Last night I ditched my responsibilities at home to enjoy a rare night out by myself, on a weeknight no less! I got to attend a special event: the local movie premiere of Boston: An American Running Story!
The film opened to rave reviews from runners everywhere, and I happily add my favorable review to the pile. The movie offers everything you would want from a film about the iconic Boston Marathon — facts about the history of the race, old film footage of the race and past interviews with the winners, and current interviews with those most intimately involved in the race. It sounds terribly cliché but I laughed, I cried, and I felt inspired.
I highly recommend the movie for runners everywhere — those who want to run Boston, those who have run Boston, and those who just want to enjoy a great film about the history of running. I think the people of Boston would love the film too; it’s a real tribute to all the people involved in putting on the race and all the supporters who come out to line the race course each year. I ran the race in 2016 and that’s what I remember most — the unparalleled support I felt from the crowd from the starting line to the finish.
This film highlights the 2014 race, a triumphant return of the event after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. It certainly was difficult to watch the footage of the bombings, but the film treated it in just the right way — not giving any attention to the perpetrators but rather focusing on the victims and the heroes of the day.
This is a film I know I’ll want to watch over and over again, adding it to Spirit of the Marathon as one of the films I will watch for inspiration before I run another marathon.
Did you see the film, or will you watch it when it becomes available near you?
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Posted in Marathon, Running, tagged 2015 Boston Marathon, Boston, Boston Marathon, Boston Qualifier, BQ, fitness, marathon, marathon registration, running on September 15, 2014|
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This morning I submitted my application for acceptance into the 2015 Boston Marathon.
As you might know, priority is given to the runners who qualified with the most time to spare: those who met the qualifying standard by age and gender by 20 minutes or more, then 10 minutes or more, then 5 minutes or more. The Boston Athletic Association posted an update this morning after registration closed for those fastest qualifiers last week:
Approximately 16,000 application submissions from the fastest among all qualifiers were submitted during the first week of registration (September 8-13). At the conclusion of the next phase of registration, the B.A.A. will accept up to 8,000 additional qualifiers.
So today the field opened up for 8,000 additional qualifiers from the group of runners like me who met the qualifying standard by age and gender by less than five minutes. However, these entries are not accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; priority is given among these entries for those who qualified by the largest margin (meaning that someone who qualified with 35 seconds to spare gets priority over me and my 34 precious seconds). Registration remains open for this group through Wednesday September 17 at 5 p.m. ET. (and then re-opens later to all qualifiers if spots still remain.)
Now the waiting begins. The email confirmation of my application stated that acceptances for this latest group of entries will be sent out in October, although I suspect we might hear sooner than that. I think chances are good that all of us “squeakers” will get accepted, but I’m not considering it a done deal by any means.
In the meantime I am taking time to celebrate my marathon finish time, 3:44:26, whether or not it is fast enough to get me accepted into the 2015 Boston Marathon. I realized that in my stupor in the days after the race I didn’t even acknowledge the fact that 3:44:26 is a personal record for me by 8 minutes and 16 seconds! That is pretty significant, even if it only boils down to 18-19 seconds faster per mile over the 26.2 miles. For someone like me who did not start running until she was staring down 40 years of age, and was 4 days shy of 43 years of age on race day, it’s a big deal to run 26.2 miles at 7 miles per hour. Even now, after having gone the distance at that pace, I can hardly even imagine setting the treadmill for 7.0 and running for 3 hours and 44 minutes and change. You know, the other day I was talking to a friend who is training for his first full marathon coming up this October in Long Beach. He said he finally understood the appeal of marathon running: the amazing sense of satisfaction you can achieve by challenging yourself to do something you couldn’t have done a year ago or even a month ago. It’s definitely worth celebrating.
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When 9/11 happened, I watched the news from my 15th floor apartment in Cambridge, looking out over the Charles River to Boston.
The 2002 view of Boston from my apartment side of the Charles River.
Two months pregnant with my first child, I remember feeling vulnerable at being in another large American city, and wondering what kind of world I was bringing a child into.
Fast forward seven more months to April 2002. As my husband and I drove our newborn baby girl home from the hospital through the streets of Boston, we had to follow a detour back to our apartment because some sort of race was going on that day. I wasn’t a runner back then; I didn’t appreciate that that marathon was THE Boston Marathon.
Me and my five-day-old “Boston bean” in April 2002
Fast forward 11 years to April 2013. From the safety of Southern California I watched the news yesterday of the bombings in Boston, my heart breaking for the people there and for the community of runners everywhere. I’ve come a long way since 2002, and now I am a runner. I ran a marathon in 4:02 and I work toward the ambitious goal of 3:45 to qualify for Boston. I know how hard all those Boston marathon runners trained to get there. It saddens me to see the loss of the life, the injuries, the distress of all those affected. And yes, it saddens me to think that those who finished the race, and were not injured, had their race experience tainted by tragedy. It saddens me to think that some 5,742 runners did not get to finish the race.
So today I will wear a race shirt in honor of Boston.
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