Yesterday I was humbled, blessed and supremely encouraged, taking part in a 26.2 mile party with over a million friends! There was so much incredible positivity, joy and downright partying along the course that a runner couldn’t help but get swept up in it. I think I speak for 36,000 people when I say that I started out too fast due to the tremendous support. I couldn’t help but cheer along with the crowd for much of the race. Boston is clearly more than strong; it’s chock full of resilience, joy and overwhelming love and I loved every minute I got to take in! As I drove under the marathon course tonight, I was hit with a moment of sadness in the realization that so much planning and expectation has now been fulfilled and that this dream weekend is now over. But if I could change anything about the last couple days, I would only choose to relive them again. Next year will have such large shoes to fill, that I think it’s safer to just set this year in it’s own category. If last year has an asterisk next to it, this year should have a giant freakin smiley face to make note of what happened. I know that my Boston experience to date is very short, having spectated twice from multiple locations and now run it once, but I’ve talked to 10 and 20 year plus veterans and all I’ve spoken to have been in agreement, this year was simply remarkable. On a more personal note, I did hit my main goal and came less than a minute from my dream goal, a time that would have definitely been doable had I not started to overheat pretty bad towards the end. All in all, my fitness and training feel thoroughly validated in the race I had yesterday, I put my all in it and left everything and then some on the course. My own throat is still sore from cheering and I don’t care one bit that my celebrating cost me some deep breaths and some more time the clock, the people of Boston deserved my best and I tried to give it to them.
The elite field was comprised of the fastest runners Boston has ever drawn and promised to be an epic showdown. There was such a strong desire from the running community to have an American winner and I know that both the men and woman wanted to deliver. Going in to the race I, along with many smarter individuals, speculated that Shalane Flanagan would be the best chance of that happening, but that Desi Linden would be just about as close to it. No one could have known that Shalane would go out at record pace and still have the older Jeptoo go past her and drag others along. I’m so incredibly proud of her and Desi for going so hard and for Shalane with a big PR and Desi nearly matching her super fast 2011 PR in the infamous Boston tailwind year. As for the men’s elite field, just thinking about how that all played out nearly makes me tear up, even now. Meb is the guy who’s poster belongs on every kid’s wall; humble, passionate, gracious, tenacious and everything you want an athlete to be. I can’t possibly add to the stories about Ryan Hall and Josphat Boit’s incredible race (along with other Americans) so I will simply link to this story that makes me more proud of these guys than I can even contain.
There are so many other themes and stories that I want to bring up that I’m gonna have to write a separate post just to recap my own race, so I can leave this one for the amazing stuff that happened over the whole weekend. More to be added later, time for bed, back to work tomorrow morning and then on to run group afterwards to continue celebrating!
I love you Boston.