I am very happy to report that I was able (barely) to complete the full 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston in 5:42:55! It was a gorgeous day, with a light wind at our backs, partly cloudy and reasonable temperature. The first half of the marathon went extremely well and I was well on my way to finish in under 5 hours with a 2:28 half marathon time. As those of you who have been following my training know, I have been having trouble maintaining pace after 16 miles and unfortunately it was no different on marathon day. By mile 21 I was in pretty bad shape and ended up walking and jogging the remaining 5 miles as best I could, stopping every half mile or so to stretch the cramps out of my legs. I have to admit that there were times in that last hour that I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to finish, but the energy of the screaming crowds, the support of follow runners and the encouragement of my team coaches (who ran with me part of those last miles) made the difference.
I got a lot of texts from from all of you over the course of the race and I have to say that was really wonderful to get them. It was like my own personal cheering section, and I have to tell you it made a real difference! I met my family at mile 17 and again at mile 23 and it was amazing to have them there with me on this huge day.
According to a runner’s forum I frequent, another solid year of running 25 miles a week should give me the conditioning I need to bring my time under 5 hours. I have rediscovered a love of running I have not felt since I was young and its a great feeling. I have no doubt it will be an important part of my life moving forward. It is good to know that at 45 and coming off years of neglect it is not too late to turn things around and enjoy the fruits of an active lifestyle.
Special thanks go out to my wife Rebecca who supported me though all of this, including the many Saturdays where I would be off running all morning and then napping in the afternoon. I want to thank my coaches Michael Ferragamo and Jeff Hintlian for their support, knowledge and dedication to the Miles for Miracles team. I also want to thank Michael Emanuel for the challenging me to run the marathon in the first place. I should also point out that Michael set a personal record this year of 2:29:52 and finished 90th among all men! Seriously, how does anyone run that fast?
And finally I want to thank all 112 of you who sponsored me to the tune of $13,800 for Children’s Hospital! The whole Miles for Miracles team raised a combined $1.4 million and that makes a real difference to a lot of children who desperately need it.
Thanks again for everything and for sharing this journey with me! It has truly been a life altering experience.