Writes: Boston 118
Following knee surgery in May of 2013 it wasn’t until Sunday,
March 23rd, that my coach and I came to the agreement to run the 118th Boston
Marathon with the goal of going for the US Olympic Trials standard of 2:18:00.
This year‘s Boston was a special one for
many of us. My high school coach once said, “Boston is
the granddaddy of all marathons.“ To say
that I was excited to be racing at a place I once called “home“ was an
On Friday, April 18, I quickly picked up my number from the
expo and headed to my parent‘s house in Dorchester, where I
stayed until race day. At 5:30 am on Monday, I took a quick shower and had a
typical runners breakfast before being dropped off by my father at the Fairmont
Copley Plaza. The BAA Elite Athlete bus was on the Dartmouth St. side of the
hotel, while the John Hancock Elite Athlete bus was near Trinity Place.
Both busses departed Copley at exactly 7:03 am on the I-90
west bound with motorcycle police as escorts. We arrived in Hopkinton around
7:40 am and were escorted by BAA officials to “the Church“ÛÓa Korean
Presbyterian Church in Hopkinton used as the rest area for Elite Athletes. The
church was heavily guarded by Military Police and U.S. Marshals.
At 9:25 am, I started my warm up. Following the national
anthem at 9:51 am, we were escorted to the starting line where we were greeted
by loud cheers. My race plan was simple: go out at an easy conversational pace
from Mile 1-4, do a tempo type run while taking in lots of fluids from Mile 4-14,
find a group of runners to run with from Mile 14-20, then grind out the last 6
miles with crowd support.
At 10:00am, the gun went off!
I tried to run as conservative as possible at the start. The
first few downhill miles made 5:14s feel like 6:30s on a training run. By the
half marathon mark, I was right on pace in 68:25 at around 29th place overall
after having passed at least 30 “excited“ runners.
I remember going by 2:04 Ethiopian Gabregziabher Gebremariam at Mile 16, then
going by last year‘s 4th place American, Jason
Hartman, right before the Newton Hills at Mile 17.
I was passing runners left and right but had no group to run
with. I soloed Heartbreak and was still on pace for a sub 2:18. As one of the
first local guys going by the hills, my Whirlaway Racing Team singlet drew an
unreal amount of support and excitement from spectators!
By 23 miles, my solo hard charging effort was starting to
wear off. I was still passing runners but at a slower rate. I finished in
2:19:05 for 22nd overall and was escorted to the medical area in a wheel chair.
Although I didn‘t hit my target of 2:18:00, I was
very pleased with my performance. I followed and executed my race place but
fell just short at the end. I learned several things from the race that will
allow me to make some good adjustments in my next training cycle.
My overall conclusion of the race: Boston is a race everyone
must do! I was very impressed by the organization by the B.A.A. The Boston
Marathon is truly an event of “excellence“ and for
me it was a great honor to be a part of it.