Boston Marathon Highlights

Monday morning started at the ungodly hour of 345am; I was out of the house at 4:30am enroute to pickup my sister, Nicole, on Staten Island and then Leticia in Brooklyn. Thankfully, we hit virtually zero traffic during our 200+ mile trip north.

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Rocking my 2009 Boston Marathon hat

After getting turned around a few times (due to road closures), we managed to snag the last spot in the shuttle bus parking lot – SCORE!  As we were getting online to get screened, we ran into Katherine who I met at the Runner’s World Festival in 2012!! She was calm and smiling and looked ready to take on 26.2 miles!

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The shuttle was a quick 5 minute ride that dropped us off at the end of the corrals. Easy peasy.

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Looking up at the corrals (when it’s your wave to start, you are funneled into the appropriate corral {1-9})

We heard the introductions and gun go off for the elite females as we were walking up (BOO!!) but managed to make our way to the start area for the elite men’s and wave 1.

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Seeing the Start Line and marathon signs literally gave me goosebumps. {Photo credit to Leticia for the next two pictures!}

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To be honest, on the drive up, I had told my sister and Leticia that I had no intention of running Boston again anytime soon. It’s far enough away from where we live to warrant a trip for a few days and the cost of hotels, work missed (for my husband) and figuring out child care (if we don’t bring the boys) makes closer marathons seem more appealing. However, my mind changed after just a few minutes of being surrounded by the magic of the Boston Marathon. Soooo maybe Boston 2015 =)

Army helicopters overhead before the start of Wave 1.

Army helicopters overhead before the start of Wave 1.

We hung around the start for the first two waves to begin before heading back to the shuttle which promptly took us back to the parking lot. From there, we drove about 45 minutes to get close to the finish area. It was surprising that we hit literally ZERO traffic. We found a terrific {free!} parking spot about 1/2 mile from the course which put us right at Fenway Park, a security checkpoint and the 25th mile.

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Felt sacrilegious to take a picture of Fenway Park….Go Yankees!

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The famous Citgo sign – when runners pass it, they have just over a mile left until the finish line!

On the walk to our cheering spot, Leticia had pulled up the streaming broadcast of the marathon and we heard Meb win – so exciting, but also just a bit bummed – we missed him run by our spot by only 6-7 minutes!

For the next 3-4 hours, we cheered, screamed and did our best to spot all of our friends who were running (probably close to 20!). We devised a little system: First, when we got the 35k update on a friend, we’d figure out their pacing (mostly from 30 to 35k). Next, we determined the time we thought they would reach us (we were just beyond the 40k mark). Then, we’d make sure we were all tracking what they looked like and what they were wearing (also what bib color they had). We’d leave ~2-3 minutes of buffer room on the front end and then spend the next 5-10 minutes scanning the runners looking for them. We had a pretty high success rate (I think we missed only two runners!).

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Nicole, Leticia and I – picture before things got crazy!

Just a few highlights of who we saw (in no particular order):

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Lindsey – first time meeting her in person!

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Dorothy in the zone and cruising along!

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First time meeting MEG!

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Jess – focused and on her way to a marathon PR!

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Jess coming over for a hug – with awesome marathon colored nails!

After the last of our friends ran by, we made our way to Chiptole for some MUCH needed food and then began the long drive home. We hit crazy traffic and it took over six hours to go from our parked spot in Boston to my front door = long day!

There are truly not enough words to describe how amazing Monday was.  I walked away with my heart bursting, my throat hurting from screaming and my cheeks sore from smiling. Sure, it was a long day. 18+ hours of driving, cheering and standing…but seeing the happiness on our friends’ faces when they saw us made the whole trip completely worth it. Being on the “other side” was an experience unlike any other. I thought that I would be envious of all those running…and so I was surprised that it was nothing but happiness and excitement for the tens of thousands of runners.

I had an unforgettable experience in 2009 when I ran the Boston Marathon but I didn’t know much about the course, race or it’s significance (Citgo sign, Newton Hills, “Right on Hereford, left on Boylston”) and so I don’t really know if I got the full experience. This time was different. My Boston Marathon experience this year was on a whole different level than my experience when I ran it back in 2009.

Truth is, I don’t get the opportunity to spectate a lot of races. With the boys being so young, it would be really tough to bring them to a race and expect to do any sort of spectating. And I ask my husband and family enough as it is with my running and races, so going to cheer at races often doesn’t happen.

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You always hear that if you want to be inspired go watch a marathon. I really don’t think I gave it much thought prior to Monday. But I can tell you this – it’s 100% true. There were multiple points during the day where I felt myself start to tear up from happiness and excitement for all of the runners, countless times I got goosebumps thinking about how I was going to be in their shoes in just a few days and I walked away with a new sense of determination and yearning to become a better runner.

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I can also tell you this – Mile 25 is a great place to be inspired. Want to see happiness, pain, determination, physical and mental strength, desperation and courage? Need a little motivation to train for a race? Think you might want to sign up for a marathon? Go stand at mile 25 of any marathon and you’ll walk away feeling like you can conquer the world.

And the opportunity to work with Fitness Magazine was pretty incredible. I hope you were able to follow along as Jess, Dorothy and I inundated their Instagram account with our day’s activities.

Have you run or spectated Boston?

Did you run this year? 

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I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    20 thoughts on “Boston Marathon Highlights

    1. I ran Boston in 2007. I also graduated from Boston University so my heart is definitely in that city! I will absolutely run again someday!!
      You are all the ultimate fans!!! So very cool and loved reading your recap.
      Allie recently posted..Ask Away FridayMy Profile

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    3. It’s been my dream to qualify for and run Boston since high school (I’m a second year undergrad now) and I qualified at Philly last November by 22 seconds! Your recap makes me even more hopeful that I make it through registration. It looks like such an amazing experience.

    4. I loved your pictures – thank you! I ran Boston last year and up until the very end, it was my single best running moment ever! It’s really a race with a “life” and heart or its own.

    5. I was so inspired by the BM this year. It was especially inspiring to see Meb win after countless injuries and his age. Being sidelined right now (due to pregnancy and pre-term labor) seeing a seasoned athlete like Meb win was JUST what I needed. I am a fairly new runner, have only run half marathons but have increasingly beat my times. I thought that I was satisfied with just getting PR’s. I never thought about running a full (because of the sacrifice on my family) but this year’s race changed my thinking!
      Tracy Carson recently posted..Goldilocks and the Three OttomansMy Profile

    6. Love this. I’m so happy that you got to go and spectate. I never wanted to run a marathon before until I was a spectator. OMG amazing. Right around Mile 25 of the Boston Marathon is an amazing place to cheer. I can’t wait to head up and cheer YOU on!
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Paddling for PositionMy Profile

    7. Although I’ve run 3 marathons (boston this year was #3) I’ve never spectated, but now I really feel like I must! For some reason (the 3 little kids might have something to do with it) it just hasn’t come up as an option. Did not get into NYC this year so maybe that will be my first. I’d love to run Boston again, seems like a race that only gets better the more familiar you are with it.
      Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted..Spicy Garlic Sausage Spaghetti TossMy Profile

    8. I have been to the starting line to cheer on the runners (and bandits), but still need to get to the city to cheer along the course to the finish…the local coverage on TV is pretty awesome too :)

      Great pics!
      AmyC recently posted..We Run As OneMy Profile

    9. Michele….I am so happy that you were able to do this on Monday…AND, that Nicole was able to join you! As always, your words – as well as your pictures – brought me to tears. It truly was a glorious day! Thanks for sharing, my beautiful daughter….xoxox

    10. I haven’t been to boston as a runner or a spectator yet.
      This year i’m planning on spectating/supporting my friends at Mile 20 of the NYCM. It is a great spot in the Bronx that my friend and her husband are each year with a huge sign that says NO WALL and they have a great aid station set up. Last year when I ran they had coca cola for me! So this year I’m going to join them to return the favor to other runners. Mile 20 is that critical part in a marathon where you can start to break down so I hope to be able to give people that last push! And a coveted snack they might be looking forward to for 20 miles! LOL.
      sally @ sweat out the small stuff recently posted..Ice then heat or heat then ice?My Profile

    11. Nope – I have never run or spectated Boston before. I do cheer on my friends from where ever I am – Last year we cheered on a teacher from our school (she ran again this year too). I would like to say I want to run Boston one day – but I have to run my first marathon before saying that 😉
      Rebecca@RunningFoodBaby recently posted..Goodbye Dome!My Profile

    12. Thanks for sharing your highlights of the Boston Marathon. It’s so interesting to see it from different people’s perspectives. What a long day and long drive! I didn’t spectate this year, but I am hoping to next year when I move to Boston. Hopefully I will have time (and not be have class during the marathon)
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    13. There is nothing better than spectating in Kenmore Sq during Boston. I’ve done it for the past 8 years (minus only one year…last year, but that’s a story for another day). I leave that race every year wanting to run. Watching the grit and determination of the last of the charity bibs run by mile 25 convinces me that almost anyone could could do it.

      Annnyyyywayyysss…I’m glad you were able to come up and spectate on such a gorgeous day. There’s nothing better than Marathon Monday in Boston!