My Boston Marathon Experience – To Hopkinton

April 14, 2013 –  I lay sleeplessly in a hotel bed in Chelsea, Mass., beginning to feel anxious – anxious to run, compete, experience and finish. My thoughts drifted to my first memory of the marathon.

I vividly recall my father, three brothers and I huddled around a 19-inch television All in for Bostonone hot August afternoon watching the Olympic marathon (no doubt a replay). As we watched the race, my dad shared the story of Pheidippides. (The Greek soldier who ran from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens, announced the victory over the Persian army, collapsed from exhaustion and died.) His account, as all of his stories, may have been slightly embellished, but I’ve never forgotten it. From that moment on, in my mind, the marathon embodied the limits of human capability.

My day began at 5:00 a.m. with a quick shower, a power bar and a banana.

I hopped a cab to Boston Common around 5:30 a.m. I split a cab with three other runners who were staying in the hotel. One was from Nevada, another Ohio, there was even an international runner from the U.K. (That’s the beauty of Boston, it’s a chance to interact with like-minded people from all over the world.)  As we neared our destination we began to see a long line of yellow school buses. I figured we had arrived, but we continued continued on, city block after block, passing what must have been hundreds of buses. The enormity of the event was beginning to sink in.

I didn’t feel like making small talk, so I intentionally split from my taxi companions and weaved through the gathering crowds – a Hi-Vis, neon sea of spandex and windbreakers. I made my way onto one of the waiting school buses. I couldn’t help but think of all the times my nearly, skin-tight running pants have drawn odd looks in the supermarket. For once they were the norm.

The bus ride to Hopkinton (about 45 minutes) was rather uneventful. I briefly chatted with a local runner about to participate in his sixth Boston Marathon, before tossing in my ear-buds and catching some sleep.

Check back for the rest of my Boston Marathon experience.

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