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Would I run a marathon again?

posted Apr 26, 2011, 7:22 PM by Justin Davidson   [ updated Apr 28, 2011, 8:27 AM ]
Long story short.. yes!

 

It’s interesting when you ask most people what they think of when they think of running a marathon and they will respond with thoughts of blisters, fainting, cramping, loss of will, dehydration, heart attack or even death.  Now, I am not saying many of these things did not happen for many runners, but for me although I did get a few small blisters, burned quads, and tight hips I would absolutely do it again!  This race was an experience that you will never forget.  We are going to see a friend run the VT marathon some weekend in May and my wife whispered to me that they still have 100 slots open.  For a quick minute I thought hard about running it and I still may.  I am truly hooked to running and indeed will run many more marathons before I die.  My plan is one per year.

 

This was how the day went for me.  I had a friend drop me off in Hopkinton at a point in which I asked a cop where the drop-off was and he responded right here.  I looked around and saw nobody.  He said it’s ½ mile from here and most people are walking from this point on.  Now my mind is racing..if it’s ½ mile just to get near the start this is gonna be a long day.  At the athletes village it was freezing cold and windy.  Everyone was waiting in line and running in/out of the port-a-poddys like someone looking to get their cash out of an ATM fast.  While waiting I had conversations with a few runners.. a few elites looking to break below 3 hrs after this being their 10th marathon etc (yet you looked at them you would never know). 

 

Others were people sneaking into the race as bandit runners without a number.  There were also interesting runners running with nothing more than a speedo and un-phased by the cold.  As they called the start people slowly lined up as if they were getting in a stall with a bucking bronco horse.  Happy yet puzzled.  Basically, if you were not in the first 2 heats you were in the back and you did not look any different then some guy walking on to the course to run.  The gun went off and I set my GPS watch.  I ran almost ¼ mile before I even saw the starting line.  We were in the last head and last section in that heat.

 

At first most people had on something such as running with a trashbag on them or whatever.  Then they all started to dump clothing fast on the side of the road to charities and it was ON.  For the first mile or so I just held out my hand soaking it all in.  It was just a wave of high-fives as far as the eye could see in addition to a bunch of colorful dots bouncing up and down.  Then the guy in the Tux passes me along with the 80 yr old grandmother who’s form looked like she ran this race many years over.  By the time we got to the first water station being runners 26000+ all of the cups on the ground just looked like running across a field of slippery grass.  I ran with a CamelBak hydration pack so I was able to run past most of these congested areas carefully.  So figure if your in the back passing 26 stations with 1 min to get through them you just saved yourself a ton of time.  As I ran, everyone was running as a team offering motivational banter along the way.  I had fun running next to Ray Allens mom while the helicopters flew overheard.

 

Approaching the hills everyone got silent and started to pound water and fuel.  The first few honestly where nothing until heartbreak.  As you run up it you pass people banging on drums while eyeballing these $4mm+ mansions.  It helped divert any thoughts of stress to find a happy place.  EMT’s on the side were watching the runners eagerly to see who would drop.  I did see a few faint and one guy landed on his face.  Once I hit the top my eyes opened wide and I had to make a choice to finish just over 5 hrs or just under with only 5 mi left.  I chose the latter and ran as fast as a physically could down the backside.  Once I hit Cleveland Circle I was ready to drop knowing all of the fuel in my tank was gone.  I broke out into the fastest power walk that I could with huge strides, head down, teeth clenched, and hands pushing forward determined to finish.  I was passing many because their feet stopped moving while there arms were moving as if.  Then I ran again. 

 

Once I hit Kenmore I was so pumped up till I saw that we had to go under the underpass below Mass Ave.  At that point my quads and hips were like.. shit.. another hill.  Although it was just a dip I felt that one more than heartbreak.  Once I saw the finish line I encouraged the spent guy next to me to run our asses off to the finish.  You could see it in his face “thank you”.  I waved to my family at the finish, they handed me some water, and then said keep walking to get my stuff and medal.  I am like gzz.. I bet another ½ mile.  It sure felt like it because now your body is like…we know it’s break time.  I went home and took a hot tub while scraping loads of dirt off of my face from what people kicked up.  My quads were normal by Thurs and my toes black and blue by the following Monday.  I am ready to do it again!  J  It’s all about hydration and fuel.  Next time I will finish faster!

 

Good luck!

 

@JustinDavidson
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