Here’s another blog by a Mississauga Chiropractor…
The 115th Boston Marathon was held on April 18, 2011. I was thrilled to finally qualify for this historic race with a BQ (Boston qualifying) time of 3:09:17 at the Detroit Marathon. Maria and I decided to turn my race into a “get-away-weekend”, which meant the kids were staying at home with grandma & grandpa.
We arrived in Boston on Friday (the Big Race was on Monday – Patriot’s Day), and we checked into the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, located on 138 St. James Avenue. This hotel was in a perfect location, because it was just a few blocks from the bus pick-up area (which would bring us to the Starting Line), and it was just walking distance to the Race Expo & Finishing Line. We must have visited the expo 4-5 times picking up the famous Boston Marathon jacket, hat, bag and a few pairs of racing shoes that were on sale.
A number of our meals leading up to the marathon was at Faneuil Hall Marketplace which had an assortment of foods and the best Clam Chowder in Boston. We also watched a Red Sox vs Blue Jays baseball game at Fenway Park. I guess I’m used to the warm comfort of the domed Roger’s Centre, because I was freezing sitting on the wooden benches in the Fenway Bleachers. Everyone around me wore Red Sox jerseys and hats. My group and I donned our Boston Marathon Jackets
On Race day, as I entered the Athletes Village in Hopkinton State Park, all I saw were a sea of people sprawled out on a huge grassy field. There were a few people smiling and joking around, but the majority of the athletes had serious faces (or maybe they were just nervous like me).
The actual run was an exhilarating experience. I had never seen so many runners in one place. 24,000 Boston Marathon finishers is quite a lot. Whenever I looked ahead of me each time I ran down a hill, I would see a mass of heads and coloured shirts bobbing up and down.
Aside from the runners, the sidelines were also filled with endless spectators. I can safely say that almost the entire 42.2K had people along the course shouting encouraging words to all the runners. The screams were deafening while running through both Wellesley College and Boston College. The high pitched cheers and shrieks coming from the excited co-eds would pierce my ears, but it did give me the energy to power through the course.
I was on my 3:05 projected finishing time pace up until I finished running up Heartbreak Hill in Newton at about 32K. Heartbreak is the last of the Newton Hills, and so I thought I was “home free.” However, this is when my muscles started to cramp up. My hamstring muscles first started to seize, and then my groin muscles followed after that.
My pace slowly started to falter as I ran through Brookline. At 40K, with 2.2 kilometres to go, my running gait looked more like a hopping limp. I hobbled over the finish line in 3:21:17, much slower than my goal time, but I was happy that I finished the race.
I proudly wore my Boston Marathon Finishing Medal around my neck the rest of the day and throughout the airport and plane ride home.
Unfortunately, I failed to re-qualify for the Boston Marathon next year, yet I’m itching to get back to give the historic course another try.
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