Boston 2008: Wanderers in da House!
Report by Leslie Turchetti
Hopkinton, MA - This year's Boston Marathon marked the 112th running
of the historic race. From the beginning, there were signs that
this year was going to be different than last. For starters, there
was no crazy Nor'easter bearing down on New England, threatening
the only ban in the race's history. Instead, the weather was lovely
- an almost cloudless blue sky and temps in the 50's. Perfect for
running and spectating.
Second, Wanderers from both coasts were in attendance. Those running
included Matthew Palombaro, Boston first-timers Randy
Justin Fogarty, and Boston perennial Paul
In addition to Marathon Monday, we were also treated to the ability
to watch the women's Olympic Trials for the marathon the previous
day. After catching a glimpse of our nation's fastest women, Matt and I met up with Randy and his daughter Emily for the marathon
expo (the mother of all race expos!), then it was off to the North
End for carbo-loading before the big race.
Marathon Monday proved to be a great day for all. Matt ran a 2:42,
Justin clocked a 3:06, Randy came in at 3:51 and Paul ran a 3:31.
After the race, Matt and I, Randy, and Emily headed over to
the Boston Beer Works and feasted on onion rings, sweet potato
fries, burgers and pizza - how's that for a post race celebration??
Below are the runners' own accounts of the day:
I think it is only in retrospect that I fully appreciate what
a tremendous experience running Boston is. I felt more like an
observer at the time: exquisite weather in quaint surroundings,
taking in the massive crowds, the body of runners that were always
before and around you, the support and kindness of the fans and
the blur of the last 6 miles as the full impact of those darn Newton
Hills makes you wince with every step to the finish line. I know
I'll never see such enthusiastic fans anywhere else. When the pain
subsides, I'm sure I'll appreciate it even more as the fuzzy glow
of distant memory kicks in. Of course, the company and coaching
of veterans, Matt and Leslie, made the experience even more enjoyable.
Anyone who qualifies should definitely do it at least once just
to see what all the excitement is about. Who's in for next year?
The West Coast Wanderers Head Quarters is located in the mountains
at around 1500 feet. Most runs around here include quite a bit
of climbing. So looking at the Boston profile, I smugly laughed
it off as a downhill course with a couple of speed bumps at miles
16 to 21.
I now know better.
Luckily the hills (which seemed to start at mile 1 with some rollers)
were still smaller than the crowds. That 1/2 mile stretch past
Wellsley was the closest I'll ever come to being in a boy band.
Thousands of screaming young ladies reaching out to grab a piece
of you and holding up signs about kissing is a little bit surreal
for a skinny runner in his mid-30s with a horrible singing voice.
The crazy thing is, I don't remember a single point in the course
where I didn't hear someone cheering. Simply amazing.
As for my performance...I'm definitely happy with my time. Had
hoped to be in the hunt to go for a sub-3 hour run, but that was
probably waaaaaaaay too ambitious. Lucky for me, I knew within
the 1st few miles that it wasn't a day when I'd be setting a PR,
so I got to relax a bit and just soak it all in.
Overall, it was a GREAT experience and I'm definitely hooked.
I'm already mapping out a training plan in my head for next year
(more hills and more sleep). One thing I won't change is the post
race recovery drink of champions...several pints at Doyles in Jamaica
Plains. Who's with me for next year?
Going into this year's Boston Marathon I had no idea how I would
perform. I had been injured for more than a month and was receiving
daily ultrasound penetrating heat treatments in the week leading
up to the race. Boston is my favorite event and the pre-race atmosphere
and race day crowds did not disappoint. It was great to hang out
with Randy and Justin who were experiencing the thrill of the Boston
Marathon for the first time. My race went better than I expected,
though I ran in some pain and my quads and hamstrings were never
able to get loose from the starter's pistol in Hopkinton to the
finish line at Copley Square in Boston. All in all, I'm happy to
have finished and am glad to have something to build upon for next
fall's marathon season.
Randy wins the Comeback of the Year award for the
year for his performance at the Boston Marathon. Beset by
injuries for much of 2007, Randy has come back strong finishing
the Boston Marathon in 3:51. Daughter Emily congratulates
him at the finish line.
Matt at Woodland
though our Wanderers pose in front of the Boston Transit, our
Wanderers cannot be confused with Rosie Ruiz. While Rosie took the Boston
Transit to "victory" in the 1980 Boston Marathon, Matt, Randy, Justin
and Paul did it the old fashioned way....they ran it!! Randy,
Matt and Emily are all smiles after the performance.
Lola joins in on a team
portrait at the race!
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