At the start line, the only thing that makes or breaks a great run is your attitude – that is what I thought just before the gun sounded. The morning broke bright and beautiful and it was the start of a gorgeous day! We couldn’t have had better conditions in which to run a marathon – sunny, mid-50’s temps and a tailwind to boot! The men’s winner Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon in history with an astounding 2:03:02! However, due to the downhill elevation change, the International Association of Athletics Federation does not recognize the Boston course in the world records. The women’s finish was equally exciting as Caroline Kilel nudged out American Desiree Davilla to win by just 2 seconds!
My race wasn’t nearly as exciting, but I did have fun! With a finish time of 3:32:14, I also have something to celebrate. It is an incredible rush to be a part of such a long running tradition, and to be racing with the best in the world! I was swept along the entire course with my fellow athletes; and pushed on by the cheering spectators. I pretty much started hurting from the start but with the downhill course, but the miles seemed to come up pretty fast (but got steadily longer as the race got on). I passed and cheered Team Hoyt before the halfway mark. At mile 20 I went up and over “heartbreak hill” – not as big of a deal as they make it out to be. I was still on a sub-3:30 pace through mile 23, and I really thought I had it in me. Amazingly, my pace was pretty constant through nearly the entire race, having been built into me by my training cause my running computer had gone awry and I didn’t really know how I was doing except by my splits.
However, just past mile 24 my legs turned into bricks and my stomach felt like jelly. “Never mind,’” I told myself. “It doesn’t matter, you are still doing GREAT!” I pressed on as hard as I possibly could – nothing to lose – just keep going! Well, I thought I had given it all, until just after I crossed the finish line and the Gatorade from mile 22 came back out. I guess you’d call that hydration fail.
My friends (and hosts for the weekend) Tim and Crystal with their son Samuel and new friend Caryn (who took these fabulous photos) were cheering for me just before mile 23 and that was a bonus to be able to see them in the crowd. It was the first time I have had friends cheering for me along a major race! Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers for the race! I thought of many of you often over the miles and truly did run with gratitude and attitude!
One final note: To compare Boston with New York… that’s a hard call. Therefore I will say that the best marathon ever was the Shenyang Cha-Bu-Duo Marathon/10K last year. But of course I’m gonna say that because I’m the race director! Come out and join us this September!