Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Boudreau Family Takes On Boston

Early Sunday morning, two cars loaded up with some of my favorite people left Maine for the Boston Marathon experience.  Our first stop was the expo at the Seaport World Trade Center.




After the expo, we packed ourselves back into the cars and set our sights for Ward and Wade's Aunt Judy and Uncle Pete's house just outside of Boston.  While I don't have a lot of pictures of this part, it was definitely one of my favorite parts of our trip.  Great times, awesome family, and a place to sleep and eat = ever grateful.  Thank you Aunt Judy and Uncle Pete!


the kids had a blast on the best trampoline ever too
Marathon Monday

Let me start out by saying every single person who took on Boston on Monday is a ROCKSTAR.  They battled 26.2 miles in the grueling heat.  The newspaper article I just read about the race said that the temps rose to 89 degrees during the race.   Now that's just crazy.  I know there are people who run in hot temperatures all of the time, those people must have super powers or something.  But for good old New England, we've been living in 40/50 degree weather for the past 3 weeks, so this spike in temps really made running quite challenging.  According to the BAA email sent out regarding the heat advisory, it is recommended you have 10 days to acclimate to running in new (hot) temperatures.  This was quite unfortunate because the temperature only spiked the day before, giving 1 day to acclimate.  Not going to happen.  Monday's race was not about time for sure, it was about the Boston experience.

Ward and Wade's Aunt Judy offered to take the guys into Hopinton in the morning.   They left the house at 6 am.  Wade looks completely ready to take on a marathon, not so sure about Ward here.  Don't they look stylish?  I especially love the hunter orange hats and Ward's torn up sweatshirt.  We call it his homeless sweatshirt.  I was hoping he would leave it somewhere in the runners village, but low and behold he checked it in his bag and it has returned.  Bummer.



After Aunt Judy dropped them off, she and my in-laws headed for a spot near the starting line with their chairs. They had to get there quite early to claim those spots.  As soon as Ward and Wade ran past them, my father-in-law called me to let me know they were on their way!  

Jill and I were not about to battle driving in Boston (or even near Boston) on this day.  Maybe experienced Boston drivers would do it, but we were going to play it safe.   We opted to take the Commuter Rail in from Grafton, only 10 miles from Ward and Wade's aunt and uncle's house.



Here are the kids, waiting to board the commuter train.


The purple line stopped at Back Bay.  Honestly, I had no idea where we were.  According to the map, we were somewhere near the finish line but I didn't know how close.  First, Jill spotted a Starbucks so we made a beeline there first to load up on frappucinos while the kids had their dose of donuts and pumpkin loaf.  We started walking down the road and came to the finish line.  I didn't get any awesome shots because it was corralled off, but at least we were there.  I hope someday to be crossing that finish line as a runner.  


We were heading to an old friend's apartment on Beacon Street - at about mile 23.   We lucked out big time when Kim's mom, Gail (a retired teacher) was subbing in my classroom a few weeks back. She asked me where I was watching the marathon and I told her I had no idea and was stressing out about it.  She told me that her daughter Kim lived on Beacon Street and that she was going down to watch the marathon.  She invited Jill and I and the kids to come down and watch with them.  This was an incredibly generous offer and a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.  


Since we started out not too far from mile 26, I thought for sure we would have zero problems walking there.  The crowds weren't crazy yet and we had time to kill.   Jill and I carried the girls on our hips almost the entire time (ouch!).  The boys did their absolute best trying to keep up.  To Jill and I, 3+ miles is nothing.  But I need to remember that this distance for  two 8 year old boys is quite far. Tucker was hobbling around like some type of cripple and I thought I was going to have to amputate.  Next time we're taking the T. 


Here we are, ready to take on the trek to Kim's apartment.  


At least we didn't miss a thing while getting to the apartment - here's the first wheel chair.  He was flying, well not really, but he was moving quite fast and he broke the world record by 2 seconds!


Finally, we spotted Kim's apartment building.  I know it's blurry - but oh well.  You really don't know how happy we were to get there. The kids (finally) had a chance to sit down and rest.  And we had an incredible view.   


Not long after we got there, the elite runners started coming.  I was able to spot elite Maine Mom Runner - Sheri Piers.  This woman is a goddess and she finished in the top 10.  


This little runner girl was wiped out because she had no problem laying down on Kim's couch and taking a power nap.  Unfortunately, the nap didn't last too long because I got the automated text saying Ward and Wade were at the 30K mark, which meant they should be approaching within 30 minutes.  At least she got some rest.  

Our friend Mark and his two kids came down from Maine to join us at Kim's apartment as well.   Mark came down to watch the marathon last year and is a bit more experienced getting around Boston.  Having him with us was a huge help.  Mark pointed out the the T was across the street and if we wanted to get across, we should go before the massive waves of runners started coming.  He was right.  When we got downstairs, it was almost impossible to cross the road without taking out a runner.  We waited for some type of break and just went for it.  Thankfully we didn't have any casualties - runners or kids.   


We stood on the other side of the road for what seemed like forever, but was probably only 20 minutes.  I was quite nervous that we somehow missed the guys.  I was starting to feel bad that Mark had come all the way down here, toting along 2 kids, to miss out on seeing the guys.  But finally, Mark spotted them!   


Wade sharing some of the sweat with Mark.  


Here's Wade again - blowing kisses to Jill and the family.  


Then they are off again, for another 2+ miles.  



Kim snapped a photo of the guys from her balcony.  There they are - our men in short shorts just before we saw them.


Mark's daughter took this picture of the guys as they were leaving us.  Here's Mark, Izzy and myself as well just before we went over to the T stop.  

After the guys took off for the finish line, we gathered our little heard of children and walked the 10 yards or so to the T stop.  We boarded within minutes and were off on another (shorter) T experience.   


We got off the T at Arlington and headed to the park.  This gave the adults a chance to sit and rest a bit and gave the kids a chance to run around.  The plan was to wait there for the guys, but after thinking about it a little more, I thought it would be awfully cruel to make them walk there.  Again, we gathered the kids again and battled the crowds through the family meeting area looking for the guys.  I had no idea where I was going and kept calling Ward and making him describe where he was - the description I got was "we're on the corner of Stewart and Trinity, across from a big shiny building".  I tried so hard to not get mad at him but really?  Like I have any idea where that is.  Finally we got more details and asked some police officers for help.  Then after a more crowd maneuvering we found them.  

                       
Ward & Tucker
Wade & Jackson






By this point the other toddler girl - Scout was out cold.  This was one long day for those girls and everyone else for that matter.   

Once we found the guys, the next thought was now how far are we going to have to walk to get back to  Back Bay?  Oh man.  Then Jill spotted the first Starbucks we stopped at and we knew we were close.  That woman can spot a Starbucks out in any crowd.  


Ward, Mark, and Wade just before we boarded the purple line to head back to Grafton.  


Post race massages on the Commuter Rail.  


The end result - both guys crossed the finish line with a time of 3:45.   Like I said earlier, Monday's race was not about time, it was about the Boston experience. The weather was not going to allow anyone any PR's.   I am incredibly proud of both guys and their accomplishment by taking on such an grueling race.  The next time they qualify and run, let's just hope for better weather.  

As for me, spectating wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I was paranoid about getting lost, losing a child and never finding Ward.  We didn't get lost, we didn't lose any children and we found the guys.  I couldn't ask for anything else.  

Now I cannot wait to go back to Boston.  I would love it if Ward and Wade BQ'ed again for next year so we can head down there and cheer them on again.  Then, someday, if the stars align perfectly, I'd love it if I could actually qualify and run it as well.  Here's hoping.  







19 comments:

  1. Congrats to Ward on surviving a brutal day and to you for successfully navigating around Boston on Marathon day and still having hair on top of your head.

    You will BQ pretty darn soon at the rate you are going :-)!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!!! My dreams of BQing will take a bit for sure and lots has to change about my training. I'm anxious to see where my training takes me with the list marathons I have lined up for myself starting this fall!

      Delete
  2. Loved your blog post about the Boston Marathon. Your husband and brother are definitely superstars. So glad the experience was a good one for all who were there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lori!!! Yes - I definitely agree - they are superstars!

      Delete
  3. Amazing!!! So glad you had a great time & congrats to them!

    ReplyDelete
  4. hahaha so much fun! I love it :) great family fun and great race Wade!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic race report and plenty of "leg shots". LOL Congrats to your runners. Looks like a perfect day despite the crazy heat. Hard on all, but worth it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most definitely worth every moment of it. It was an experience I'm sure none of us will forget.

      Delete
  6. Congratulations Ward and Wade!!!

    Haha I love his "homeless sweatshirt", sorry that it magically found its way back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! and I can only hope that the darn sweatshirt rips to shreds one day - it's absolutely horrible and he seems to wear it all of the time!

      Delete
  7. CONGRATULATIONS guys, such an amazing achievement ... oh, and keep the shorts ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are too funny! I actually tried them on today. I want them for myself. They are fun! Ha ha!

      Delete
  8. I know I have said it before, but those guys are pretty amazing. Don't tell them though... we don't want their heads to swell. LOVE Tucker's haircut, and Jill is pretty spectacular at spotting a Starbucks. Glad all worked out well! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they really liked that I displayed their shirtless bodies and short shorts on here again. Their heads are swelling already!!! Ha ha!

      I think Tucker's hair needs to be shorter - like buzz cut - because he is the master of bedhead, no matter what the length! And we all knew that Jill has Starbucks radar.

      Delete
  9. I have no idea why but I"m super choked up right now...such a cool experiance.

    How did you get the auto text was that from the marathon trackers or a program your guys have? My hubby would love that when he watches me.

    Amber

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marathons are super emotional - if you are running or watching. As for signing up for automated texts - it was a service offered on the BAA website. Pretty cool!

      Delete
  10. Congratulations to Ward! This was definitely a hot one. I love all the photos of you guys from the weekend!

    ReplyDelete

Please comment and I will respond!