A Boston Recap by Jeff - Guest Blogger and HE(ifer!)

Awww, Heifers.  Everyone who runs knows about the Boston Marathon. If not, you might live underneath a rock.  You might wanna climb out and read this, from one of my favorite HE(ifers) Jeff.  Here's his Boston Marathon Race Report:

I have had a little time to digest the Boston Marathon and my trip there.  Being a charity runner and a guy who was 46 or so pounds heavier just 2 years ago, I looked at this differently. It was so cool to see the people there who had qualified on time, i will probably never do that.  Their sense of accomplishment was so different from mine. I was doing something I thought was impossible just a year ago...run a full marathon much less one of the most well known in the world. I felt a lot of pressure because I understood how I got in and with it the mission to raise money for women with breast cancer. I wasn't going to take this lightly. To be honest, there were a few things that got me up and on early runs when it was cold or I didn't want to. One was the responsibility to the people who donated and the other was picturing crossing the finish line. 

Race day was amazing. I was sponsored by John Hancock. We had a VIP tent to go to before the race and then we loaded on motor coaches and were lead by police escort on a closed highway. Police were at every on ramp blocking incoming traffic. Our is was 4 back and I looked out and could see only a motor cycle office and open highway in front. We had a private area at Hopkinton but I walked around in the athlete village to take it all in. They then called for us to line up at the athletes village for the roughly .3 of a mile walk to the starting line. I was very nervous and also in awe of what I was getting to do. The crowd was already lined up on the walk and loud.  We got to the start and before I knew it it was time to go.  We moved forward and next thing I knew I had crossed the starting line and running in the Boston Marathon. I went out maybe a little quicker than I planned, but still am okay pace, I was just keeping up with the crowd.  The people lining the way were great. Hi fives and at mile 3 or 4 they were blaring Sweet Caroline and every runner and spectator all yelled out Bam Bam Bam...it was so cool. I settled into a lace, no music, and not talking to anyone really, which was different, I either had music when alone or had a running partner I talked to for every run. I didn't really like being alone with my thoughts, but I loved the crowd noise. You would make eye contact with someone and they would cheer for you. I felt great at 13.1, did it in 2:06, but started to cramp shortly after that. It was hot, I thought I had drank enough fluids, I was going to the bathroom a lot the night before and at the waiting area. I took in water at every stop, but didn't take any with me to start because I didn't want any extra weight, even though I carried a hand held water bottle for my long runs.

At about 14 I started to cramp, to the point i had to stop and stretch out my right left first then my left. The crowd was great, people offering water and girl gave me her own unopened Gatorade bottle when she saw I was hurting.   I got fluids in me, hit the next water stop hard and kept going.  The hills were worse than I expected, and I ran on hills at home.  We next came to Wellesley, I could hear the girls screaming before I go there and made sure to hi five as many as I could along that half mile or so. I didn't stop to kiss anyone, or get a selfies since I was recording it, but it was so cool to see the reactions and the fun they were having. Shortly after that the cramps came back, I was going to finish if I had to crawl. The crowd was getting thicker and I knew we were getting closer. It was hot and people were hurting, but the spectators and other runners were so awesome helping out people in trouble. I got to the bottom of Heartbreak hill and told myself I am making this. I didn't think it was going to stop. People were there cheering so loud and offering encouragement. A lady looked directly me at the top and said you have this. Downhill from here. We next came up to the Citgo sign.  The Sox were playing and the crowd was enthusiastic and a little drunk.  They were great. It was shortly after there that the blue line was on the street and I got on that and said that was taking me in. I was hurting but you could feel the end. Down the little hill under the tunnel then up and then the right turn on Hereford.  By that time I was starting to get a little emotional. People were going wild and could probably see that I was emotional because it seemed like they were all cheering for me even though so many runners were still there. I made eye contact and smiled at everyone o could. I am sure they have seen plenty of runners with tears of joy in their eyes at that point. You are only on Hereford for such a short time then you make the left on Boylston. You see the end, you hear the crowd and you are down hill. It seemed like it took forever though.  Past the Boston Marathon store, past the Lenox, past the site of the bombings and across the line. My wife videoed me finishing. You can see me wiping away the tears at the end. It wasn't because of pain or injury, but pure joy. I got to do something that very few get to do, all with people screaming for me, not competing against anyone but myself and my fears.

I rarely get emotional, at the end of Rudy and Field of Dreams....but it was just a release when I hit Hereford. This was the most physically challenging thing I have ever done in my life. The 4:30 am alarms, the gym to cross train, the long run Saturdays and the 4 months of one goal, to cross that finish line and be a marathoner.  I saw the. Eat of Boston and the best of the running world.  I didn't take my medal off Monday or Tuesday. People were congratulating me and every other person wearing their medal and jacket and shirt and I am still smiling.  A first marathon, to be continued.......

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