The Beard has made it to Boston!!!!!!
Short version - Finish time - 4:01:13. Not my fastest, but by far my most memorable race!
Five days later and I'm still on cloud nine about Boston. Nothing can change this for me. It will be a while before I come down :)
What a fun filled marathon weekend it was! Started on Friday at Hopkinton with the family for dinner and pictures at the start line.
Notice we are wearing the official "Beard to Boston" T-shirts
Saturday was the Expo at the Hynes Convention Center.
My good friends Melissa, Sandy & Kristen
Are you taking the picture???
~My wife was our photographer for the day~
Not only did we experience the whole expo, we also worked it. We took on the second shift bib distribution. From 1pm to 7pm. It has to be the best job at the expo! We met so many people from around the world picking up their bib for Monday's race. It was awesome.
The wife and I
Saturday was a LOOONG day....
~Sunday we rested. ~
Monday,... My wave didn't start 'til 11:25 that day but we had to in Worcester to take the bus to Hopkinton at 5:45. Because of the new BAA security measures, the bus needed to be at Hopkinton between 6:30 & 7:15. It was going to be a long wait but we made the best of it. Here we are playing "horse shoes" with some running shoes and some bottles of water:
Yeah, we were red necking it..
Security was tighter than last year as you can imagine. You couldn't go anywhere in Athletes Village without your bib. Since running clubs were allowed to bring bags on our buses, every time we would walk from our bus to the village we would have to walk through a security check point. They would make sure our bib were visible, we would have to empty out our pockets, take off our hats and then we would have to "spread 'em" as they waved us down with hand held metal detectors.... felt like I was at an airport. Will this be standard from now on? Who knows. It was a pain in the ass, but at least it made us feel safe.
As it got closer to the start of the race, they would announce bib color and corral numbers to start heading down to the start line. Reds at 10am, Whites at 10:25, Blues at 11am and then us, the Yellow bibs at 11:25. When it was time for us to head to the start the streets were jammed packed. It was tough to get through the crowd of runners. By the time I got to the start, my wave had already started. Yikes!! No time to even think, just GO!! Saw my sister in law and her family at the start so I paused for a sec to let them take pictures:
Blew them a kiss to say "thanks for being there"
I'm not going to go into every mile of the race. I honestly can't remember every single mile. It all went by so fast. All I know is that it was a very emotional race. At times my heart was in my throat and I had to calm myself down because it felt like I was hyperventilating. Temperature was about 65-68 degrees by mid race. A little to warm for my liking, since we had trained in such a cold winter. By mile 22 I was hot and could not drink enough water to satisfy the dryness in my mouth. But pushed through it.
The most memorable mile for me was the last mile. I remember passing the "1 Mile to Go" sign and at this point I was spent. The sun was beating me down and my feet were killing me. I remember thinking, "God please get me through this last mile". Then from the roaring of the crowd I thought I heard a chanting "Jose! Jose!, Jose! Jose!"..... I heard it, but it wasn't registering in my head. Huh? is that my name I hear? I looked to my left and there was my friend Chuck with like 15 other people cheering me on. Totally unexpected!! What perfect timing that was! That gave me that extra push I needed. Like minute later I see my wife, daughter and a group of friends on the same side yelling for me. I ran across and gave my wife a kiss and my friends a high five and continued on.
As I approach, Hereford St. emotions took over. I turned left on Boylston and and I see it once again. Memories of getting stopped right at that spot came rushing back. At that moment there was no one else there. Just me and the finish line. Nothing or no one between us and I was coming for it. As I approached it, it hit me that I should record this. I pulled out my phone pointed the camera towards me. That was the video posted above. I didn't know what to say so I just winged it. You can tell by my voice that I almost lost it for a second. Right before I crossed, I turned my camera around and took a quick snap shot. I made it!
Steps away from completing a life long dream!!!!
After crossing I saw my sister, her husband and my father not to far from the finish line. They took this picture of me after getting my medal. I was not expecting to see them there.
I had to walk three blocks to meet up with my wife and daughter at the commons. We just sat on the grass for about 30mins. I didn't want to go anywhere. I was where I wanted to be, right there with them.
This blog does not do justice to the fun filled weekend this was. There was so much emotion, so many pictures, so many memories, so much more to this weekend that could never fit on this one page. I could write a book about this weekend and still leave stuff out.
What's important to me is that it's finally done. Mission accomplished. I feel like I can finally put this past year behind me and move on.
I want to say a quick thanks to everyone that supported me this past year, through training and through the race itself. Many of you have reach out to me personally and said many kinds words to me. I can't express how deep this support hit me and how much it meant to me. I was overwhelmed.
Thank you to Level Renner. Being part of Level Legion was an awesome experience. I met so many people because of their Boston Marathon articles of me. I felt like a celebrity at times! Ha! It was truly awesome of them to choose me as one of the six runners for this project. And thank you for the singlet. It was perfect for marathon day!
Most importantly, a big "THANK YOU" to my wife. She sacrificed a lot to make sure I got my training in this winter. Many times after long runs she would be there at the end waiting with snacks and waters for me and the other runners. She made finishing a long run that more special and worthwhile. Everybody loved her. I'm lucky to have her by my side.
Til my next adventure!!!