Sports

Episode 8: MARATHON MONDAY!!

 

Hi Friends, well we made it replica watches uk!  Yesterday was the 115th Boston Marathon and it was a great day!  Thank you to each and every one of you for your support and encouragement, it meant a lot to me that so many of you were interested in my progress and journey.  I’m sorry I haven’t had the chance to thank you individually, but it really did make a difference to know that you cared.  And thanks to all of you who came out to see the Marathon!  You may have missed me if you were there early in the day… slow guys like me didn’t even start the race until 10:40am!

Well, where to begin?  The day started early as I missed the HBS crowd at the taxi stand at 5:55am.  Fortunately, while shivering in the wind, I noticed Adam Oliver (Meghan Oliver’s Husband, New D) with his distinct green Boston Marathon stuff bag.  They let me hitch a ride to the Central Sq. T stop, and Adam and I continue downtown to board the buses to Hopkinton, MA where the marathon begins.  It was certainly daunting to spend about an hour driving 25 miles away from the finish line!  We arrived at the athlete’s village about 8:33am and searched for our HBS friends who were gathering for a picture at the Liver Foundation tent.  Sadly we never found them and I didn’t see any more HBS marathoners for the rest of the day.

About 9am, I searched out the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team at the St. John’s Parish Hall, where they had an indoor waiting area.  From the sound of things I fared much better than our colleagues on the side of the hill with garbage bags, but the worries and concerns were the same… Finally, at 10:20am, we head to the starting line and things start to get exciting.  At 10:40am, we were off and the race started!!  The energy was incredible, with so many runners and fans!  That’s something that is impossible to experience in any other way!

I ran pretty well for the first several miles, I kept pretty close to a 9 minute mile pace, resisting the urge to run any faster.  It is tempting to just burst out from the gate and run fast!  You have the energy and you have been just sitting around for so long, AND the race literally starts off running mostly downhill!  But with an eye to heartbreak hill, I tried to conserve my strength and pace myself replica breitling.  I was delighted to see some friends in Framingham and my wife and son made it near the 6 mile mark in time for a hug, kiss and photos!

I was pleased to keep my pace under 10 minutes per mile through Natick with some beautiful scenery past Lake Cochituate.  I hit the half marathon mark just before 1pm, about 2 hours after my start.  The run through Wellesley was memorable, with all those girls out looking to be kissed.  I certainly wasn’t going to stop (in fact I think I actually sped up) and kept a safe distance by offering high-fives to the spectators!  However, the energy was high and it helped the road pass quickly under my feet.

The next stretch was the most challenging, the four Newton hills that include the notorious Heartbreak Hill.  I knew what to expect given my training run several weeks back, but I was nervous.  After fueling up with some “GU” (Carbohydrate Gel), I leaned into the hills and kept on going.  I’ve always tried to run faster up hills… not to show off or anything, but it just helps get it done with sooner.  But after 17 miles, I just didn’t have much left in the tank and my legs were spent after the first hill.  Fortunately, there was water and Gatorade every mile so I was able to try to keep fueling the legs.  Also fortunately for me some of the great spectators along the course provided my favorite fuel: BANANAS!  So, I kept on running and to my surprise and delight my friend Mike Christensen (Old C), jumped in about mile 20 and ran with me up Heartbreak Hill!  Not long after passing Mike, an inspirational hymn came on my iPhone and with a chorus of “Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!” I overcame the worst of the course.

Once over the hills it was just a matter of pushing through that barrier of doubt and fatigue and enduring to the end.  It was during this final leg that the dedication of the spectators made all the difference.  I remember running past BU with what seemed like a whole mile of crazy spectators offering a non-stop rally of high-fives!  Later I passed Casey Taylor (Old A), for more high fives and encouragement!  However, not long after that I got a call from my wife, sadly there was some confusion as the runner tracking system was suggesting that I’d finish at 4:08, which was interpreted as 4 o’clock and not 4 hours from starting the race (3 o’clock).  So her plans to meet me at the finish line were at risk.  I assured her that everything was ok, but inwardly I hoped for a miracle.

As I made my way through the last 3 miles, I knew that I was slowing down.  My pace had gone from about 9 minutes per mile at the start to 10 minutes per mile at the half to close to 12 minutes per mile.  As drained as I felt, I tried to push myself the last few miles so I could be certain of achieving my goal of finishing under 4 hours and 30 minutes.  As I approached the end, I scanned the crowd, but didn’t see my family.  Finally at the finish line, I made the decision, not to run over the line, but to roll over the line!  So I tucked down and somersaulted my way through the finish line!  The finish line announcer was amused and announced it was the first somersault of the Boston Marathon. (I guess this is now some kind of tradition, since at my first Rock-n-Roll marathon I was rather delirious and thought it would be funny to *roll* through the finish of the Rock-n-Roll marathon!)  As soon as I was back on my feet and walking through the finish corral, I got a text from my wife, “We are here!!!  We saw you!!!  And heard the roll”.  Tears came easily, as I felt the thrill of accomplishment and the gratitude to God that it all worked out.

So, that’s my story.  It was an exhilarating day and an unforgettable experience.  Thank you again for all of your help and kind donations!

Have a great day!
-Zack

Next week’s goal: REST AND RECOVER!

HBS Marathoners Results:
We’ve tried to compile a list of all the HBSers who participated in the Marathon.  If we have missed anyone, we are very sorry… please forgive us.  The Official Times come from the Boston Marathon Website.

Name Official Time Section
Andrew Kinard 1:37:32 * New C
Ben Rosenblum 2:57:18 Old E
Jose Rigau 2:58:20 New F
Brian Conroy 3:21:44 New F
Thomas O’Rourke 3:28:31 New F
Adam Oliver 3:35:40 Partner
Jordan Bohnen 3:39:14 Old G
Brandon Giles 3:51:29 Old C
Jen Neff 3:55:02 Old B
Luke Marklin 4:01:21 New F
Pamela Chan 4:07:45 New I
Dave Meckstroth 4:11:34 Old C
Richard Burgess 4:12:38 Old A
Sara Graziano 4:19:12 Old F
Zack Zackrison 4:25:56 Old A
Tyler O’Brien 4:31:59 Old D
Michelle Richards 4:38:03 New E
Gayle Love 4:58:23 Old B
Jeremy Lipstein Old I

* Andrew competed in the Handcycles Division

HBS Marathoners Reflections:
When asked about their experience, here’s what they had to say.

Tyler O’Brien:
Sincerest thanks go out to: my training partners Michele and Fifbiscuit (who I am incredibly proud of), my parents, family and friends, my amazing girlfriend Kara, Section D, and the crazy crowds at BC for all their generous and heartfelt support.  For those in the HBS community in search of a worthy charity, please look to the Michael Lisnow Respite Center of Hopkinton.  And for those in search of a physical therapist at UHS who can nurse a non-runner off an injury and into marathon shape in less than two months, look to Jennifer Lee.  Congratulations to the other HBS runners!

Jen Neff:
I began running in college with my roommate as a way to stay in shape for squash during the off-season, but really grew to enjoy it and over the years, have started running more.  I have always thought it would be an incredible experience to run a Marathon and had heard that Boston was one of the most fun because the crowd is so involved.  When I heard about the open spots with different organizations, I emailed the HBS Triathlon Club and was lucky enough to secure a spot with CYCLE Kids.  The actual race was incredible and the highlight by far for me was having close friends and veteran Marathoners, Libbie Fritz and Kat Hebert, join me at mile 23 for the remainder of the race.  Wearing hot pink “Go Jen” shirts, they would rile up the crowd as we ran by and seeing so many classmates was so motivational as I got close to the finish and increasingly tired.

Thomas O’Rourke:
On why I ran:  I grew up watching my dad run the Boston Marathon and wanted to experience the event for myself – the day was both exhilarating and painful!

Sara Graziano:
I had a great experience running for the American Liver Foundation team. What a sense of accomplishment! Thanks to all who cheered and donated!

David Meckstroth:
I ran for the “Go-Kids Boston” charity and this was my first marathon. This race was very special to me because I got to run the whole way with my dad (who qualified to run this as his 11th marathon). One memorable moment during the race was at mile 24 when two close friends, Craig McMillan and Aaron Allison, jumped in and ran with me for a couple miles to help pull me into the finish.

Luke Marlin

Completing the Boston Marathon was definitely the toughest thing I’ve ever done. However, seeing all of my friends and family, raising money for charity and crossing that sweet, sweet finish line made it all worth it!

 

April 25, 2011
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