Barbara & Smarty run Boston debuts
Barbara gives her recap:
Boston is truly a first class Marathon!! Although my time was slower than I wanted, I couldn’t have
asked for anything more from the race. In summary, the race organization, the spectator support, and the
course itself were all wonderful (that’s the very short race report).
(The very long race report...) Tony and I got to Boston early Saturday morning and went straight to the Expo.
Talk about crowded!!! We picked up our race numbers (5k and marathon) and then went to check out the gear.
Luckily I had ordered most of my souvenir clothing online beforehand because I really couldn’t tolerate the
crowds and we left after only a few purchases.
We checked into our B&B which was right downtown – only 3 blocks from the finish. Location was perfect for the
entire weekend. Unfortunately it rained pretty much all of Saturday so we didn’t do much site-seeing.
We walked to Chinatown for our Saturday night dinner and then joined a Runner’s World party at Boston Beer
Works (right by the Celtics stadium – had the pleasure of riding the “T” with all the crazy fans).
On Sunday, we both ran the 5k. I ran it easy and Tony used it as part of his 8 mile run. The course ended at
the marathon finish line!! Tech shirt, medal, and a big bag of food – pretty good swag for a 5k! But as I
said before, Boston is truly first class!! We then made a quick visit back to the Expo so I could get the
Team Hoyt book, Devoted, and have Dick Hoyt sign it for me. They were running their 28th Boston marathon
We relaxed for most of Sunday afternoon and then met Smarty and his parents for our pasta dinner Sunday night.
Smarty and I made our plans for meeting the next morning at 6:00 a.m. to catch the buses to the start.
Monday morning, I met Smarty (he was eagerly waiting for me at the corner of the Boston Common before 6:00) and
we made it to the Athletes’ village and staked out a spot under one of the tents. It was already very sunny
and slightly breezy so we knew it was going to be on the warmer side for the race. The Athlete’s Village was
great – plenty of food, music, announcements, and the lines for the porta-johns really weren’t that bad.
The baggage check was the most organized one that I have seen!
Smarty went to the starting line for the 10:00 1st wave start. I had another ½ hour to get myself organized
and head to the start for the 10:30 2nd wave start. When I got in my coral, I ran into Margie Hughes – we
were so surprised to see each other among all those people! I got rid of my throw-away sweatshirt (it was
already warm enough) and we were off!!
I was shooting for a 4:15/4:20. My first 2 miles were a little fast but then I settled into a steady 9:30ish pace.
But it was sunny and warm and I started to drink too much Gatorade and water. Luckily around mile 8, the clouds
came out and it cooled off (until mile 20, when the sun came back out). The crowds were lining the course from
the very start (even in the rural town of Hopkinton). I had my name on my shirt and I smiled every time I heard
my named called with a Boston accent!! I gave tons of high-fives to lots of kids and just kept smiling and
taking it all in. I laughed as all the Wellesley girls screamed and waved their signs around and gave the
At the half, I was at 2:03 (a little ahead of goal time) and I thought to myself, “Well,
the winners will be finishing in a few minutes”. At that point, I knew my stomach was in trouble and I
just kept looking forward to seeing Tony around mile 16/17 so that I could stop and eat some crackers.
Unfortunately, I missed him – he saw me looking around for him but with all the screaming from the spectators,
I couldn’t hear him trying to call me and I just didn’t see the UD foam finger he had.
Well, I made it
through the hills at 16 and 18 – I stopped for a second to put my headphones in at the bottom of the hill
at 18 but I ended up taking them out again around mile 19 because I couldn’t hear the music with all the
screaming spectators!! Then I stopped at mile 20 to sit down for a minute to let my stomach settle down
(yes, I pulled a "Sit-down", Rich). I continued on and ran up Heartbreak Hill – the crowds were just CRAZY
yelling at you to make it to the top of the hill!!! At this point the hills were behind me (if you train
in Pike Creek, the hills really aren’t that bad) and I enjoyed the downhill but I stopped again at mile 22
to let my stomach settle down. At this point, I decided I should just walk instead of actually stopping
so I continued walking and running the last 4 miles (I was disappointed because I had told Smarty in the
Athletes’ village that I wasn’t going to walk). The crowds were even larger and louder as I turned onto
Boylston Street but I was just focused on the sign over the finish line. I was happy to finish my first
Boston Marathon in 4:33:33.
I met Tony at the family reunion area and we stopped to talk to Wes and Margie on the bus. We then headed
back to our room – I grabbed a chocolate shake from Mr. Frosty in Boston Common which was great for my
stomach!! After answering all my congratulatory texts J, we headed out for dinner and a few drinks.
Overall, a great Boston weekend!!!
Smarty gives his recap:
I headed up to Boston early on Saturday morning. Driving up made me feel like a kid taking a family roadtrip
again. My parents were there for my first marathon and knew how long I had tried to qualify, so they wanted
to be there for my "victory lap". Got to the expo right around noon and I agree with Barbara that it was
very crowded even that early in the day.
Later that night, I had gotten tickets for the Red Sox/Rays game at Fenway. The game was suspended the night
before, so we essentially got to see a doubleheader. Wes came into Boston and joined us for the second game.
Weather was cold and rainy, but the experience of being at Fenway was awesome. It's unbelievable that the
stadium was built in 1912. A lot of history there...
Sunday was a pretty lazy day. Took a Duck tour of Boston, which was a lot of fun and a good way to see the
city off your feet. Finished the day having a nice dinner with Barbara and Tony at Papa Razzi.
Marathon Monday saw a big improvement in the weather. While it was still windy, the rain had stopped and it
was very sunny all day long. Barbara scouted out a nice place under one of the tents and we kept each other
company for the 3 hours prerace in Hopkinton. We wished each other well and I left Athlete's Village for the
start 3/4 mile away in Hopkinton. "Take it easy", "Don't go out too fast" were the advice I had received from
all the Boston veterans I talked too. With that in mind, I tried to run as easy and relaxed as I could.
But there's really no way to prepare for the persistent downhill and as I found out, it kills your quads.
I enjoyed the constant crowds in these small New England towns. "You have to kiss a Wellesley girl" was
another thing I kept hearing, so how does one choose?? Signs ranged from "I majored in kissing" to
"Kiss Me I'm...". There was a break in the crowd and I kissed a coed whose sign read "Kiss Me I'm on TV".
Started running again only to find a sign that said "Kiss Me I'm English". I laughed and thought I'd have
to stop and make my cousin Lisa proud that I kissed a proper English girl.
Despite my brief smooching detour, I still came through the half at 1:35. In the context of a marathon,
that's probably the fastest half I'd run although it didn't feel like it. My legs were really starting to
hurt by the time I got to Newton. I looked for Tony but couldn't find him in the crowd. Going uphill
wasn't as bad as I thought and I figured I'd limit the damage by walking a little bit just on the bad parts.
Coming back down from Heartbreak Hill, I thought it would be easy. But I faced a much tougher reality as
cramps in my quads and calves had me running and walking the rest of the way in. I realized that my goals
had gotten away. When I got to the Citgo sign (1 mile to go), I did my best to finish strong. Turning
onto Boylston Street was a welcome sight and I finished in 3:35. Although I didn't do what I wanted,
I'll take these valuable lessons for when and if I'm able to qualify again. 114 years…you really get
the sense of history in Boston. There really is nothing like it and I'm happy to have been able to taken part.
BBQ at a bar
Tony runs 5K
Smarty waits in runnners village
Smarty in Hopkinton
Barbara in Hopkinton
Ryan Hall finished 4th