Monday 18 April 2011: Gebremariam & Hall
These are the two runners who took 3rd and 4th place in the men's division today at the marathon. Ryan Hall set the fastest time ever run by an American on this course, and the Kenyan who won in the men's division, Mutai, ran the fastest marathon ever. It's not an official world record because of the slope of the course and the tailwind, but he finished the marathon in 2:03:02. Can you even imagine?
The women's elite division was really exciting, though. Desiree Davila, a US runner, came in 2nd by only 2 seconds, and led most of the last half of the race. The energy here was truly awesome - it's been decades since two American runners have done so well at Boston.
Anyway, factual updates aside. Here is a shortlist of the things that happened to me today at the Marathon:
1. I got an infamous sticky bun from Flour. The remnants of it were later snatched, several hours later, buy a hilariously voracious golden retriever whose owner was overly apologetic for something I found positively hilarious.
2. When I got to the corner of Hereford and Comm Ave. (about a 1/2 mile from the finish) at 8a, there were very few people there. So I picked a spot and camped out. I met a woman who teaches at Salem State whose daughter was skating the route and her friend, whose brother was doing the same. We chatted and what not; they were both very nice.
3. Shortly afterward (and before anything got going), we were approached by and had a long conversation with a man named George. George is more or less madly in love with a Japanese elite runner he has never met and whom he has been mailing things to/following around the country for several years. George was here at 4a to make sure he got a good spot. There's more to the story, but let's just say we all gave George fake names and proceeded to be as far from him as possible. The frightening part is he actually seemed normal.
4. Watching the wheelchair athletes and the elite runners was really fascinating. It was interesting to see the difference between those who were really suffering at mile 26 (about where I was) and those who were still feeling great. On this note, I saw something today that really stayed on my mind, and not necessarily in the best way. One of the pro (just below elite) female marathoners basically had a bad case of runner's diarrhea today. While running. All over herself. And kept going. And presumably finished that way. I think I will refrain from commenting here, because we probably all feel the same about that...
5. I was excited about cheering on everyone who had anything to do with Texas at the marathon. I spotted probably 7 or 8 people sporting UT apparel, and lots more wearing Texas flags, etc. Yelled hook 'em a lot and got generally excited which was fun, because I didn't know anyone else running.
6. When I took the bus home, I thought I was being subjected to a bunch of drunk Harvard frat boys. They spent the whole time before we got on the bus and the ride itself making jokes (funny at times, but mostly tasteless and harsh...but still a little funny). They were all wearing shirts that said "phools." I assumed this had something to do with a frat. But I was wrong! Phools are the Harvard undergrads trying to get a spot on the coveted staff of the Harvard Lampoon (the famous humor magazine, which was helmed by Conan O'Brien in his time here). So, an interesting end to the day.
Now, I'm home and rather exhausted after 8 straight hours of marathon watching! Can't wait to watch next year though - maybe one day I can qualify (yikes, I wish!).
EDIT: I wanted to mention that my favorite part of this shot is how perfectly in sync these two men are. Rather beautiful.