Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boston 2009 -- Quick Take

The headwinds off the Atlantic were factors much of the way, but with all the winding roads and hills, not to mention the big houses in places like Wellesley and Newton, there were parts of the course where we were protected and quite comfortable. Temps generally were in the mid 40s, reaching 50 when I went through Brookline 3.5 miles from the finish. I had a Nike skull cap that I took on and off all day, and wore a Zensah compression shirt for my base layer on top. I wanted the protection for sure when I got to Beacon St.-Commonwealth-Hereford and Boylston (last 5 miles). That stretch was right into the teeth of of the chilling wind. Crowds were biggest I've ever seen at the B.A.A. Marathon, even in Ashland, which is out near Hopkinton. It was exhilarating to say the least. Boston is not just another run. There is a lot going on mentally, and if I may, spirtually, as you gauge your body and mind to make sure your tank is full and your focus clear for the long Newton hills on miles 16-21. I played it very conservatively because of border-line training and injuries, and it paid off through the first two Newton climbs. Like many around me, I bogged down as my quads and hams began to freeze up on the last two, including Heartbreak, but I got to the top and then found fast-twitch fibers in reserve for the final push to Copley Square and the coveted Boston medallion. I'll take a 3:50:10 on that course at age 60 any time! As I ran down Boylston to the finish with thousands cheering me on, I thanked my lucky stars that I am able to do this. It was a great weekend in Boston to say the least. There was plenty of excitement with the run, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics all in action. That is one passionate sports town. They dodged a huge bullet with the weather. It started raining about 5:45 p.m. I'm wearing my Boston shirt now. I don't want to take it off! Photos: I was freezing afterward as I made my way along Boylston to the "T." My favorite turn on the course is the last one: Hereford to Boylston.


Eileen said...

Bob, what a great story. Congratulations -- I like the picture of the Citgo sign -- it kind of chokes me up even now -- 6 years later. I recall looking up to the sky and thanking God when I knew I was going to finish and just couldn't believe I was lucky enough to be running in the most famous race of all. See you soon - let me know when you're ready for a "double".

Bob Richards said...

I think I did my "double" on Monday! Miles 1-16 were Race 1. Miles 16-26.2 were the nightcap!