A new PB by 4 seconds on a difficult course...really happy! More when I get home...
I woke up at 5:15 am. and had a light breakfast consisting of bagels with peanut butter and jam, an apple and a chocolate chip Cliff Bar. I left the hostel with a German I met who was running the marathon and walked the short distance to the Hynes Convention Centre subway stop, where I boarded the subway with hundreds of other runners. We all traveled the short distance to the Park St. station and everyone got off. I was greeted by volunteers and then I waited in line to board a bus to the start. After about a 15 minute wait to board the school bus. At about 6:15 am. the bus was off to the athletes village and the start line in Hopkinton (26.2 miles from the finish in Boston). It seemed like a long way to run back to Boston. The bus arrived in Hopkinton around 7:15 am. and dropped everyone on the bus off at Hopkinton High School, which was the site of the athletes village. Upon arriving at the athletes village I found a place on the grass to sit down, did some stretching, drank water, gazed at the site of thousands of runners in a field and waited for the start of the race. At about 9:25 am. I walked from the athletes village to the start area, a distance of about .7 of a mile.
At the expo the day before the marathon I talked with the famous Dane Rauschenberg who paced me to my Boston qualifying time in Fargo last year. He told me to take it slow at the start, 22:00-22:30 minutes for the first 5 km. So that is what I wanted to do. Nearing the start of the race the jets did the fly by, the US national anthem was sung and everyone was ready to go for IAAF Gold Label Boston Marathon! I found my position in the middle of wave 1, coral 5. The look on everyone's face was pure excitement and anticipation for the race. The gun went off at 10:00 am. and it was go time..sort of, after 3:24 I crossed the start line. I passed the 1 mile mark in 7:24, moving with the mass of people towards Boston. I recall my legs being a little stiff at the start, but that went away after about 5 km. I followed through with this plan on race day, passing 5 km. in 22:15. I was feeling relaxed looking at all the sights along the way, including checking out my form in a window on the right side of the road at about the 7 mile mark. The crowd of runners started to thin out around 15 km. in. At the halfway point was the Wesley College scream tunnel. Thousands of girls from the all girls school screaming non-stop, many of whom were holding signs saying "Free Kisses", "Kiss Me" or something similar. There was one at the end of the tunnel that I almost went for...a cute blond holding a sign "Kiss me I am a senior". After the pump up I was feeling good crossing the halfway point in 1:34:37. I knew that I could reach my goal time, but the four Newton hills were still ahead and I was not sure exactly what was in store. This is where all the training going up and down the "dump hill" comes in. I managed to have no trouble conquering the hills including the infamous heartbreak hill. To my surprise I actually passed many people in the hill section. I found the hills to be overrated and that is saying something coming from a prairie boy, or maybe I was just that strong. I went past the 35 km. mark and I was still feeling pretty good, my legs were slightly sore, but I had no muscle cramping, although it was borderline cramping. I was passing many people (I estimate about 1,500 in the last 5 km.) Around mile 22 (around the Evergreen Cemetery) I saw someone with "CANADA" on their back, I thought it was Chris Piller and it was. I encouraged him to keep up and we ran together for a km. or so. At this point I knew that I could still make my goal time of 3:10, but it was going to be close. I saw the 1 mile to go marker and picked up my pace, knowing that my goal was very possible. I knew that it would be really close so I tried to pick it up even more. The crowd really helped...it was unreal. I crossed the finish line in 3:10:46, good for 2,766 place out of 22,540 finishers. I was happy for a number of reasons, I had a new PB by 4 seconds (I am glad I didn't stop for a kiss), I only lost 1:32 in the last half of the course and I qualified for the 2011 Boston Marathon.
The experience of running the Boston Marathon was amazing. The marathon is supported so well by the people of Boston. Over 500,000 people lined the streets from the rural town of Hopkinton to Boston. In some sections the spectators are 6-10 people deep, it is unreal. The people are loud and their support and encouragement goes a long way to getting you to the finish line. Hopkinton-Ashland-Natick-Wellesley-Newton-Brookline-Boston...what an experience.
1 Mile- 7:24
5 km.- 22:15
10 km.- 44:41
15 km.- 1:07:11
20 km.- 1:29:48
25 km.- 1:52:14
30 km.- 2:15:14
35 km.- 2:38:14
40 km.- 3:00:57
Last 2.2 km.- 9:49
Race Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NEFxmLLSkA