Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"The energy in the starting corrals was electric." Orriant Blogger, Ron Fehr, talks about the Boston Marathon 2014.

The first day in Boston was spent at the athlete's race expo, picking up gear bags, checking into the race, meeting other racers and enjoying the pre-race, carb-load pasta dinner.  I tried to get as much rest as possible the night before the race, which is difficult to do for a race that is surrounded by so much hype. 

Race morning was slow moving and essentially stress free, making it to the subway and getting on the buses that had to transport nearly 33,000 runners to the small town of Hopkinton.  Being in the first wave, I made it to the start with plenty of time to rest and get comfortable before the ¾ mile walk to the start. 

The energy in the starting corrals was electric, with the race director interviewing past race winners and introducing the “elite field” (athletes who have won more than 80 global marathons).  As the clock started ticking closer to 10:00am, you could feel the runners inch forward, and hear the spectators reach a fevered pitch.  I felt very good, but with a little worry due to my heel injury suffered a week before the race. 

The gun went off, and I was on my way.  The first 2 miles went well and I was right on my goal pace.  However, my heel started to cause me some discomfort, and I had to slightly alter my stride.  Even though the adjustment was miniscule, my muscles were not used to running that way and by mile 8, my leg muscles (all of them) started to hurt tremendously.  Between miles 10-12, I knew that my sub-3 hour goal was shot, and I now had to focus on just finishing the race.  After the half-way point, my joints started to lock up.  I couldn't get my legs to complete a smooth stride, which only continued to cause my leg muscles even more pain. 

Despite the bodily discomfort, I had an incredible time on the course.  The race is organized very well, and the spectators are beyond description, displaying unlimited enthusiasm.  I received many nicknames during the race due to my hair, but more people called me 'Wheeler', which was great to hear (notice my shirt in the picture).  I don't think I would have been able to run this race without the sponsorship of my company, Wheeler.  I am very grateful for that opportunity. 

After finishing the race in 3:27:55, I nearly collapsed due to my legs forgetting how to walk.  Fortunately a med-tech was there to catch me.  After finding my way to the water station, I was feeling better and am happy with the result.  It almost seemed surreal that it was over after so much time spent preparing.  Despite not meeting my sub-3 hour goal, I couldn't have asked for a better race day, and experience.  If anyone reading this is a runner, I would recommend putting this race on your bucket list.  It deserves all the hype, and is well worth it. 

Again, I am grateful to Wheeler for sponsoring me and helping me fulfill this goal.  I am also grateful for Orriant, letting me post my thoughts and supporting me along the way.  The list is long of those who deserve my gratitude, including my lovely wife, family, co-workers, and great friends. 

My future goals (after taking a few weeks to relax, of course) are the Missoula Marathon in July, and perhaps a triathlon here and there, if I remember how to ride my bike.

Thank you all so much for the support, I can't tell you how much it helped me train for, and achieve this goal.  Until next time, live health, and happy!

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