Funny I have been training for the Boston Marathon for the last 16 years, and the week before is always the same. No matter how diligent you were with your training, there is always the feeling that you should have done more.
Running with many first timers with the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge, I get to experience the excitement/dread of the upcoming race.
With the tapering process well under way, many runners are feeling all sorts of aches and pains. I have come to realize that giving your body a rest is also giving your mind an opportunity to worry about things you can't control.
For the last four months, we all were following a set training schedule and didn't have much free time for consternation. The fun part is that, after many cold evening and weekend runs, the rest of the area is starting to focus on April 20.
Seeing the local media start mentioning the race makes all of the runners realize that they are part of a world class event steeped in rich tradition. One of the most fun things for me is to see the mile markers get a fresh coat of paint this week. Even the casual observer knows that something big is happening in Boston.
Betsy, a fellow runner, related a story with a interesting perspective on the marathon. One of her students saw her last Thursday leaving school in her running gear. Proudly the youngster waved and proclaimed to a nearby teacher's aid that "Miss Gott was running in the World Series."
Next Sunday afternoon, I will join close to 2,000 people for the annual Dana Farber Pasta Party. This is the most inspiring part of the marathon weekend. In addition to 500+ nervous runners, there will be dozens of patients from the Jimmy Fund Clinic. Several of our runners pair up with a current or former cancer patient and build a wonderful bond. Many of the children are currently undergoing Chemo or radiation therapy and tire very quickly.
But for a few special hours they are the stars of the show. Many patient partners will be waiting at mile 25 to cheer all of the runners on their way to the finish.
Funny how seeing those courageous children smile makes all those aches and pains disappear.
- 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