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The joy of the finish

Posted by Ty Velde  April 17, 2012 10:04 AM

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I knew it was going to be a tough day when I broke a sweat just walking to the starting line.

On top of it all there were the multiple warnings sent by the BAA, which I have to say were freakishly scary. While I certainly was not going to defer, it did make me rethink how I was going to approach yesterday’s race.

Of all the warnings/advice put forth by the BAA, the one the really resonated with me read as follows:

For the overwhelming majority of those who have entered to participate in the 2012 Boston Marathon, you should adopt the attitude that THIS IS NOT A RACE. It is an experience.

While I had run in heat before, I certainly don’t remember heat as intense as this. Yes, I was there in 2004, but to be honest I must have erased this from my memory bank as I really don’t recall the heat being as much of a factor.

Therefore, while I was certainly not scared by the heat, I knew that it was something that could not be ignored, and most importantly an element to be respected.

Needless to say, I knew that this was not going to be a day to shoot for a personal record, and about five miles into the race, I knew that this was not even going to be a day to shoot for re-qualifying. As a result, I made a conscious decision to just slow down my pace and soak in the experience.

While it was certainly far from an ideal day for running, it was an ideal day for spectating. This was apparent by the throngs of people lining the course. While this is not necessarily unique for Boston, the energy that these folks provided was clearly needed on a day like yesterday. To all those out there with the hoses ... thank you! To all those handing out water, oranges and flavor ice ... thank you! To the fire departments and towns who opened up their hoses and hydrants ... thank you! To the BAA for a race well done… thank you!

Needless to say, yesterday was quite an experience. While my time yesterday was far from my best (actually my worst by about 28 minutes) I still felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

To me, yesterday was not about beating the clock. It was about beating the elements. It was about mental toughness. It was about keeping my streak alive. In the end, it was simply about the joy of just crossing the finish line.

Congratulations to all!

See you again in 2013.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th 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

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