Archive for the 'boston marathon' Category

Passport to Race: The 2009 Boston Marathon

Cathy running the 2007 Richmond Marathon

Cathy running the 2007 Richmond Marathon

Your Name: Cathy Polishuk

Name of Race: Boston Marathon

Place: Boston

Tourist or Local? Definitely a tourist. I’ve never been to Boston which made driving downtown with closed roads difficult. Note for anyone who decides to drive into the city for packet pick-up – bring a map!!

Distance: marathon

Date you raced: 4/20/09

Number of times you’ve run this race: First time!

Number of runners in race: 28 thousand and change – I’m not sure how many started, but about 22 thousand finished

Describe:

I met 30 of my fellow Richmond runners at 7:30AM on Monday after getting lost on the way to meet them. The directions from MapQuest were terrible! So of course, I started off the morning with tears imagining that I would miss the race because I did not have a contingency plan for getting to the start. My boyfriend and I stopped for directions… The first lady Mike asked did not speak English. I then made him cross the road to ask a man that was running towards us who refused to help us. I was upset and imaging that all Bostonians were like this man but was soon proven wrong after we met someone who gave us great directions in addition to all the wonderful people along the marathon route.

I boarded the bus and we made it to Hopkington State Park where we walked up to the runners village and dropped our bags. We did not get there early enough to get the free B.A.A. gloves they were giving out, but we did take lots of pictures. The photographers were amazing! I made the mistake of not bringing any throw away clothes, so I hung around in my running gear for a couple hours – note to self: Bring old clothes to wear – they donate them after you throw them away.

I was in Wave 2 (of 2) and from there they put you in corrals of 1,000 people each. They started us at 10:30 which is the latest race I’ve started by more than 2 hours. This late start time will play a role in some lessons I learned later in the day…The beginning of the course was a nice easy downhill and the spectators were great. I was feeling positive and excited to finally be running Boston. Within the first 8 miles, I saw a girl cop a squat for the first time in my life. I’ve heard about it, but never seen it. Right there on the side of the road! Then we approached Wellesley and the boys slowly made their way to the right side of the road where the girls would be. And you may have heard rumors about those girls and I think they are all true. Yes, you can literally hear them from a mile away. Yes, a ton of them had “Kiss Me” signs and yes, it was a truly amazing feeling to run through all that noise. It gave me a taste of what it feels like to be a super star athlete. I have to admit I got a little teary. That’s embarassing…

The next portion of the race is a blur of screaming faces yelling out my name (which I had written on my shirt – smart move:) ). Then came the Newton Hills – a series of “rolling” hills that precede Heartbreak. First of all, I wasn’t exactly sure where Heartbreak was (another smart move on my part in retrospect) because I kept thinking, “was that Heartbreak? That wasn’t so bad.” And then I knew when I hit it. I barely made it up that road. But up ahead I saw a man walking and then the crowd began chanting, “run, run, run, run” until he did and I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to walk!

I was still feeling great – even smiling and high fiving little kids. I passed a guy who yelled out, “Go Cathy – you’re not even sweating”. He jinxed me. Remember that late start – well the only meal I had eaten that day was around 6:30AM and we were running through lunch time. All the Gatorade and gels on a relatively empty stomach did not go over so well. At 23, I started feeling sick, but I was surrounded by people. So, I started walking until I felt better, then ran until I felt sick, etc. This went on until 25 when we went under an overpass. Open grass! For the first time ever during a race, I got sick. But then, amazingly, I felt great. Puke and rally! I ran into downtown Boston with a smile on my face and crossed the line in 3:54:46. Certainly not my best time, but still an accomplishment.

After turning in my chip, I received my beautiful finisher’s medal, a much needed mylar blanket and a bag of food – very smart – how many times have you had to try to carry a bagel, a banana, powerade and whatever else you can get your hands on? It’s not easy. The bag was a miracle.

My recommendations for those who will run Boston:

Bring throw away clothes and a rain poncho

Keep eating as close to the race as you can get

Wear sunscreen (seriously – don’t forget)

Train on those hills and don’t be too scared of Heartbreak – the crowd will pull you up it

Soak up the noise of the fans and high five a few kids

Enjoy!

____________

Cathy runs and dances in Richmond, VA.  This was her first Boston Marathon, but third sixth marathon.

Good Luck Boston!

2009 boston marathon bannerToday is the 113th running of the Boston Marathon!

Good luck to all of the runners, including Races in Places Virginia runner, Cathy Polishuk!  We’ll be cheering for you, Cathy and watching the coverage at UniversalSports.com.

Top contenders include (courtesy of Boston.com):

ROBERT KIPKOECH CHERUIYOT
Age: 30 Kenya
Boston Marathon: 1st in 2003 (2:10:11), 2006 (2:07:14), 2007 (2:14:13), and 2008 (2:07:46); 5th in 2005 (2:14:30).
Of note: Last year Cheruiyot became the youngest man to win four Boston Marathons, and the course record-holder could become the first man to win four in a row. He is also the only man to win the Boston and Chicago marathons in the same year (2006).

RYAN HALL
Age: 26 US
Boston Marathon: Debut
Of note: Hall has been the fastest American marathoner the past two years, setting a record at the US Olympic Marathon Trials (2:09:02) in 2007. In 2006, the Stanford graduate set the American 20K record at the World Championships and a year later he broke the 21-year-old American half-marathon record at the US Championships.

DIRE TUNE
Age: 23 Ethiopia
Boston Marathon: 1st in 2008 (2:25:25).
Of note: Tune returns as the defending champ after barely defeating Russian Alevtina Biktimirova by two seconds last year. Boston was her fourth marathon victory, following Hong Kong in 2006 and Houston in 2007 and 2008.

KARA GOUCHER
Age: 30 US
Boston Marathon: Debut
Of note: Goucher drew inspiration from running side-by-side with marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe at the 2007 Great North Run. She made her marathon debut last year in New York, finishing third, and hopes to become the first American woman to win in Boston since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985.

(click here for a complete list)

Also running this year is Boston veteran Bill Rodgers, or as he’s more fondly known as, “Boston Billy.”  CoolRunning.com reports:

Boston, Mass. – Bill Rodgers, whose four Boston Marathon victories between 1975 and 1980 helped popularize the sport of marathon running in the United States, plans to be on the starting line in Hopkinton once again on April 20th, the Boston Athletic Association announced today.

His bib will read “Rodgers,” and his official number will be 79 to honor the 30th anniversary of his 1979 Boston Marathon win. Rodgers, 61, last completed the race in 1996, when he celebrated the 100th Boston Marathon. Then 48, Rodgers ran 2:53:23.

“We couldn’t be happier that Bill has chosen to run again this year,” said Guy Morse, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association. “Just the name “Bill Rodgers” brings to mind the true spirit and joy of running the Boston Marathon, from the race champions to the age-group athletes to those running to raise funds for charity. The man is known as “Boston Billy” for a reason.”

The 113th Boston Marathon will be the 17th for Rodgers, who last year underwent treatment for prostate cancer. His victories came in 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1980. In his first victory here, running for the Greater Boston Track Club, he broke both the course and American records with his time of 2:09:55, despite stopping four times for a drink of water and once to tie his shoelace. He broke the course and American record again in 1979 with his 2:09:27 win.

This year, he hopes to complete the race in just under four hours, saying he is not seeking any age group records but just wants to run “for the fun of it.”

There’s tons of coverage for this year’s marathon.  Check out these links for news, tips, stories of past and predicted runners, and overall minute-by-minute coverage:

Runner’s World Boston Page – coverage of American front runners Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher, great stories of past wins, miscellaneous facts

Boston.com – spectator guides, coverage of local runners, lots of photo galleries

UniversalSports.com – lots of videos, interviews, and live coverage

wbztv.com – Boston’s CBS channel has videos, facts, and streaming coverage

BostonMarathon.org – the official Boston Marathon website where you can follow individual runners if you know their bib number and birthday

You can also follow via Twitter: @bostonmarathon

Good luck to all the runners!


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