I arrived in Boston Saturday night and made it to the Expo first thing Sunday morning to try to avoid the crazy crowds. I wandered around for a bit after getting my number and bought some arm warmers because the weather report was rapidly deteriorating. Then I went to get my annual picture by the Finish Line. It is very motivating and fun to see all the people by the Finish Line getting excited for their race the following day.
The talk of the town was what to wear on race day due to the temperature getting colder and colder and the rain and winds increasing every time I checked the weather. I had brought a skirt and tank top to run in, but began thinking that might not be enough. Fortunately my friend, Sheilah, that I was running with had an extra pair of capri tights and an ear warmer for me to use. And I had bought a short sleeve running shirt for my sister at the Expo that I ended up deciding to wear. (Sorry, sis!) I’ve never been so unprepared clothing-wise for a race before, but the past 2 years I have felt overheated while running Boston, so when I packed to fly there, I never expected the weather to get so blustery.
Race morning was uneventful, I got up, ate a banana and some oatmeal, dressed in my race outfit plus 2 extra layers of throw away clothes to keep warm before the start. I met Sheilah and we boarded the bus near the Boston Commons and began the long trek to Hopkinton. It is a sobering feeling when the bus ride to the starting line takes almost an hour and you realize that you have to run the entire way back into the city!
When we got to Athlete’s Village (the waiting area until your wave of the race starts), it was cold and windy, but hadn’t started raining yet. We decided to bypass all the crowds in the Village area and began walking toward the starting line. We had about an hour and a half until our wave started so we stopped near a grocery store where there are a bunch of porta-potties set up and we found a small alcove area where some other runners were hiding out to try to get out of the elements before the race. We sat and talked with some really nice people which helped put my nerves at ease. Before we knew it, it was time to walk to our starting corral. My super fast friend, Sheilah, was scheduled to start in the wave before me, but was sweet enough to wait around to start and run the race with me. (You can read about our fun time running last year’s Boston Marathon together here.)
Finally the gun went off and we started our race. The rain began coming down so we decided to keep on our ponchos and a layer of throw away clothing to stay warm. We ended up keeping both on until mile 24 when we decided to shed the extra layers and just get to the finish line as quickly as possible!
The race was a blast as always. The spectators did not disappoint. They were out there in their usual force, despite the wet and windy weather. These are some diehard people! I was most impressed with all the families with small children out there handing out water and oranges in their rain gear. This is one of the things that makes Boston such an amazing race!
We didn’t let the rain and wind dampen our spirits. While 26.2 miles is never easy to run, it is much more fun with a good friend by your side. At points we just had to laugh when a big gust of wind would come and almost blow us backwards. Sure the weather was not ideal, but how can you complain when you are running the best marathon in the world?
3 hours 53 minutes and 45 seconds later, we made it to the finish line in Boston, and I completed my 3rd Boston and 12th marathon! And Sheilah completed her 6th Boston and 17th marathon!
I want to thank everyone for all the comments, best wishes, and support. Every time we crossed a timing mat, I knew people were getting updates and following along with us. Thank you to Klean Athlete for providing me with nutritional supplements that help keep my body going (I used the Klean Endurance Tabs and Electrolytes during the race, and the Klean Recovery after the race). I am beyond grateful to Sheilah for making this another memorable Boston and birthday (which was the day after the race). And I am thankful to my family and friends for their support of my training, racing and traveling endeavors. And most of all I’m thankful to God for giving me the health, strength and ability to continue to take on these adventures.