Boston 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Take 14

March 12th, 2011 - So how do you stay young and enjoy running for a very long time? Just ask Gary and Larry Allen.

Many folks will be training on the Boston course over the next few weeks, but not many will drive 4+ hours to do it....for fun!

Gary started driving down from Maine around 1AM, and his brother Larry had quite an adventure getting to the starting line from NYC.

Poor Reno and I had to drag our carcasses out of bed at 4AM and make the arduous 30 minute drive to mile 14 in Wellesley before carpooling to Hopkinton to meet the Allen brothers by 6:15AM.

We were all coming together once again to give fellow runner Gary McNamee a hand with the filming of his ultra top secret project for his company Outside-In Virtual Running. Like Gary Allen likes to say, if we can't help out fellow runners, then we're all screwed (something to that effect).

This was basically the same group that ran on New Year's morning, less a couple of other Maineiacs and locals.

Back on Day 1 of the New Year, we completed the entire Boston course with Gary M. joining us at mile 14 to film the second part of the course. The plan for today was to escort Gary through the treacherous first 14 miles of the course in order to complete his pièce de résistance.

After leaving my car at the Mile 14 marker, Reno and I drove towards Hopkinton and got there right at 6:15AM with the morning sun to warmly greet us. Both Garys were already there, flashing us their signature smiles. It looked something like this:


Of course, only runners could be this happy, this early in the morning, when the streets are quiet and the roads are ours to divide and conquer.

Gary, Reno, and I did a quick one mile loop to the port-a-john at One Ash St while we waited for Larry to arrive, and for Gary M. to prep his high-tech gear.

Reno showed us a house about 50 yards from the starting line where he hangs out before the race. It must be nice to be an elite.

Larry arrived right on cue, and right at 6:30AM the four of us departed from the starting line and began our 14 mile journey towards...Mile 14.

Japan was on our minds this morning and not much else. It was a quiet run for the most part as we became one with the hallowed pavement.

We spoke about the intricacies and undulations of the opening miles. Places where it's easy to get sucked in and tricked into thinking you're running the best marathon of your life. "Look, a new 5K PR!"

We noted variations in the course that's hard to notice on race day when the streets are lined with spectators, roads crammed with runners, and your adrenaline is pumping at 175+ beats per minute.

Like the New Year's run, I just sat back on my heels and took it all in. It was a free clinic, put on by the best around, on how to run Boston. Priceless.

It was a beautiful morning and we knew how lucky we were to be able to enjoy something like this while many others are suffering a lot worse half-way around the world.

I always joke about how all of my training runs are "nice and easy", but this run was truly nice and easy. This is how all training runs should be, otherwise you're doing something wrong.

Don't worry about your time. Throw your pace out the window. To hell with your splits! JUST HAVE FUN!

Lo and behold, this run ended up being one of the best progression runs I've ever had the fine pleasure of running:

(If it ain't fun....)

Speaking of fun, when you run past by the Mile 14 marker on April 18th, look up to your right and you'll see and smell Gary's well-worn sneakers:

(A Crow put them up there)

And that's a wrap!


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