I’ve written a lot of race recaps over the last – say – 16 months or so, but I don’t think I’ve written very much at all about a pre-race. A few pieces leading up to the Marine Corps Marathon in October perhaps, but I don’t think I’ve written anything discussing an upcoming race – feelings, anticipated results, anything like that. To that point, I’ve written nothing about the 2019 Boston Marathon in the lead up to April 15. Nothing. The biggest race of my life and I’ve written nothing.
I’ve been working toward this race since January. My running club receives an allocation of time-waived bibs for the Marathon, distributed on the basis of volunteer points earned via working various club events. When I had been injured at various points last year, a friend of mine had suggested that volunteering at races was a good way to keep my head in the game, “good karma.” When the accounting came back that I had a chance to earn a bib, I took that chance….
…and wound up on the waiting list.
I had never considered running the Boston Marathon. Like ever. And before I entered the lottery for the Marine Corps Marathon last March, I never considered actually running a marathon. Clearly, then, this was not a life long dream. It was never really anything that had entered my mind…until it did. And as soon as I found I had come up that much short – number 2 on the waiting list – I was deflated. So close…to something I had never realized I wanted.
Then, I was number 1 on the waiting list…and then I was offered the last bib. And there it was. I had been offered entry to the Boston Marathon. Likely the only marathon I would be interested in running. I mean…Boston, right?
So after several months of training, long runs, races, all that, the day is here. There are so many personal stories attached to this race from so many people I know, many to the day six years ago when bombs went off at the finish line. Many far less painful, but just as meaningful. All meaningful, all emotional. I ran the Hop21, BAA official rehearsal run wit h my club in March and it was at that point I began really getting the vibe of the race.
On Friday, the first day of the runners’ expo, I went with another club member to pick up our bibs. The atmosphere was electric. I’m physically ready – I was probably in better shape in October, and certainly weighed less, but my conditioning is probably better – and to this point I’d kept my emotions in check, but I’ve been raring to go since the expo.
And my club friends? They’re all amped up too. So many of us are running for the first time. A good number aren’t. Everyone seems as excited. The adrenaline is pumping.
The only thing to do now is wait, and then run. I can’t wait.