Friday, May 2, 2014

Finishing the Boston Marathon

As "non-finishers" last year at Boston, we were allowed back this year.  I waffled about taking the automatic entries but decided I just couldn't pass it up.  I really wanted to be there!  It's an amazing day, an incredible place, another chance to actually finish the race, and a last hurrah for our Boston Marathon "career".  Yes, I would have hated to miss it.

Good luck runners!


My favorite souvenir:


This year they didn't transport drop bags back from the starting line, so we (along with many other runners) wore outer garments that would be donated to charity.

Showing off our Goodwill coats at pre-race breakfast (Bruegger's!):


John cultivating some kind of mysterious man look:


A sample of the collection bags at Athlete's Village before the start (much cleaner than the yard sale in the early miles like last year):


A more disposable type of outerwear:


Ready to go!


We found John Price!  It was great to see him again.  We know a couple other runners who were there, but surprisingly (yeah right!) didn't run into them amid 30,000 other people wearing race numbers.  Also of note, I shed my jacket before the start but John decided to hang onto his for a while longer.


Walking toward the starting line:


And we're off!  Woo hoo!  One of our favorite early cheering spots, the biker bar:


Along with wearing the coat for a while, John's other thought-provoking idea was to do 20 push-ups every mile for as long as he could.  He would hand me the camera for the exercise, so naturally I had to document it:


Yes, we were out to enjoy the day!  My legs felt great after the 50 miles on Saturday, but I didn't feel the need to stress them any more than necessary so we took it slow and easy.

This deserves a better caption than I can think of at the moment:


Go Mr. Beard!  Hey, how do they know John's name?


John was getting all kinds of great comments from people who were trying to figure out what he was trying to be (which it turns out, was the point, or something).  Cape Man was most common, along with Batman, Robin (?), the graduate, "love your bathrobe!", professor, "did you just roll out of bed?", wizard, "here comes the judge", Caped Crusader, "aren't you hot in that thing?", Darth Vader, Jedi, Ben Kenobi (??), and my favorite, the trencher.

And the funniest was when they would try to figure it out but come up with nothing but open mouths and and puzzled looks.  "Go... ?"

That impelled John to continue wearing it just to see what people would say.


Occasionally he got help with counting to 20:


Boston Strong!  (and - Extra Space Storage!)


Excellent mohawks:


Go Boston Bruins!  This guy was a good sport for my first Boston team T-shirt photo of the day:


I finally found my "That was easy!" button, yay!


I hope John Z. saw this:


Another 20 at 7:


Go Pats!


Another Pats fan:


After last year's failed high-five/fist bump debacle with Santa, I got a chance to do it right this time - thank you Santa!  And my apologies to the woman who had to veer around me:


John getting more of a workout than was required:


While waiting in line for a porta-potty, we noticed this table of food for the volunteers:


Push-ups by the pond:


Go Red Sox!


Cape Man passing mile 10:


Cool!


I was ready for the trampolines this year, and happily there was one available for some mid-race bouncing:


A little Lord of the Rings humor (leftmost signs):


Our choice for a Wellesley kiss:


Getting toward the end of John's ability to continue the mile-y streak:


Nice tutus:


Around the halfway point we got a little hungry.  Perfect timing for a free sample of Stonyfield yogurt - awesome!  They seemed pretty excited (and slightly amazed) that a runner would stop in the middle of the marathon for a snack:


Down to 15 push-ups at mile 15 - 10 more at mile 16 and that was (quite) enough of that!


May the course be with you:


We had a giggle at this sign, which was propped up on a chair...


Team Hoyt!  What an honor to run the same race as you:


Finally a Celtics T-shirt - Go Celtics!



John got a video of his favorite musicians on the course:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npk44a2l7n4

Hey, another sign just for John!


It's John Price again!  Go John!


Hash House Harrier pit stop, and yes, beer during a marathon is really great when I'm not trying to run fast:


Still monkeying around with help from new friends:



Hi Big Bird!


Boston College, my all-time favorite high-five section - BC rocks!


Running down along the BC wave:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wYwRFGgXMM

Getting closer to Boston, I switched sides to rouse up the other half of the crowds and to give my right arm a break for a few minutes.  I was getting so much energy from the spectators, I couldn't help cheering for them!  John and I would high-five a bunch of people, take a break for a couple minutes to walk and recover, then start it up again.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!


The interactions with the spectators and all the high-fiving and positive vibes was the best part of the day.


It's like all of Boston turned out to take back their city, and we got to be one small part of it.


That's what I'm talking about!


Help from someone on the sidewalk for our Citgo sign photo (and yes, the coat made it the whole 26.2 miles!):


And more help for a photo with the best official sign on the course - we're gonna make it this time!


A brief lull, and some beautiful flowering trees, right before the packed crowds of the final streets:


Run like a Kenyan, drink like an Irishman!  Wear a coat like a Cape Man!


Boylston Street, where I took a moment and a deep breath while John took a picture of the cameraman with a panda hat:



We charged on down the street, high-fiving and yelling the whole way.  Woo hoo!  Thank you Boston!  It felt like we had run through a rock concert for 4+ hours, exhilarating and crazy and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

A calmer evening at Fenway later in the day when we were let in to look around and sit in the seats and soak up the ambiance.


Very cool.


I just happened to notice this right outside the park - Go Meb!


Yes.

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