And every time they post to Facebook, the hate comes pouring out..........charity runners are "taking spots from qualified runners"......"what right do they have to run? All they did was pay money to a charity"......wow, and I always thought that running was welcoming to all?
I know I'll never post a qualifying time for Boston, but I've trained hard for this race, on top of fulfilling a daunting fundraising challenge, for which I'd be personally liable if it wasn't met. The BAA has a lot of traditions, and allowing "non-qualified" runners to run in the footsteps of champions is part of it. I've earned my spot.....just in a different way than others. Still, I would NEVER look down on ANYONE who wants to take on the challenge of a marathon, regardless of their "speed"......yeesh, just another reminder that this world is full of judgmental assholes.....
Ok, now that I'm done with my rant, I can now get to a brief recap of the Expo....
What a scene! The Seaport World Trade Center was wall-to-wall running......every major company was represented, as well as numerous other companies in the business of seperating runners from their money. There were booths for other marathons, and my two favorite booths were from the Pork producers and the Beef producers.....not quite sure why they were there, but it definitely added to the ambiance. Of course, for me, this was a bit of a business trip, so there was the matter of picking up this:
But of course, that made the following photo ops required:
Do I look proud? I am......very proud to be able to take part in this storied event.......very proud to be raising money for a terrific charity.......very proud to have the love and support of my family and friends.
So after buying a coolmax hat to wear tomorrow.....and a few cool t-shirts to commemorate the event, we headed back home, tired but exhilarated. Not so tired as to not be able to run tomorrow, but tired nonetheless.
Actually had a great night's sleep last night....only got up twice (what can I say? Hydrating does that to a guy....or maybe getting older has something to do with it too? LOL), and we had our team brunch at an Italian restaurant. It was so nice to see everyone who made it there....even meeting a few team members for the first time. In spite of the predictions for the weather tomorrow, everyone expressed their resolve.....we've trained for it....sweated for it.......and plan to run it as smart as possible. Everyone agrees that time goals are completely out the window, and with the BAA extending the finish time an additional hour, I can probably walk the entire course in less than 7 hours. Before we left, we gathered for a team photo.......I love these people!
So here I am........8:05pm.....Sunday night........finishing my blog post the night before I run the Boston Marathon.........and I'm full of emotions. I've been dreaming of running this race for a very long time.....long before I was a runner.......long before I decided to change my life and make the changes I needed to make to regain my health. Tomorrow morning, I'll take my place at the starting line in Hopkinton and begin my journey towards the completion of my dream. All that's really left now is to lay out my outfit for tomorrow, figure out what I want to have in the bag that I'll have waiting at the finish line, take a quick shower and then off to bed.
We'll be leaving the house early tomorrow morning. Barb is driving me into Boston so I can meet up with my team to board our luxury coach bus (no yellow school buses for Team Running For Cover!) at the Boston Common for the trip out to the Athlete's Village in Hopkinton.
All the doubt is gone......in spite of the deferment option, I can't take that route. I've trained for this, I've prepared for this, I've sacrificed for this. If I didn't give it my best shot, I don't know how I'd live with myself. I'll never know how I'd do if I didn't show up tomorrow......I can totally understand how and why people would choose to wait until 2013 to run, as tomorrow is probably going to be more difficult than any of us can imagine, but I know myself and know that I'm going to stay safe. I'd rather have a DNF than a DNS........so I'm going to stay hydrated and do what I do best.....GO SLOW!!!! LOL
You've all been so amazingly supportive and encouraging to me, and my Blogger friends, I'm going to do my best to do you proud tomorrow. As I climb Mt. Hereford and take that sweeping left turn onto Boylston Street, I'll be saluting all of you........something I read today really stuck with me, and it's what I'll leave you with tonight. I think it really speaks to all of us, regardless of whatever we're training for, but I think it's particularly poignant whenver the going gets particularly tough:
" The sense of accomplishment will be considerable and every runner will have bragging rights forever. Time is completely irrelevant tomorrow. Yet the inevitable question will be, what was your time. The best answer to that question is.......it was the time of my life!!!"
I wish you all smooth roads and tailwinds........and I look forward to having a great story to tell you all tomorrow night!