As a Boston area runner, it has been a dream of mine for 30
years to run the Boston Marathon. This
year, I was motivated to run the Pittsburgh Marathon to qualify for it and to
have a fun weekend with the 14 other members of the Somerville Road Runners who
are going to run either the full or half marathon in Pittsburgh.
But that all changed yesterday. Yesterday, I stood at our club’s cheering
zone at 30 km in the Newton Hills of the Boston Marathon. After the bombing, we frantically called every
person in our club who had already run by.
As we accounted for all our runners and family members who were cheering
on route, my heart changed.
Before yesterday, I was going for me, for selfish reasons: to qualify and to
have a good weekend with friends. Today,
I am going for more than that. I will be
at the starting line in Pittsburgh because I will not be cowed by terrorists; WE
will not be cowed by terrorists!
Race: Great Bay Half Marathon
Location: Newmarket, NH
Goal Time: 1:27:00
Actual Time: 1:28:59
This small race in New Hampshire is one of my Top 5 favorite races. I said that despite never figuring out what my Top 5 races were.
So here they are in no particular order:
Run the Goose 7k: Quirky little race in Gloucester on Labor Day. It runs concurrently with the Cape Ann 25k. The course is beautiful, most of it running through a town nature preserve. There is also a weird spot where you have to run over a damaged dam that includes a 3 foot drop down and then run back up. I ran it in 2011 and 2012. Tommy B. also thinks the 2011 shirt is the best race shirt ever.
Martha's Vineyard 20 Miler: One of the key Boston Prep races. Starting perfectly at the ferry terminal in Vineyard Haven, you can hop off the ferry and almost right into the race, like I did in 2013. Or, with the island off season (and demand for vacation housing through the floor in February) you can make a weekend of it like I did in 2012. The course rounds around the island past the gingerbread houses in Oak Bluffs, down the coast and through the state forest in the center of the island. The "No Weenies" motto is both cute and valid. The race also has a Clydesdale category, which is always a plus.
MDI Marathon Relay: The Mount Desert Island Marathon was voted the second prettiest course by Runner's World the year I did the relay. The course through Acadia National Park in October and along the island's fjords is breathtaking. The "shirt" is a pull-over half zip jacket and the medal was large but not gaudy. I huge group of us went and rented a house. Scott, Bolt, SoRad, Evan and I all climbed Cadillac Mountain the next day. Kelsea and I ran it in 2011 and finished in 4th. As we each get better, one year the two of us have to go back and win it...
Blue Hills Races (Fox Trot 10 Miler): A spring race through the Blue Hills. The Colonial Road Runners have it perfectly organized (no "which way do I go?" problems prevalent in other trail races). While there are no t-shirts (which is fine to me now), the awards are really cool: home-baked bread for overall; homemade cookies for age-groups. I've run it in both 2010 and 2011 and I hope to return when it's not held the week before my spring marathon as it has the last two years.
Great Bay Half Marathon: I don't know why I like this one so much. Felix found it in 2010 and we ran it together; so, it is a race that predates my SRR days. And of course two years later Urvi and I ended up going up together (after two others had bailed last minute). It was the trip that started us dating so it is important for that. But the race itself is hard. It's hilly: tagline: "These legs climbed the hills of Great Bay." It's the week before Boston, so few New England distance runners do it.
This year made it the third time I've run Great Bay. This year I was looking to improve on last year's PR. I didn't. But, I still loved the race and the little town that gets involved with musicians and belly dancers through most of the course. Any year I don't run Boston, I'll be climbing the hills of Great Bay
Chris Smith did take 7th overall and won his division.
Race: Shifter's 5k
Location: Waltham, MA
Goal Time: ??:??
Actual Time: 21:04
Today was the "Jesse Morrow Double"; made up of the Boston Tune up 15k and then the Shifter's 5k on the same day. While 9 people ran the double, I did not.
Instead I met Aharon and the girls in Davis to run 11 miles out to Waltham for the Shifter's 5k. Claudia accidentally ran into us and came along too. We took a lovely (and at times well paced) run along the River and the Blue Heron Trail into Waltham.
After a warm up with Aharon and Tim, we were ready to run the actual race (with 16 miles already on my legs). Needless to say I did not expect much. Needless to say, I didn't do much.