I have mentioned before that I had a friend who ran Boston last year and experienced the turmoil first hand. I reached out to him and he was happy to do a post on his experience last year and will give us an update on his experience this year as well.
Just a quick note, I have known Kyle since I was a little girl. We both grew up in a small Northern Michigan town which according to Wikipedia is home to 2,000 residents and 2 stop lights. As you can imagine, growing up in a small town like that you really do know just about everyone. I even remember going to the county spelling bee with Kyle and that he was a heck of a speller. Kyle was a great runner when I ran track in junior high and continued on through high school.
I am pretty sure that we both stopped running for a time during our lives. But like most of us crazy runners, we found it again as adults. I often call myself a running nerd and if that is the case then Kyle is the Yoda of running. When he should be tapering for Boston he is running ultras and doing 55 mile weeks. Sometimes he even messages me on Facebook to let me know what his plan is for a 100 mile training run this coming summer. The guy can run and I just smile in admiration.
Even better Kyle has two adorable children and they can often be seen at the side of a race cheering him on. Other times he finishes way before me and has to take off to get home to his children, but he always sends me a congrats even though he left me in the dust miles ago. He is doing an amazing job of teaching his kids how life can be a healthy and fun adventure.
In 2011 I didn’t think I could qualify for the Boston Marathon. But in May 2012 I did. I had never even thought about going until that day.
For Boston 2013 my parents and kids went with me for support. The Athletes Village is very exciting. Both the energy and excitement from all of the runners is very cool. Most marathons I have done I am running alone for the majority of the race (which is the case for a lot of races in Northern Michigan). In Boston I was surrounded by runners and spectators the whole time.
I had severe stomach cramping at 15 miles and was unable to run. I walked and jogged slowly the rest of the way. At 18 miles I stopped and called my parents who were at mile 23. I told them to wait for me. That I was going to be another hour.
I had wrote my name on my arms before the race. The whole time I was walking the spectators were screaming “Go Kyle,” and “Come on Kyle.” The encouragement of those spectators got me to start jogging again and again for the next hour as I experienced the stomach pain. They would scream as loud as they could once I would start to jog like their team had just won a goal. I had skipped all the high fives for the first 15 miles but now I was getting more high fives than I had ever had in my entire life.
At 23 miles I was certain I couldn’t go any further but seeing both my parents and my kids made it strangely easier to go on. The pain didn’t get to my legs but my stomach was like a rock and hurt with every breath. I finished the race and quickly felt better. Volunteers were saying, “You just finished the greatest marathon in the world!”
I did not stay to chat or watch. I didn’t want to have my worst marathon time engraved on my medal. I went right to the subway and went back to the hotel. On the way back I saw ambulances and police officers cruising toward the finish. When I got off the train the police were saying, ” You can not go downtown!” And they were turning everyone that wanted to head that way around. I had no idea what had happened, and I was very confused. When I opened the door to the hotel my mother gave me a hug and told me that bombs had gone off. I told her it was probably fireworks and people partying. She was watching the news and that was how we finally found out what was happening.
This was written by Kyle’s daughter after he finished the race. She was 5 at the time.
Everything was shut down. We were not supposed to use our phones. There were men in suits at our hotel asking everyone there if they had seen anything suspicious. Our trip was totally screwed up from the mess. The next morning we drove home.
The spirit and compassion of the running community will be overwhelming this year. I am very excited not just to have qualified again but to be starting at the front with the elites. I have became a part of society who is trying to stay healthy and inspire others to do their best. I am very grateful to be able to run.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Kyle for sharing his thoughts on last year and offer him a huge good luck as well as to all of the other runners racing Boston again this year. I am super excited for my friend who will be taking off in corral 1 wave 1 run this year. Talk about exciting!