Mike Baron's Boston Marathon Report

by Mike "Fly T" Baron

Left for Boston on Saturday morning. Took Jet Blue non-stop up there; flight was 2 hours 40 min. I did see another runner at baggage claim that was basically freaking out because they lost his checked bag that had his shoes, shorts and other running gear. As most of us know if you check in a bag plan on them losing it, so take your shoes shorts and other ‘must have’ stuff with you on the plane. Took a cab to the Marriott Copley, fare was $18. I have stayed at the Marriott before, it is close to everything you need to get to for the marathon. Packet pickup and Expo are a 10 min walk away to the Hynes Convention Center, the finish line is 5 minute walk and the Boston Commons is 15 minute walk to get on the bus to go to Hopkinton. (NOTE: room rate is $259.00 through marathon tours. They are taking reservations right now for 2010. You have to send them one nights deposit but if you have to cancel before Feb 5 they refund your deposit minus $20 handling fee. This hotel fills up fast so if you are planning on going you need to make your reservation soon.)

Race morning... left the hotel at 6:30AM and walked to Boston Common. Line to get on the buses was long, about one hour wait then another hour ride to Hopkinton. Traffic was stop and go last 5 miles or so. Got to the Athlete’s Village at 8:30 and laid around until 9:30 before dropping the bags off at the buses. If you have to take a leak you better do it at the Athlete’s Village. When you walk from there to the start corrals they have fences along the whole street with police every 50 ft watching. The message is real clear “No pi**ing in the bushes next to the houses!” (They have some port o pots near the corrals but the line are long there, too).

Weather for the race was great! Temperature was 47 degrees and dew point was 36 wind was east-southeast at 16 mph. Most of the time the wind wasn’t that strong it was off to the right front and wasn’t much of a factor at all. This was probably the coolest weather I have had to run a marathon in quite awhile. I was in start corral 9. Took us about 5 min to get to the start line but once we crossed it we were running, the first mile was 8:00 and by the 2
nd mile I was on pace at 7:40, being that far back in the pack wasn’t an issue at all.

The first 6 miles is all downhill and a lot of people were really flying by me on the side during this stretch. I had been warned by President Daniel not to do this because it will beat the hell out of your quads so I kept the pace at 7:40 -7:30. From mile 6 to 13 I ran pretty steady at 7:40 pace until we got to Wellesley College, had to stop and take a picture of all the girls out there. The noise they make is something, you can hear them over a half mile away.

After Wellesley at mile 15 there is a steep downhill right before you get to Newton and the start of the hills. There are 4 of them, the steepest one is at mile 17.6 right past the fire station, the tallest one, though, is Heartbreak. It isn’t as steep as the one at 17.6 but the elevation change is 15 ft more. After Heartbreak hill there are just a few small hills but nothing much at all and after mile 23 it is almost completely flat going into downtown Boston.

The wind did pickup as we got close to the city but it felt good, like getting hit with some cool A/C on a summer day. The crowd along the whole route is something. I had my name written on the side of my arm and about every min I would hear “Go Mike” really helps those last few miles when you are hurting. The last 1/3 of a mile when you turn onto Boylston Street is something else when you see the finish line and the crowd is roaring. I really don’t know how they keep it up for the whole time.

As soon as we crossed the finish line the give you the silver blankets to keep you warm because as soon as you stopped running the wind felt cold. They take the chip off your shoe and give you your finishers medal at the same time. The buses with your bags are about 2 blocks away and the walk back to the Marriott is another 4 blocks north.

The limiting factor for me was how sore the quads got from the downhill portions of the race. For next year we might want to consider having some group runs in Clermont.

The main goal for us this year is to get as many people qualified as possible for Boston 2010. As most of you know I have been running for quite a few years and this is the best 6 months of training and marathon running I have ever done. Without a strong group like this staying motivated over a long period of time is almost impossible. Also want to thank Psycho Dan Stojic for doing all those 20 mile runs in the middle of last summer with me. Those are some of the hardest miles I had to put in and as all of you know doing long runs by yourself in this Florida heat is really tough to do.

This Boston Marathon was great, but Boston 2010 will be the best ever for the Roadkillers.