Patriot’s Day is a special day here with the running of the Boston Marathon. I run the Falmouth Road Race every summer because it’s as close to the thrill of running the marathon as you can get, at only about a quarter of the mileage (a huge difference in hours of training).
Thousands of runners line up in Hopkinton and run 26.2 miles to Boston. I ran in 2002 as part of a team that raised funds for the Franciscan Hospital for Children. The hospital runs a school and daycare program for children that require more medical attention than most places can provide and I was able to tour the facility. The photo below from the tour made the Annual Report for the Hospital that year.
The race is an amazing experience, I was lucky just to have finished before the course closed. It took me five and a half hours, plus another 15 minutes to reach the starting line because of the crowd.
While I was in training a friend of mine said “I say the same thing about the Marathon that I do about the Pan Mass Challenge – running the marathon does not impress me, training for the marathon really impresses me.” The wisdom in this statement is profound. In many ways the marathon is a celebration, spectators line the entire course, and the only time I’ve every caused a roar in the crowd was picking up the pace at mile 24 where the throngs of partying college kids hang out. It’s a good day to run.
The challenge is waking up three months earlier at 5am to run through 10 miles of ice in the dark. Worrying about, or having to deal with pain or injuries that you’ve never faced at lower mileage. This was where running for the hospital team helped me. Putting in the miles was often painful, but when I thought about the kids facing physical challenges greater than any I have ever dealt with, just to get to school, there was nothing else to do but stop whining and lace up my shoes.
We just heard the fighter pilots do the fly by, it’s time to walk over to see the race!
btw – My fundraising for the Run to Home Base has almost hit the $1,000 minimum goal (thanks to those who have helped, check out the link for more info).