|Jacqueline Palfy Klemond is one of six Boston Marathon entrants testing Polar personal training gear and blogging about it for Boston.com|
But not for the reasons you might be thinking.
I finished the 2013 race in 3:51, just a little bit before the first explosion at the finish line. I was still in the finisher area, having just picked up my drop bag and talked to my husband, who was lost in the city on his way to the finish line.
On Monday, April 15, I was able to do my two favorite things – run a marathon, thankfully, and be a journalist, unfortunately. It was a roller coaster day, with two huge surges of adrenaline. And I was lucky. So, so lucky on Monday in Boston.
Going into the marathon, I was undertrained. So much could have gone wrong on the race course, just related to running. But none of it did. I didn’t “race” the Boston Marathon; a starting-line decision to back down, run easy and just enjoy the event I had worked so hard to be at.
And friends, Boston didn’t disappoint.
I’ve run the Twin Cities Marathon four times, and I’ve always bragged that the crowd support is amazing. But it’s still a course lined with stoic Minnesotans, which I didn’t realize until I ran past the 500,000 screaming, cheering spectators from Hopkinton to Boston.
Terrible things happened on Monday – and through the week for those who live in the area and the rest of us, who watched it unfold on television and Twitter. I don’t aim to discount that or belittle it. But I also don’t want to trivialize the thousands of runners who participated in a historic road race that same day.
Before I made it to the race, I had so many ideas of what it would be like. I imagined the small towns, the stone walls, the New England feel from my few years living in Rhode Island. The speedy, jumpy runners hopping from one foot to the other to keep warm in Hopkinton. The feeling of camaraderie among runners, checking out each others’ bib number – we’re all a bit competitive, or we wouldn’t be here – and then making friendly small talk.
It was everything I hoped it would be. The community. The course – oh, the course. My toes still hurt from slamming into my shoes on the downhills. And how I kept wondering, “Wait, is this Heartbreak Hill?” Until I knew for sure, oh, this is it. (Though I confess that I think the Twin Cities course is harder.) The volunteers – who offered so many hugs that day, in both joy and fear as the day went on.
I’m not a huge fan of all the “Boston Strong” stuff for sale. Maybe because I don’t need a reminder of how strong Boston is. I witnessed it during the race, and I witnessed it after, as I hobbled around as a reporter and interviewed people.
I know that Boston is more than a marathon.
And I think Boston knows that, too.
And now the rest of the country knows it’s both – a city and an event that celebrate endurance, bravery and hard work.
- 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