Here we are… After a long time coming, the Boston Marathon is finally only a week away. For those of you starting to get worn down by the constant talk of it from us deranged people who find these kinds of things fun, just bear with us: it’s almost all over! Without a single iota of sarcasm or tongue-in-cheek here, I want to tell you that training these six months has been one of the highlights of my athletic life so far, with the jewel on the crown looking to come right about this time next week as one sweaty, aching, dehydrated, disorientated mess of a 19 year old crosses the finish line on Boylston Street. Bring your camera, I know. Now, I know it’s still very pre-mature to be making my Sally Field acceptance speeches here (“You really really like me!”), but finish or no, at the back of the pack or a with surprise upset of the Kenyans, I want to send out a huge thank you to quite a lot of people.
First, to my mom, sister and dog… You three have patiently watched and mercifully held back on telling me what a lunatic I’ve become as I descended into slow insanity over the past few months and actually started enjoying going the long distances. I know next Monday, you three will be the loudest, most fantastic spectators on the course out of a field of millions. I’ll be looking for you!
Secondly and hugely important: The E-Streeters. Not the ones you’re probably thinking of… Springsteen and his band were across seas touring for most of this training season. These guys are a little less known by all except perhaps the nearby state penitentiaries and police departments (kidding…), but regardless, there is no single other group I’d have rather trained with for this race. Somehow they were able to make waking up at UNGODLY hours every Saturday morning, driving to some remote starting point and running 2+ hours – often in the FREEZING %$#^ COLD and on hills that made Mt. Washington look like a slight incline in comparison – an absolute highlight of each and every week. The jokes never stopped coming, and through it all we were able to keep what little already remained of our self-esteem. Two especially – the brothers Scanlon, Barry and Tommy – I want to send a special shout-out to and wish especial luck next Monday.They’re the only two crazy enough to sign up with me to trek the whole 26.2, cracking jokes the entire way that belong in any comedy hall of fame. We joke about it a lot, but I can only hope to be as in-shape as you guys are when I get to that age. First one in buys dinner?
“And last… But certainly not least…Do I have to say his name? Do I have to say his name?? The King of the World! Emperor of the North Pole!” The Big Man himself, my dad Pat Cook. Even though he’s sitting out this year’s race (give the guy a break… he’s already done seven), he showed up for the long runs every Saturday morning with a totally new course for us all to run on. Through his catrographer skills, the E-Streeters made their way through an astounding THIRTY-SIX towns and cities in MA and NH over the winter. That’s a whole lot of town line races! He’s been my most tireless supporter and coach through all of this, and I can only say I am where I am today because of him – and that’s not exclusive to running, either. I’ve said it in other places but just to re-iterate, this one’s totally for you dad. See you out there at the Wellesley College girls. Please, take your time getting there though…
As they say, the hay’s in the barn, the die’s been cast, ladies and gentlemen it’s all over now but for the crying!! I’ll be checking in again next week to tell you how we all ended up, then the blog’ll get back to its usual HC-related material. Wish me luck!!!!!