While out running on the trails this afternoon, which I shouldn’t have been doing, I got to thinking about what things I love about the Boston Marathon and what tips I might give. This is Boston number 13 and as Kevin said, I have the burden of a streak. The streak is will be 11 after this year, which is an obligation somewhat but still nice. I first ran Boston in 1988. I believe there were just over 6,000 runners. I blew up huge and spent a fair amount of time throwing up on the bridge that is around 24 miles. I stumbled across the line very disappointed. I returned 4 years later and set what was then my PB of 2:44:59. In those days before chip timing you got to subtract a certain amount of time based on your start number. I never did subtract the minute or whatever it was and my PB was 2:44:59.
OK here in no particular order and straight from the gut are my hints and things I love about the Boston Marathon. I am trying to be honest so please forgive me
1. Picking up my number. I am fortunate to have a low number each year and it is a source of false pride that I feel great about the low number. This year will be the lowest yet and I feel great about that but I know I shouldn’t.
2. Instead of going to the loud and busy athlete’s village at the high school, I sneak/wander down to the little park near the start. So many free toilets, no noise and it feels like a friendly little world class marathon. I find a tree and relax until start time. No push to get there with the crowds.
3. The start line. Today maybe the only day. I stand there and take it all in. I am running the Boston Marathon.
4. Drink a full cup of the, not as good as fruit punch, lime gatorade every other mile. This is the best bit of advice I hace ever received. Thanks gatorade nutritionist lady. Do this.
5. Instead of the thick, gag you and puke gels buy a couple of the gatorade gels. The viscosity is thin and they go down like kook-aid. Ok note to anyone reading this. I am not sponsored by Gatorade. I think lime gatorade is nasty tasting. I just happen to think the gels and the gatorade are the best way to get through the race. You can’t buy these anywhere in downtown Boston. Walmart is the place in the USA.
6. Finishing the race. When I am done. I don’t have to run anymore. I am finished and can stop. PS I feel this about every race I run.
7. The buses have a tipping point of about 6 am. after that the lines are crazy and you will stand there forever waiting for a bus. Watch for the seats in the bus that are over the wheel wells, your legs will be cramped.
8. Bring a blanket and a newspaper to the start and sleep. I do this every year. I wrap myself up and doze off.
9. Pick a spot in the Boston Common to meet your loved ones. Under a shady tree is where I met my daughter, Kate after last year’s terrific run and this year I will meet my fiancee, Nancy.
10. Wearing an old cotton t-shirt in the race just like I did in 1988. This year you will see me in my “Same Same but Different” brown T.
Again good luck to all, you are all lucky but I guess you all knew that anyways. PS. I should have been resting today but the trails were perfect before the big rain we had.