Thursday, April 23, 2009

Boston Marathon Spectator's Report

**click for full-size pics**

We were up early on Monday morning to get ready for the big day. Patricia had a quick breakfast at the B&B, got ready and we were out the door by 6:30. We drove into the city to drop her off at her bus. She had to be there shortly after 7 even though her wave was not starting until 10:30 (we learned later than she had a 45 minute wait for the bus, one hour bus ride, 50 minute line-up for the port-o-potty and into the corral just in time for the gun.

Meanwhile, her hubby and I headed back to the B&B for our breakfast before taking transit to the finish line. We arrived around 9:00 and there were already several people all set up with chairs, blankets and some even had coolers! We found a pretty good spot about 150 metres from the finish line.



It was going to be a long day so I had to pick up some fuel.



Before long, the wheelchair racers were whizzing by.




When the police came out in new force, we knew the lead runners would be coming in shortly. by the point the crowds were insane! The elite women finished first (they had started 30 minutes before the men). Here is Kosgei from Kenya (2:32:16) with Tune from Ethiopia right on her heels (2:32:17).



Seconds later, Kara Goucher finished in third place at 2:32:25 after leading most of the race.



Shortly thereafter, the top men came through following the lead car.



Kenya's Deriba Merga won the race in 2:08:42, maintaining a strong lead over Ethiopia's Rono who placed second in 2:09:32.





Ryan Hall finished in third place at 2:09:40. Not sure why he's sticking out his tongue...?



Check out Richard Whitehead from Great Britain who finished in just over three hours!



We watched as runners flooded the finishing chute in bigger and bigger groups as the morning went on.




The energy was incredible. The crowds were screaming and cheering and ringing their cowbells non-stop. We called out runners by name whenever we could and shouted GO CANADA! any time we saw someone sporting the maple leaf.

Meanwhile, we had been tracking Patricia's splits and knew exactly when she should be finishing. Unfortunately, we still missed her. There were just so many people! She finished in 3:49:46, good enough for a re-qualification!

It took almost an hour to find her after the race in the family meeting area and another half hour for us to find our way to a "T" station. Patricia wasn't feeling well at all, but still managed to smile for the camera (while uttering 'Never again!')



It was an unforgettable experience and I highly recommend it if you ever have the opportunity. I can only hope that one day I'll be on the other side of those barricades... but until then, spectating isn't so bad!

Next up: B.A.A. 5K race report!

22 comments:

Melanie said...

Great pics! Luckily U is tall enough, which hopefully helped find Patricia in the waiting area. Awesome pics, must have been amazing to be see Kara and Ryan up close!! Amazing.

Run Sarah said...

What great pics! Looks like you had a great spot too. The energy there must have been amazing!

aron said...

ahhh SO amazing!!! what an awesome race to be at :)

X-Country2 said...

I've loved reading all these stories. Amazing!

unathleticrunner said...

Looks like you had an awesome time. I would like to go watch sometime, too! :)

joyRuN said...

Sounds like an awesome thing to see!

Congrats on your 5K, & looking forward to your race report :)

D10 said...

So jealous you got see Kara Goucher finish! Grat pictures. I miss D&D.

Jess said...

Sounds like so much fun! And it would be awesome to see those elite runners finishing Boston!

Heather said...

How fun to be at the finish line of Boston - I bet that got you revved up!

J said...

Sounds like you had an awesome spot to watch the race! I wish i could have been there to see kara!

littlesack said...

Sounds like so much fun!!! COngrats to your friend for qualifying and re-qualifying.

ps- i love the "BEvERages" thing from the post below. TOO FUNNY!

Blyfinn said...

Great pictures! You were right near the action.

I Run for Fun said...

Wow! Amazing pics! I would love to be a spectator at Boston!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Great photos and I agree that it is a great race to spectate.

Runner Leana said...

Wow, you got some fantastic shots!! It mut have been an amazing experience to be out there!

yumke said...

Love the photo of Ryan Hall. I think he was giving it all in the last bit...

lindsay said...

awesome pics!! too cool to see kara and ryan that close up. i love watching ryan, in particular, run. (on videos of course, never seen him in person)

anyway - the "never again" comment is so true! we are nutcases :)

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

How exciting! Great pics too.

Erik said...

Those are some amazing photos!!

Great job!

E

Slodge said...

Great photos - and it looks like a really fab race :) One day I will qualify!

Patricia was of course lying when she said the "never again" line ;)

Hmmm... donuts.

Lindsey said...

Awesome! My sister ran this race, she was running for (Canadian) team diabetes because she has type 1. She came in under 4 hours! I wish I could have been there to see her finish.

Morgan said...

Ok now I'm even MORE excited to spectate! Thanks for sending me the link!!! :)