It’s been a little over a month since the marathon and I’ve been soaking in the love from this season and working on my thank-you’s to all of you!
The night before the race, Dana-Farber holds a pasta party so that we can gear up for the race, but the most important part of that dinner is not the food and physical fuel, it’s the emotional motivation behind that night. I wish that everyone could come to this event. I’ve included several videos to watch so you can experience part of it. There are speeches from researchers who directly benefit from the Barr program, there are children who have been or are being treated at Dana-Farber. Last year we heard from a teammate who was battling cancer and passed away just this last fall. This year we heard from a teammate who lost his wife to cancer. Because of Dana-Farber his wife was given 3 “bonus years,” he called it. Finally we closed the pasta party with inspiring words from our coach Jack Fultz. Our job, he said, was to get our flag back to Boston – our flag being our jerseys inscribed with the names of the people we remember on our training runs.
It’s hard to convey the emotion behind this group and the training season. Each year they put together a video of the training season. This year you can watch it here!
Up at 5am to take the buses out to Hopkinton, I got ready with my good friend Kate. When we arrived at the buses, we were greeted by an Australian volunteer with a smile and an energy that was unmatched. The race didn’t start until 11:15am for us, so we had a lot of time to wait before the race.
Meesh and I competed for best pre-race pants to defend our title from last year. The pre-race pants are the warm-up pants we toss just before we toe the starting line. In years past we were able to bus them back home, but after the bombings no bags were allowed at the start. While we had some great ones, we were just no match for the Elmo-covered pajama bottoms. My sister gave me 26.2 earrings to rock on the race and I took words of encouragement from Meb (winner from last year’s Boston Marathon and also a San Diegan!) on my run. As we were waiting for our start time, I photobombed the photo below, not realizing it was Uzo! She is one of the stars from Orange is the New Black and was running for Dana-Farber this year!
We started the race in ponchos. Despite the rain, the energy at Hopkinton was electric. This is my favorite moment of the race, when we begin the race on a downward slope and all you can see below you are miles of bobbing heads in neon. It always hits me with a wave of emotion.
Mile 1: Ponchos
It was wet and a lot colder than I expected. Shorts were not a great choice. I looked down at one point and realized my legs were pink from the cold and wind.
Mile 13: Welleseley
Better known as the scream tunnel, this is the spot on the course that runs through Wellesley College, an all women’s college. They also make signs that beckon runners for kisses. It’s the mile you can hear before you see it. My favorite sign was one that said, “Kiss me, I’m wet.” And it gave me a chuckle. I just can’t get over the energy of the Boston Marathon. Each mile brings something new.
Mile 16: The Newton Flats
Mile 16 onward might be some of my favorite miles, because it’s the precursor to Beacon St where I know I’m going to see so many familiar faces and it’s where I try to kick it into high gear. Just as I turned by the firehouse and knew the hills were awaiting me, I saw Tara! That just boosted me right up the hills, followed by seeing Micha! And then John Murph, and Nance, all standing in the rain and cold to cheer us on.
Mile 22: Boston College
There must have been some hot girl named Amy behind me because all of the guys at BC were shouting her name.
Mile 25: Beacon St.
There were so many more people than I expected out that day cheering! I saw UCLA friends Josh and Denise. I saw Sam and Ben running down the street, sign in hand, to catch me. Micha who was apparently in two places, on the hills in Newton and at Kenmore Square, but I was booking it too set on getting to that finish line at Kenmore. Entering Kenmore was incredible. It was a rush of emotion and enthusiasm. Katie, Divya, and Grace were cheering from the bridge and Cappy was right after! Then I saw my family as I was turning right on Hereford. The look of joy and excitement and pride gets me every time.
I crossed the finish line in 3:58:15 with negative splits on the hills, picking up speed as we went and running the majority of the race with my partners in crime and my running buddies, Kate and Meesh.
After the marathon we had a giant meal at 5 Napkin Burger, complete with Sam Adams specialty 26.2 brew. The look of how proud my mom and sister were and all of the texts made me so grateful for that day. I left my phone in the car and didn’t get it until much later, but was overwhelmed with the flood of love and support. And of course what would be a true Boston Marathon without a little dancing at the end? We danced the night away (or really more of a slow rock back and forth) at Brandy Pete’s with the DFMC team. Alia gave me a piggyback ride up the stairs to the party we have at the bar after the marathon! Now that’s love. Has anyone realized how many stairs are in Boston? Thank goodness for elevators and roomies.
I am BEYOND excited to announce that we raised over $8,800 this year!!!!! This means that with your help over the last three yearswe’ve raised over $18,800 for cancer research. $8,000 is a milestone marker for Dana-Farber. It’s a special moment that they mark with a pacesetter patch. In the years I’ve run with the team, this is the first time I’ve hit that marker. Thank you for being a part of that.
Those funds will go to support the Claudia Adams Barr program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. That program funds basic innovative cancer research and some of the brightest researchers in cancer. 100% of those funds will go to research projects at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, so that one day we can live in a world without cancer.
This year I ran in honor of my close friends’ parents, Peggy and Rob, two incredibly strong people diagnosed with cancer last summer. Seeing them fight incredibly hard with their positive spirits is what gave me strength to keep training and put one foot in front of the other. They are the inspiration behind the miles.
THANK YOU for getting me out the door in the early morning, in the cold, bitter winter, in record snowfall, in rainy weather. Thank you for surrounding me and the ones I love with your love and warmth. Thank you for being a part of this experience. With your help, we raised over $8,800 this year alone, contributing to the Dana-Farber team fundraising of $5.4 million
From running 16 miles on an indoor track, from ice bath after ice bath (and I don’t mean just the snow). From endless high fives with Heartbreak Bill, from dancing in the mile-high snow banks. From bowling events to yoga events to sweatpants. From lobster shoes to brunch-filled Saturdays. thank you for making this record-breaking year (in snow and fundraising against cancer) unforgettable.