First off, I want to thank everyone who has helped and inspired me thru the last year. Newt, you're the best Boston tour director anyone could ask for. Jeff, thanks for the ride home and the camaraderie along the way. Julie, Pat and Cheryl, thanks for the support and encouragement at the race. And most importantly, everyone I run with. Fast or slow, having a good day or not, been running for years or new to the sport. I've gained so much from your friendship and insights along the way. Well, before this sounds too much like an Oscar acceptance speech, on with the race report.
The Newtmobile left from Brewbakers promptly at 7:00, and made it to the start by about 9. Plenty of time to drop off bags, warm up etc. It was a beautiful morning, bright blue skies, a bit cool, and other than a little crosswind, perfect. I saw Andy while I was on my way up to drop off my bag. It's always good to see someone you know at such a big event, especially a fellow Keenyan. I was in corral #11, and it took about 9-10 minutes to get past the start. Obviously, it was a bit crowded for the first mile or so, and even thru most of the race I had to pick my way thru runners much of the time, but that is the way it is in such big races. I was able to settle into a pretty good pace right off, keeping it under 7:25. I was feeling a little tightness in both hamstrings from the beginning, and although I wasn't worried about it, I wasn't too sure how it would play out later. The miles really seemed to go along pretty quickly, and every time I checked my watch for the first 20 miles or so, my average lap pace was 7:23. I passed the half way point right on target for a 3:15, at 1:37:31. I was feeling a little fatigued by the time I got to the hills, but they never really seemed that bad. I slowed down a bit, but I didn't need to walk them at all. After each hill there is a slight downhill section or flat which really helped out, especially after the top of Heartbreak. By mile 22 or so I was feeling pretty spent, and I had to walk a few time to take a bit of a break. Even so, when I was running, I was able to keep my pace to about 7:30. I only had 1 mile that was over 8. After a couple tough miles, it was right onto Hereford, left onto Boylston, for what has to be the best half mile of any marathon. The finish is a long ways off when you make that left, but the crowd are truly amazing. I picked up the pace the whole way down, until about 20 yds from the finish, where a guy cut in front of me and made me halt my stride, instantly cramping up both my hamstrings. I can't wait to see what the finish line photos look like, with me limping and clutching my ass with both hands. So it goes. I could only chuckle once I walked it off and loosened up. 3:17:53 and a PR by about 8 minutes. 4146th overall, so with a bib number of 11802, that means I passed about 7600 runners. I was very pleased with my time, and only lost about 3 min in the 2nd half. Always a lot of emotions at the end of something like that. I was very proud of what I had achieved, grateful to everyone who helped me get there, and relieved that it was over.
I walked around quite a bit afterwards, and met up with Beth, then Newt and Alan. We made our way to Bertucci's for dinner and a beer. And thanks again to Jeff for the ride home and the conversation. All in all, I had a great day, and thanks to everyone for the calls, texts and emails after the race.