What a day!!!
Personally, I could not have asked for better running weather. Not too cold, definitely not too hot. Just enough cloud cover to shield the sun, yet not completely block it out. All in all, the weather gods really set the tempo for a great race day.
I have to admit that after arriving in Hopkinton, I was a definitely chilly, which meant that I basically stayed bundled-up right up until I threw my gear bag in the bus. However, once the gun went off, I warmed right up.
While there was a slight headwind at times, I personally found this refreshing more than stifling. Additionally, the temperature throughout the race was such that when I passed by the water stations, I was grabbing Gatorade and water to hydrate, versus quench my thirst.
All of this meant that I was really able to focus on the run, versus my body, which in my opinion makes all the difference in world. What I mean here is that in my experience, my best races and times have always been the result of race day experiences where Iíve been able to successfully focus on whatís going on around me, versus whatís going on within me, mainly the physical discomfort of running 26.2 miles. Therefore instead of wondering where the next water station will be or how my knee is getting sore, Iím able to just soak up all that is great about the running the Boston Marathon. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, the cheers of everyone who lines the roads in Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, and Natick who are so key to setting the tone for those first 10 or so miles, the Wellesley College Scream Tunnel, everyone in Washington Square (particularly my mom, wife and son, who at 5 months old was watching his first marathon) and all the folks on the Kenmore Bridge, Comm Ave., and Boylston Street for that final push to the finish.
On a personal note, I have to thank the folks on the Kenmore Bridge, as I did start to really feel some pain just after mile 24 that I thought might just kill my race. The thought of getting over that last bridge was daunting, but hearing all that cheering just enabled me to block out the pain and really gave me what I needed for the final push to the finish line. Thank you!!!
I also had the good fortune of briefly running alongside Team Hoyt (Rick & Dick), which is always incredibly inspiring. I also saw at least two competitors with amputations who were easily running sub-seven minute splitsÖamazing! Seeing these kinds of scenes, as well as just being in the company of my fellow runners reminds me of how running, or even just watching, a marathon is inspiring on so many levels.
On a personal note, I had the good fortune of recording my best time since 2006 and in the process re-qualifying, which is always gratifying.
In closing, I just wanted to congratulate everyone on a great race and I hope to see you all again for the 114th running in 2010. Cheers!
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
- Ty Velde is a 15-time Boston qualifier who's completed 11 consecutive Boston Marathons and 23 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 12th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
- Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes