Friday, April 27, 2007

Boston Marathon and Joslin Diabetes Center - April 16, 2007

I ran the Boston Marathon on April 16 along with 5 other members of “Team Joslin” raising money for the Joslin Diabetes Center, Joslin is the world’s leader in diabetes treatment and research. On Team Joslin you can run, walk, pedal, swim, kick or do any sporting event you like to raise money for the Joslin High Hopes Fund. Joslin asked me to be “Captain” of Team Joslin, and I am so unworthy but honored! Joslin is affiliated with the Harvard Medical School and home to the best researchers in the world who are going to cure this disease. By joining Team Joslin you are helping the researchers directly so set a fitness goal, sign up for an event, get on Joslin’s website and join today! You’ll be part of a team and tell them I sent you!

Race day hit us with a nasty nor’easter storm, 20-25 mph winds, heavy rain and temps in the high 30s and low 40s all day. After several weeks of warm spring weather in South Carolina, I had to dig out my winter training gear! I’ve never run a marathon in so many layers of wet clothing, but it was fun to do with others for Team Joslin.

The Boston Marathon is an impressive system of people moving, 21,000 runners bussed in hundreds of yellow school busses from downtown Boston at 6:30 a.m. to the start line 26 miles out in Hopkington. That’s a lot of wet, cold, skinny people standing in the pouring rain for several hours for the race to start at 10:00 and 10:30 a.m. with trash bags over their bodies and
around their shoes. Boston is the elite U.S. marathon that requires entrants to qualify the previous year at marathons around the country. I had no plans to run Boston until early 2007 when Joslin invited me to join Team Joslin and run with one of their special invite bib numbers. Unfortunately these bib numbers are assigned the last starting corral behind 21,000 people. It took 20 minutes to reach the start line after the race “started”and almost 5 miles before we could really “run” in this mass of bodies. But I wasn’t there to race, I was there to have fun and support Joslin and it was great even despite the nasty weather! For 3 of them this was their first marathon and they all finished. They did a tough course in some pretty rough conditions and I was proud to do it with them.

Even with the horrible weather the crowds were fantastic. Just before the half way point, I heard a shrill noise in the distance getting louder and louder like a jet engine warming for take off. Then the route enters the campus of Wellesley women’s college
( and the entire student body lines the route and screams at you for ½ mile like you’re a rock star! Known famously as the “screech tunnel” - now that’s the way to run a marathon! Of course, I about passed out at mile 14 like everyone else who blasts through there at warp speed. Then it was 12.2 more miles of hills and cold wind and rain. The crowds were still fantastic even with the nasty weather, especially the screaming Boston College students at mile 20-21 just after Heartbreak Hill. They seemed to be well “hydrated” and not too worried about the weather. Ha! The run into Boston is epic and so memorable, even though my legs were a bit cramped from the cold and my lack of run training. (I spent most of my time this winter cycling for the Tour of Virginia 6 day stage cycling race starting the week after Boston.)

After the race I spoke a bit at Joslin on my message of Finish Line Vision™, thanking the incredible Joslin nurses, doctors, researchers and staff for all they do in the fight against diabetes. They are the best! Join Team Joslin today!

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