Wow. It is so crazy to believe that Marathon Monday is over and I have finally completed my very first Marathon! Now that I have had some time to look back on the race and rest my feet, I am so happy that I was able to finish one of the toughest Marathon courses out there.
Meredith already gave you the updates for how our morning went; I want to give a shout out to MGH for setting us up in the pre-race tent. It was a great setup and I loved the DJ. I even got to do a special shout out to Mer and request “I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the maaaan” by Aloe Blacc. Although there was a lot of waiting time it was a good time to talk to people and try to calm my nerves before the trek to Boston.
The run started out fairly well for me and I was enjoying seeing all of the spectators and their signs as we headed towards Ashland. Mer and I were running at a good pace and I was remembering all of the sights I saw on our 20 mile training run. We saw the clock tower in Ashland and were still moving at a pretty good pace. Pretty soon- the heat hit me. My legs started to feel really heavy and I got a cramp in my right side. I was not sure if this was from drinking too much or too little but I was so thirsty that I had to stop at every water stop to get water or gatorade. I started to get nervous that I would have to stop but I just put on my headphones and tried to keep up with Mer. Finally, I told her to run a little ahead of me and felt better that I was not holding her back.
As I moved along the route I was grabbing fruit and popsicles from strangers… I was so thirsty I did not even care. The crowd was so encouraging and I loved seeing all of the signs motivating us to just. keep. running. I picked up the pace a little at the Wellesley scream tunnel around mile 12. The signs were hilarious and I knew I was very close to half way! At this point I told Mer to go ahead again so that I could try to catch my breath and prepare for the next 13.1… I crossed the halfway point around 2:33 which was fine by my considering how slow I felt.
Luckily right around mile 13 or 14 I heard, “Is that you Roo?” and I turned to see Kelly Sarno, my saving grace! We ran some of our 20 miler training run with her and she is always so upbeat and positive- I knew things could only go up from here! She was feeling the same way I was and we decided we would trek out the rest of the way and cross together. We did not care how we got there but we knew we would make it. We met Mer at Mile 16 in the shade and jogged with her to Newton. We let her run ahead to Mile 20 while we kept our pace, walking when we needed a break, and always picking some sort of landmark ahead to run to.
Finally we came to Mile 20- our families! I saw my mom and started to cry immediately, I gave Jess, Abby and my dad a hug and Ellie asked me “Roo, do you have any juice?” Then we were off again! 6.2 to go!
Kelly and I continued our plan of running flats and downhills and walking up the hills. Heartbreak stayed true to its name but finally we made it up Heartbreak and got to run downhill to B.C. Now we really felt like we were getting closer to Boston! Finally I could see the Citgo sign in the distance!
Our feet were tired but our spirits lifted once we knew how close we were to Boston. We kept our strategy of running when we could and stopping to walk for a bit when we needed a break or water/ice/gatorade/lollipops/jellybeans. At this point, I knew we were nearing the end and although I desperately wanted to cross the line I kept reminding myself that I was running the Boston Marathon and I needed to take it ALL in and appreciate where I was and what I was doing. I loved hearing the chants of “ROOOOOOO,” and “GO MGH, YOU WILL FINISH!” as we ran through the streets towards Boston. People seemed genuinely happy (or drunk) to see us and it definitely lifted my spirits!
Around mile 24 I heard a voice call, “MARISSA HUDSON?” and I saw Rachel and Jorge! It was great to see friendly familiar faces and I felt another boost of energy. Kenmore was on the horizon and we were almost there! There is one small hill before you run into Kenmore right at mile 25 and Kelly and I knew we had to walk up it if we wanted to have the beautiful photo finish we were hoping for. There I heard another “MARISSAAAAA” and I saw Blair Pendergast aka KB! A perfect surprise for a final push to 26.
Kelly and I grabbed one more cup of water before we ran through Kenmore. This was my favorite part of the run where both sides of the street were packed with people yelling “ONE MORE MILE, YOU COULD DO THIS IN YOUR SLEEP.” Finally we saw Hereford and we knew this was it. Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston- Victory!
I felt like we were sprinting when we took our right on Hereford, I high-fived a few strangers and tried to hold back tears. Finally we took the last left on Boylston and saw the finish. Back at mile 18 or so we were talking about how we were going to hold hands over the finish and so we were ready, we grabbed hands and finished together! We could not believe that had happened and kept saying, “I cannot believe we just ran the Boston Marathon,” as we got our medals and our tinfoil capes. Mer was waiting for me at the water station and we walked (hobbled) towards the park. Grabbed a quick pic with Kelly before we left her!
I am pretty sure my second words after, “I can’t believe we just ran the Boston Marathon,” were “NEVER AGAIN,” but now that I am almost a week out I am ready to do it all again next year!! (maybe)
THANK YOU to everybody who sent words of encouragement and for those who donated to MGH and allowed us the opportunity to run the 2014 Boston Marathon! We could not have done this without you!