|the kids had a blast on the best trampoline ever too|
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!
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.