Good morning everyone! Here’s the first of what will probably be several posts over the next few days, chronicling my own humble part in the historic 118th running of the Boston Marathon! A little secret – I may or may not only do the Marathon so I can go to the expo that takes place the weekend beforehand. It’s fairly Runners’ Mecca: a gathering of every imaginable sporting brand, from official sponsor Adidas to Saucony to Under Armour, and everybody in-between. They all show up with incredible gear unique to this weekend (plus all kinds of free giveaways) and a year’s worth of bank account savings is usually blown by the end of the day.
To start off the day, a truly amazing program that I want to give the attention it deserves. Since the attacks last April, Boston’s Old South Church has been knitting thousands of hand-made scarves for marathon runners. They’ve accepted donations from all over the world, and people from far and wide have been sending in every imaginable pattern of blue and yellow for the church to give away. With the qualification that you “Be swift, be safe” when you wear it, the Church’s volunteers wrapped people in both scarves and hugs over the course of the day, and I’m sure many a tear of emotion was shed.
With the expo starting at noon, my dad and I, along with my dad’s co-workers and first time marathoners Mary-Jo Griffin and Donna Corbin, headed into BeanTown at 12:30, thinking the opening crowds would at least have dissipated a little. Yeah right. I’ve been coming to the expo for a few years now, and I’ve NEVER seen it as busy as it was yesterday. There was a thousands-long line just to get in the door and get our numbers!
The magic number this year’s 31360, and for anyone who wants text updates from the B.A.A. as to my progress can just type that into their runner tracker program (which you can find at this link: http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/att-athlete-alert.aspx ). Dad’s number is 31359, so follow him too!
From there, it was into the John Hancock Expo Center, where all those aforementioned treasures were waiting for us. It was so packed inside it was difficult to simply try on merchandise, there was that little room to move. We still managed to pick up some incredible swag though! Superstition prevents me from wearing any of it until I’ve actually crossed the finish line, but it just serves as a little extra motivation, that’s for sure.
So that’s it – I’ve put in the training, I’ve got the number, I’ve got the jacket… as my high school track coach used to say, “the hay’s in the barn.” After a whole year of build-up, the Boston Marathon is finally here again! Thank you to everyone who’s supported me and my extended running family as we’ve prepped for this year’s running, in 48 hours it’ll be done and you won’t have to hear us go on about it anymore. Especial thanks, as always, to my mom Jackie and sister Heather, the best cheering section in the world! Can’t wait to see you guys out in Newton on Monday! That’s it for now folks, see you on the other side! WISH ME LUCK!!!!!!
And P.S. – Happy Easter to everyone!