The Man was up for another guest post! This time, sharing his thoughts on his recent run at the Boston Marathon.
Go on, have a read and leave a comment to let him know what you think, won’t you?
Let’s rewind to a seemingly random day sometime last December. This conversation took place:
BB: “Guess what? Your Christmas and Birthday Present will be the entrance of the Boston marathon April next year!”
Me: “Really? Wow that’s great!” (Not quite knowing what I was really getting into)
I have never done a Full Marathon in my life but I did 2 Half Marathons in Singapore because the gal was mostly organising marathons and I did it more as a support for her event. However on the back of my mind, I had always wanted the challenge of finishing a Full Marathon. Guess she could really read my mind.
Race day was on 16 April 2012, it’s a late morning flag off for this race. But being a one way race, all athletes have to travel to Hopkinton for the flag off. We then have to run/hop/walk for the next 26 miles in order to get to central Boston for the finishing line.
This is me hanging around the athlete village waiting for flag-off, my flag-off time was 10.45am so I had plenty of time to hang around before the flag-off. So while I was at the village, I had my arms painted with my name (that way people can see your name and cheer you along the way) and you could even get a pre-race massage if you wanted.
“Boston is all in!” this is the official tag line for the race but I never really understood what it meant until I finished this race. The race began at Hopkinton and the race course takes you through shland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline before finishing at central Boston. I was amazed that for the entire duration of the race, there were no lack of supporters for the whole 26 miles! From the start till the end, both sides of the race route were lined with people. They are there to hand you drinks; freshly cut oranges; there are people enthusiastically playing music; screaming your name; spraying you with water to cool you off. Basically doing anything and everything they can to help you finish the race. So this is what it means for a city to be all into something. I could go on and on about the race but will stick to a few most memorable parts of it.
My favorite part of the race has to be just after the half way point where u pass by Wellesley College. Wellesley College is an all-girls College. Just imagine a thousand girls on each side cheering you on ! And this is right after when you are just about to feel tired after the 13-mile mark. The enthusiasm from the crowds definitely gave me the energy boost to carry on! The best part of it? It seemed like its a tradition of the College for the girls to put up banners to encourage runners to kiss them! I have to say I was really really tempted! :p
The hardest part of the race had to be the infamous Heartbreak Hill. It’s actually a series of 7 hills over a 5 to 6 miles distance in Newton. The hills are not particularly steep but it’s comes at the 17-mile point where psychologically you are at your most tired state. This was also the point where I started walking. My original intention was obviously to finish the race without stopping at all, but the hills got the better of me. It was also here where I spotted the first Anti-Marathon “supporters”. What are they? Basically instead of cheering you on, these guys attempted to give runners beers and encouraging the runners to give up running the race. I didn’t see anyone do that, but like the kisses from Wellesley college, this was definitely tempting too!
The best part off the Race has to be the final mile! Here you have hundreds of thousands of fans lining up from Beacon Street to the finish line at Kenmore Square. I was dead tired by now, but the screams from the supporters and the desire to show the BB the Finisher’s medal kept me going on.
I finally finished the Race in 5hr 22 mins, it’s a far cry from what I had really wanted to do. But I was still glad that I managed to finish it. I would really want to do this again, but next time with better training and probably a few more races under my belt before taking on this event again.
~~ The Man
- Heat forces Boston Marathon, runners to adjust (hosted.ap.org)