On April 18th I ran the 120th Boston Marathon. Thankfully I keep pretty good records because there are days when it seems like I’ve done all 120. This year was my 14th Boston finish and Laurie’s 20th. This was also Laurie’s 229th overall marathon finish. She is really amazing!
Compared to 2015 when it was cold and rainy, we had a gorgeous day this year. The temperature was around 70 degrees at the start in Hopkinton and it dropped to the low 60’s by the time we got to Boston. The heat offered a bit of a challenge, but I thought the headwind was an even tougher opponent.
Laurie and I had a great time in Hopkinton hanging out before the race. The sunshine warmed us and we found a comfortable place to sit. We were both part of the 2nd wave of starters. Once the 1st wave athletes left the village we found 2 discarded inflatable rafts to lounge on. We were so comfortable that our biggest risk was falling asleep and missing our start at 10:25am. We were too excited so that was never going to happen. Not only were we both in the 2nd wave, but we were also in corral 3 so we got to start the race together. It was a real bonus for me to kiss my wife right before the start, instead of some stranger. Not that I would ever do that.
One of the race highlights every year are the women of Wellesley College at the half way point. You can hear the girls screaming well before you arrive at Wellesley and well after you leave. My favorite Wellesley sign this year was “Kiss me or I’ll vote for Trump!”
I was very pleased with my race as I finished in 3:17:09 (7:32/mile pace) which was 33 seconds faster than 2015. This was exactly what I had trained to do so I’m very thankful. I placed 221 out of 2,032 men age 50-54. I placed 3,751 out of 14,471 men. I placed 4,293 out of 26,639 overall finishers. Laurie really had a great race as she finished in 3:33:03 and placed 130th in her age group. I am so proud of her!
Upon getting to our hotel room after the race I flipped on the television for the local race coverage. The highlight of my race experience was unfolding. I was able to watch Patrick Downes finish the race. I had no idea who Patrick was until that moment. Patrick and his wife Jessica were both victims of the 2013 bombing. Patrick lost a leg in the bombing and Jessica’s injuries were even more severe. Jessica is a beautiful woman, but she still has additional surgeries scheduled. In 2015 Patrick completed the Boston Marathon on a handcycle. This year Patrick completed the Boston Marathon using a prosthetic leg. He has clearly made great progress on his road to recovery. Patrick finished at 2:49pm – the exact same time of day as the 2013 bomb blast. He has come full circle.
At first glance the 2013 attack represented so much bad. But after seeing Patrick’s emotional finish, it is apparent that so much good has come of the 2013 tragedy. I personally think more good than bad has come out of the 2013 race. The running and Boston communities have shown great resolve and solidarity in banding together.
Another interesting fact about the 2016 race involves Dave McGillivray. Dave has been the Boston Marathon Race Director since 1988. After putting on the race for 26,000+ of his closest friends, Dave went back to Hopkinton that night and ran his 44th consecutive Boston Marathon.
To see my race photos, please click on this link:
Living the life…