotional.  Meb had an incredible day, and all the other Elite Americans really pulled their weight to make sure their guy got on the podium!
Boston came out Strong to support this historic race. 

Meb on the home stretch going for the win. 

Shalane had an incredible day, leading the race for the first 30k.
Ryan Hall doing everything he could to make sure Meb took the win. 

Such an exciting few minutes when all the elites came in.  When they played the National Anthem for Meb I got chills throughout my body.  Such an epic win on such an epic day.  Meb deserved it, USA deserved it, and especially, BOSTON deserved it. 

Tim had one heck of a race.  He came in at 2:53 for a pretty nice PR.  It was awesome to be that close to the finish line and watch your little brother come down Boylston to finish the Boston Marathon.  I got pretty emotional and a bit teary eyed when I saw him coming down to the finish.  He looked like he put his heart and soul into this race. 
Tim putting in some serious effort to get to the finish!

After Tim crossed the line, I left my spot immediately to go find him by the family meeting area.  I waited a pretty long time before I got a call from a nurse in the medical tent telling me Tim was "getting a massage."  Little did I know, Tim was severely dehydrated and wasn't doing all that well when he crossed the line.  Tim asked the nurse to tell me that so I wouldn't worry.  Typical Tim.  He put everything into this race, and I think that's pretty awesome.  

While I was waiting for Tim, I was just looking around watching everyone meet up with their family.  I was watching the exit area when all of a sudden I saw the man who basically got me to start running with his book, Ultramarathon Man, DEAN KARNAZES.  Pretty funny Tim and I were talking the day before about who in running we would like to meet and I said Dean.  I of course went up to him and congratulated him on finishing, (he ran a marathon to the start, then ran the race in 3:35).  I then took a nice selfie with him! He was an awesome guy and very encouraging.  I can now die a happy man! 
DEAN KARNAZES. The man who got me running. 

Met up with Tim a few minutes later by the family area.  He looked great, and actually ran up to me like nothing was wrong.  Tim is a heck of a runner.  So awesome to see him with his medal on knowing he just ran the Boston Marathon. 
Tim and I at the finish.  So proud of this guy! 

Well, now it's my turn.  I decided while I was there that I'm going to spend the next five months seeing how good of shape I can get into so that I might be able to qualify to run this race next year.  I know it will be a stretch, my PR is a 4:01 and I would need to run under a 3:05, but I want to give it a shot and see what happens.  The weekend was such an inspiration and so motivating that I just have to race this for myself.  Watching Tim finish and just being there for the whole weekend was awesome, but next time I go, I want it to be for another reason...

Promising myself that I will try and run in 2015. 

The jumbo-tron where I was standing at the finish.

I need to cross the finish line for real. 
See you in 2015. 
Boston Bound. 2015.