Boston Marathon 2018, a Heartfelt Effort

When we set out for The Boston Marathon, a race now 122 years old, challenging point to point route held in early spring on the Atlantic East coast, we know we are certainly signing up for something epic.  The heart and spirit of this event with the immense community of volunteers, spectators, and Boston Strong-Bostonians never subsides. Being a part of this event is something never forgotten once experienced.  The 2018 Boston Marathon 2 days ago, was my third Boston Marathon, certainly my most memorable, and definitely not my last.

Myself and 26,000 other runners set out on Monday April 16th. on to the start line of the 122nd Boston Marathon. The weather forecast consistently predicted a bad-ass, monsoonal, Bostomania of a storm on this Boston Marathon Monday.  Meteorologists had it predicted 60-80km head winds and 60+mm of rain to the hour and Mother Nature certainly delivered.  It was one of those days when the wind gusts blasted so hard and rain pelted down so relentlessly that umbrellas proved to be dysfunctional. It was one of those days that getting that getting from the grocery store to the car soaks you to the core, let alone running a 42.2 km into it.

@eliseruns captured this video well of runners trying to walk in the rain to catch the bus to the start line before the race.

With the forecasted storm, I had no race goal time expectations whatsoever, but I decided to approach the it with a smiling (actually laughing) face:

IMG_0612.jpg

Thankfully, my 20 years of rowing, and now coaching, early in the morning in every kind of weather and often before sunrise, along with the 17 other 42.2km (plus) marathons and ultramarathons I have run in a variety of conditions, helped me devise my very simple race plan for the day.  

Don’t think.  RUN.

Athletes Village was beyond comical. Just imagine a mud-feast with 30,000 runners all dressed in ponchos, garbage bags, and plastic bags tied over our feet to attempt to keep the mud and rain out of our shoes. I had 2 jackets, a poncho and a garbage bag on, 3 pairs of pants, and an white army navy plastic bags tied over my shoes with an attempt to keep the mud out.

With seconds to spare I got to my start position of Wave 2 coral 5. I quickly stripped my multiple layers of warm up clothes (that the race organizers then donate to charity) and set on my soaking wet way running for my life from Hopkinton to Boston along this historic route.

As the miles went on, I was utterly water-logged as the rain pelted into my every crevice, the head-wind was moving my body however it wanted, my legs were partially numb, and the water was pooled in my shoes.  When the passing monsoonal waves of rain flooded, I raised my arms out, looked up at the sky and laughed, then kept on my merry way.  I realized that my core temperature was to remain okay if I just kept running as fast as I could.

I passed many shivering runners in shorts and singlets. My ticket to some degree of comfort was my surgical gloves overtop my 5$ Army and Navy wool gloves, smartwool running socks, capris and a running jacket.  The only thing I was missing was a shower cap!

What is tear-jerkingly unbelievable is the Boston spirit that relentlessly remained.  This horrific weather did not stop the millions of spectators who were still screaming and encouraging us at the top of their lungs through the entire 42.2 km route, as they themselves soaked to the core. The 2018 Boston Marathon was a 100% heartfelt effort from every single person out there including myself, spectators, family members, volunteers, and the race organizers.

The second I started the 2018 Boston Marathon, I did not think, I just ran.  I ran marinated with rain, and cold-pressed by traditional Massachusetts Nor’easter head winds….for a heartfelt time of 3:24:59 and not a second to spare.

Within minutes of finishing I had my on post race poncho, and met my husband at a local pub near the finish line with a “recovery” drink in hand, and warm clothes to change into.

Will I do this again? Of course, without a doubt.  I have goosebumps just thinking about it.

Here is an article with photos depicting our epic day.

Here is a video of my race thank you to @adidas.

#togetherforward #heartfelt effort #Bostonstrong

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