The Boston Marathon… the hype is real.
Last week, I was on a plane from SFO to BOS to join the CLIF Bar team in what would be a whirlwind weekend of emotions, inspiration, and some damn-good running. They invited me to be a part of our sport’s most celebrated event and over a 4-day period, I would walk away with all the motivation to get myself back there.
**This post will be look at the entire weekend as a whole. Over the next week or so I’ll highlight several key moments that need a post dedicated to that particular point in time.
Click here to read Pt. 2: The Boston Marathon Grandstands: Feeling Uneasy
The Boston 5K
As many of you may already know, I have hopes and dreams of qualifying for Boston. CLIF offered me a bib to participate in Marathon Monday, but I decided to save that experience as motivation to train and get there on my own. I still wanted to be a part of the running scene that weekend and elected to participate in the 5K on Saturday.
Mile 1: 7:40
Mile 2: 7:20
Mile 3: 6:43
Boston 5K: 22:23
The first mile felt really long and I felt like I had gone out too fast. The second mile felt pretty good. The last mile felt slow and I remember thinking “I have no kick to close this out.” Clearly, I have had too much rest since Phoenix because those splits are perfect and my mind is lying is to me. I was aiming for around 21-22 minutes and with each mile being faster, it’s exactly what I was looking to accomplish.
I’m a baseball nut and being able to catch a game at Fenway was something I was really excited to see on the itinerary for Saturday night. Although it was cold, and the Sox lost, I did get to see a home run go over the Green Monster and I spent a good time of the game walking around and just experiencing all that the park had to offer.
Shakeout Run with Scott Jurek
Sunday morning started off with a shakeout run with Ultra legend Scott Jurek. A quick look at his running resume reveals that he’s a 7x (consecutive) winner of the Western States 100, 135-mile Badwater winner, the only American to win Greece’s Spartathlon (153-mile race from Sparta to Athens, 3x winner), and all of it on a 100% plant-based diet.
After the run, we were treated to a private speaking event with Chris McDougall, author of Born to Run which features Scott as one of the central characters. In attendance (throughout the weekend) was also ultra elite runner Stephanie Howe, coming off her recent debut at the Western States 100 in which she won. It was a who’s who of the ultra community in the room.
Sunday afternoon was a chance for us to experience the expo. Since I wasn’t picking up a bib or resting the legs, I walked around the whole time, met up with fellow runners, and just tried to soak in the excitement.
I decided to get some miles in before the race started and made it just in time to catch the “goodbyes” at November Project. I then decided to make my way towards Fenway again and see miles 21-25 of the Boston Marathon course come to life. With volunteers, security, and crew getting ready for the race, it was a great way to see the quiet before the storm (literally).
I ended up getting in 7 miles and headed back to the CLIF Base Camp. As I was standing there drinking my morning coffee and enjoying a bagel, a few members of the house said “it would be great to go out for a 30-minute run.” I agreed and joined them for some more miles. Of course, I”m the one that goes to Boston and runs twice in one day on Marathon Monday — before the Marathon starts.
119th Boston Marathon
I watched the start on TV like many others, but was able to have access to the grandstand bleachers at the finish line. I missed the elite women sprint to an epic finish line moment standing in the security line, but was able to see the men break the tape. I would then stand there for the better part of 3 hours live tweeting and capturing finish line moments for elites, friends, and countless inspirational runners.
Unfortunately, I can’t share ALL the photos on this post, but here are some links.
Crossing the Finish line:
First, I would like to thank CLIF Bar Company for organizing an event that was inspiring and humbling. To be surrounded by athletes, nutritionists, writers, and an amazing crew was an experience that anyone would be fortunate to be a part of… add into the mix the Boston Marathon and it becomes epic. They say if you can walk away with ONE thing, it makes it worth it… well, I walked away with so much more from the CLIF family and some great insight into taking running to the next level. A thousand thank yous.
To say that standing at the finish line watching so many runners accomplish something I dream of was inspiring, is an understatement. Watching the elites cross the line was an amazing thing to see. It was cold, it was raining, and everyone crossing that line had a huge smile on their face. Many were crying as they approached overcome with emotions. Several runners were cramping only yards away, some falling and getting back up several times. Nothing was going to prevent them from reaching that line and the audience CHEERED them on every step of the way. Names were screamed, cowbells were rung, flags were waved, and we were all out there in the rain for each other.
Simply put, it was Boston Strong on full display.
After being surrounded by amazing ULTRA athletes, thought I would announce THIS.
How did you experience this year’s Boston Marathon?