by Carlee Daub & Lisa Brade
One question I asked myself before going to Boston last year in 2018 was, “Should I be going to this race if I haven’t qualified yet?” I was nervous that I was ruining the experience for when I finally do qualify. Now I can answer this question with an honest answer, and that is The Boston Marathon is an incredible event, even if you are watching from the sidelines. It takes inspiration to a whole other level. After watching, I am hungry to qualify more than ever. I can’t wait to experience this race from the other side of the barricades. In 10 short days, I get to try again at the OKC Marathon.
Here is a recap of our weekend…
Friday, we arrived in Boston and head to our hotel which just so happens to be the Fairmont Copley. If you are new to the running world this is where the elites stay!!! It was pretty amazing to get off the elevator and be staring right at Shalane Flanagan. We all froze and none of us said a word. I think we were all in shock.
Next stop was the EXPO to pick up Christie’s bib and head by the Altra booth. One of the great opportunities I was given this weekend was to take over the Altra Running Instagram account. At the booth, I met with their social networking director, Charli. She walked me through what they were looking for and then handed it over. I desperately wanted to do a good job representing WAHOO! and Altra during such an important weekend for runners. While meeting with Charli, she then let us that we would be interviewing Sarah Sellers in a couple hours. For those of you who don’t know, she got 2nd place at the Boston Marathon in 2018. AKA she’s a big deal. We walked back to hotel to regroup and then headed back to the expo to meet with Sarah.
Sarah was finishing her meet and greet and we casually chatted with her to break the ice before the interview. She is incredibly nice and laid back. She has been training hard, but didn’t shy away from admitting some of the bumps in the road she faced when she became an overnight sensation in Boston 2018. We laughed, took pictures and then started the interview. Each Wahoo had questions prepared, we tried to mix up topics and touch on things she doesn’t usually talk about. Some of them included “Would Sarah Sellers rather win the Nobel Peace Prize or win an Olympic gold medal??” Click the link below our picture with Sarah to hear the full interview.
Just when we thought we couldn’t like her more, she put on a WAHOO! RUNNING sweatshirt and walked around Boston in it for the rest of the evening!
Day 2 & The B.A.A 5k
I am slightly famous for falling short of qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 0.03 seconds. Let’s not talk about that…(jk). Since I wouldn’t be able to participate in the marathon on Monday, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to race the 5k. It was a spectacular event and so fun. Part of the course is running through the marathon finish at mile 2.5. And as fate would have it right as I was passing through the finish line, the speakers happened to be blaring AC/DC Thunderstruck. I took this as good luck for my marathon in 2 weeks because it is my marathon anthem. I was so excited, I was feeling great, and I came in at 20:27. It was 3 seconds faster than I ran in February and an awesome negative split (6:23, 6:21, 6:19).
After the 5K, we had the privilege of listening to Deena Kastor speak about her book, Let Your Mind Run. We have all been inspired by this book, so it was really neat to hear her speak about it in person.
After the Deena Kastor event, two more WAHOOs!, Deana and Hillary, joined us in Boston.
It was time to head to a shakeout run hosted by Altra, Goodr and WAHOO! RUNNING. At the shakeout run, we met a ton of Altra Red Team members and were able to share a few easy pace miles along the Charles River. The weather and atmosphere around Boston were perfect.
Today we made the marathoners relax while the spectators ran around town meeting new people. There were lots of shakeouts to choose from and we hit a few of them. We got to meet Tina Muir, Altra elite team member, at her shakeout. It was the perfect location because while waiting in line, we got served Linden and True coffee, by Ryan Linden himself. His parents and Des’s parents happened to be there, too. We chatted with them for a while and then they invited us to join them at a speaking event that Des was doing with them. What?!? Wahoo! energy rubs off wherever we go, what can we say! Later, we spent some time in the lobby of our hotel chatting with other runners. The elite team happened to have a meeting during that time, so pretty much everyone walked by and we wished them good luck. Also – another Shalane sighting! I think that is one of many aspects about running that I love. We get to run the exact same course as the best in the sport. How cool is that ?
One highlight we can’t forget, was looking up from breakfast to spot Kathrine Switzer sitting across the room. She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an actual bib. She paved the way for all of us women in the future. It was pretty cool moment to be able to get a picture with her.
The big day finally arrived…Marathon Monday for the runners and long run Monday for the spectators. One of my favorite things to do on Marathon Monday is to run the course backwards. We started at mile 26.2 and ran to mile 16. There we set up shop to cheer on the Boston runnahs. We get to run heartbreak hill backwards and see all the sights.
After that the day is pretty much a huge blur of excitement. It started with the wheelchair racers, the elite women, the elite men, followed by the common folk…(kidding). There is nothing common about a marathon runner. I was so inspired by each runner and deep down a tad jealous that I wasn’t running.
We were positioned at mile 16 of the marathon course which I could tell by the runner’s faces was a difficult part of the course. The Boston marathon starts downhill and then you hit the Newton Hills and by that time when most runners were passing us it was warm with the sun beaming down. I was happy to help any way I could whether it be a smile, cheer, music, or fluids. I wanted to give those runners a boost when they saw the WAHOO! cheer squad. Boston’s weather this year was crazy. I think they had all 4 seasons of the year over the course of 26.2 miles.
Once our people passed mile 16, we quickly jumped on the T to get to the finish line. The train took too long to see Christie take the famous left turn onto Boylston Street, but thankfully, we were there in time to see Deana. Both these athletes were incredibly inspiring to watch. Christie had been struggling with a hip injury before the race and had barely ran the month before the race. Deana was looking pretty bad at mile 16 and we wondered how she was going to do over the next 10 miles. The truth is they both fought hard that day. Running the Boston marathon is earned and not something everybody gets the opportunity to experience. Christie and Deana know the significance of Boston, so they showed up, persevered, and ran their hearts out. I’m very thankful for both of these women and the example they set for me and others in our sport.
As Des Linden says, “ Keep showing up.” And that’s exactly what I plan to do as I continue to chase my own Boston dream. Until next year, Boston… Maybe I’ll see you at the start line in Hopkinton in 2020.