Monday, April 22, 2013

A Boston Marathon Experience from a Buddy

A friend of mine from work ran the Boston Marathon last week.  He did it in 3:23; about 40 minutes before the event, and our country, would forever be changed.

He brought his wife and two kids out there with him, and they were waiting for him at the finish line.  Had my buddy had a slower pace, physical/equipment issue, or some other impediment to his speed, his family would have been in the middle of a nightmare.

Despite their relative safety, being in Boston over the next couple of days was still very hard, and just getting back to their hotel and getting out of town were long, troubling stories in and of themselves.  I have encouraged him to write it all down, as it all is so incredible.  I hope he takes me up on it, and if so, I'll share it.

In the meantime, here is the Garmin printout of his race.  You can click through for a bigger image, and in the event you can't read his comments, they're here:

I crossed the finish line 39 mins before all of the 'happy' was sucked out of the city, the country, the day. I will not forget my sadness or my anger, but I may forget how I felt before 2:50PM, and so I write: The slowest mile wasn't Heartbreak Hill, but the very necessary porta potty stop during mile 9. My legs were not ready for this race so 'the monster' showed up at mile 11...I asked aloud "What took you so long?" Running on fumes & 1.5 miles from the next aid station, I botched the handoff of a cherry red ice pop at mile 15, I will never forget the very old man sprinting ahead & surprising me with the very ice pop that we dropped. I was a mess after the Newton hills & after drinking my fill at the base of Mt Everest I tried to motivate myself by saying aloud "F@#% you Heartbreak Hill!" --- and less than 9 minutes later gasping..."I win." The downhill after Heartbreak tore my legs to shreds...I have never felt that much pain...but the time for my 23rd mile shocked me...I was slowing down! -- If I slowed anymore I would fail. Because my legs felt like tree trunks, burning tree trunks, it was hard to judge my pace...then my sub 8 pace at 24 made me mantra became "fast or slow it all hurts the same" & I held pace until I made the profoundly happy left turn onto Boylston street. I raced past my family instead of hugging them cuz I knew it would be close. Once over the finish line I staggered & waddled forward for Gatorade; a city of Boston Police Officer asked if I was okay..."I'm a F'ing superhero!" was my reply..."Dude! you aaaare." My thoughts & prayers not only go out to the victims & their families, but to all 5756 runners that ran 25 miles of the 2013 Boston Marathon -- I hope they all return next year. And to the other 17579 runners that did cross the bright blue finish line, we lost both our right & our will to celebrate,,,but because we simply do not quit, like all future finish lines, the party too, will eventually come.

I'm lucky to know a guy like this and consider him a friend.  A f'ing superhero, indeed.

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