Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Boston Marathon Race Recap

Last year I ran the Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa.  That race required a qualifying marathon to be completed by the end of April.  My boyfriend and I decided to run the Revel Mount Charleston race because we didn’t want to travel and we got into i
t at the last minute.  I didn’t plan to qualify for the Boston Marathon but I did and I did with 15 minutes to spare.  I was pretty excited since I hadn’t done Boston and it’s a bucket list race for most runners.  I was looking forward to the Boston Marathon even though I wasn’t 100% prepared.  I knew I could do the distance but hadn’t done much speed work so I didn’t expect to have my fastest time.  I wanted to enjoy my time in Boston and enjoy the race.  I was looking forward to experiencing all the iconic things I had heard about like Heartbreak Hill, Newton Hills, and the Wellesley Girls.  

A few weeks before the race, I was honored to become a part of a team representing The Las Vegas Resiliency Center.  The Center was set up to offer support for victims affected by the October 1st shooting at the Mandalay Bay.  The center wanted to have a team represented in Boston to help bring awareness to the help the center provides. We could also show support for Boston since that city experienced a tragic event like Las Vegas.  The team was called Vegas Strong and we had shirts with Vegas Strong on the front and Boston Strong on the back.  There were 22 runners that made up the team.  The members either qualified for Boston like I did or were running with a charity spot.  We all met a few weeks prior to the race for a training run from the Las Vegas sign to Sunset Park.  As you can see by the picture I had to bring my dog Lilly who is one of my running buddies.  It was a fun event and we had a police escort the entire way.  It was on the news and received a lot of attention, which was especially good for the Resiliency Center.  People impacted by the tragedy only have 6 more months to take advantage of the center so it’s important to get the word out. 

As we got closer to the race we all kept an eye on the weather report.  It wasn’t looking great and in fact as we approached race day it was looking pretty dismal.  Cold, pouring rain and strong winds were in the forecast for race day.  This was especially bad for someone like me who doesn’t like the cold, doesn’t perform well in the cold, and is prone to hypothermia.  I’ve never done a marathon in pouring rain so I had to think about what I would wear. I decided on a water resistant Lululemon jacket and water resistant Lululemon tights.  I had my Vegas/Boston strong shirt with a base layer under it.  Unfortunately with the jacket nobody would see my shirt. I had two pairs of gloves, a headband covering my ears, a beanie and a hood on my jacket.  I wore a sweat suit in the morning over my tights and jacket and throw away shoes since we had to wait a while before the race.  We arrived by bus at a school and we had to wait for our waves to be called when we would walk about a mile to the start.  They did have tents in the fields at the school but they were packed full of people and full of slippery deep mud.  It was awful plus the lines at the porta potties were so long and slow.  I think people were staying extra long in the porta potty to stay dry!  I waited in the rain in line to go to the bathroom and I was freezing cold.  By the time the race started I was soaking wet and shaking from the cold.  I had the brief thought of bailing on the race and taking Uber back to the hotel.  That thought passed and I sucked it up and went to the start line.

I was so cold my feet were numb for the first several miles.  The wind and rain lasted most of the race, at times it was pouring very hard with a strong headwind.  Mother Nature was relentless and she didn’t let up for the entire day.  There was one really great thing about this day.  I was so impressed that there were so many people cheering us on the entire way.  People who ran the race previous yev gfars said the crowds were light but it didn’t seem like it to me.  These people were out in the pouring rain to cheer us on.  It was so impressive I couldn’t believe it and it lasted all the way to the finish line. 

It was one of the worst weather days in the history of the 122 years of the Boston Marathon.  I was so happy to be at the finish and it was pretty exciting running down the final stretch to the finish.  There were so many people cheering us on to the finish and it was exciting.  It wasn’t a great finishing time for me and wasn’t the most fun I’ve had at a race.  I was however the happiest I’ve ever been to be done with a race.  I was so thankful it was over and just wanted to get warm and dry.  I don’t think I’ll be back to do this race again but I’m glad I did it and can always tell people I did it that year they had the worst weather ever! 

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