Age Perfromance’s very own Bret Lucas recently ran in the Boston Marathon this year–this is his story.
A very cool morning soon turned very warm. The start of the race was under bright sunlight and spirits were high. The numerous runners around me are some the most fit and beautiful people I have ever seen on a start line. Despite the crowded start the pace was reasonable and crowds of spectators cheered us on almost from the beginning. My pace was right on target and I was reasonable comfortable but did not feel as strong as in past training days. About mile 4 I heard a spectator say “Everyone finishes Boston today!” Those words simply struck me.
At mile 6 I see the 73 year old Dick Hoyt pushing his son rick in wheel chair for 32nd time in Boston. Once thrusting his son through the course with great velocity now taking his time and experiencing every fan they have inspired over the years. Soaking in all the adoration and love. There is no hurry because everyone finishes Boston this year.
About mile 10 I know something isn’t right. My pace is constant still but I am beginning to struggle. I take an easy mile to regroup. At the end of that mile I know my legs don’t have it today. Halfway through the race I am right on goal pace but know I will inevitable slow down. I still have hopes of a best time then maybe a second best time then I realize I can only hope to finish. I see others cramping and walking in exhaustion and I feel fortunate that my legs aren’t cramping and they keep moving me forward.
My training for the race went very well but I never ran in heat this winter and my whole body was coverd in salt. My muscles are continually loosing the electrolytes needed to perform and in need of a replenishment. Under cooler conditions Gatorade and gels are plenty but today required additional electrolyte pills that I did not have.
The further we ran the louder the crowds became. In a moment of self pity hundreds of screaming enthusiastic college girls snapped me back to the wonderful moment. I starting smiling and laughing with the mania and it energized me once again and kept me focused on the experience the race.
Heartbreak hill at mile 20 was a joy to climb but going downhill not so much. My legs were incredible sore with 4 miles to go and I was struggling then at mile 23 I saw a guy with one leg and no prosthetic on crutches thrusting himself forward with incredible efficiency. I couldn’t believe he did this on crutches and I am only catching him now at mile 23! I cheered him on as I passed and started to get choked up thinking about his story. And I thought everyone finishes Boston this Year!
With a mile to go helicopters overhead and military security all around and I thought the whole country is thinking everyone finishes Boston this year!
I finished Boston this year and I am very grateful. What a wonderful race with amazing people. I was surprised how many people congratulated me on the street as I made my way back to the apartment I was staying. What a great tradition for this city for this country. The 118th running of the Boston Marathon.