Race day was great. You could not get better weather, if you asked, begged, and pleaded for it. Chilly at about 40F at the gun (or air-raid siren, rather), with a couple wisps of cloud. The first five miles went like a breeze. Around mile 6, I met a man running his 47th, yes, 47th marathon. We chatted for the better part of the next 8 miles. We made it through the half in 1:56. I saw Alie, the kids, and family around mile 14. Shortly thereafter, the wheels fell off the cart. An ankle injury from 2 years ago reared its ugly head, and I did a walk-run the last ten or so miles. I nearly broke down in tears at mile 24. But, I saw someone I was not expecting to see: Amby Burfoot. Amby won the 1968 Boston Marathon, and was the editor-in-chief for Runner's World for many years. He was walking the course backwards. I don't know if he had run the race, and was coming back, or was just walking along those last couple mile to encourage us in. I saw him, and managed to start running a bit more again. I waved, and said "Hey, Amby". He smiled, and said, "Finish strong,". Sounds silly, but the guy helped me out a bit.
The last mile was a little surreal. We were no longer running among the vines, but were going through a couple of residential neighborhoods to get to the finish at Vintage High. Someone said, "You're doing the 0.2 now,". That fact encouraged me greatly. I crossed the road to the last straightaway in front of the high school. I was overjoyed, I started running, and thought, "Well, let's see if I can get a little out of the crowd,". I took my hat off, and started waving it over my head. The crowd roared, well, as much as about 150 people can roar on a Sunday morning. Much to my delight, Alie and kids had just arrived, and I saw my wife hold Ollie over the railing. Finish time of 4:42:46. Second fastest marathon ever (PR of 4:27 in 2005).
It was a great day. The race did not turn out as expected, but I was not terribly surprised. Before I commit to another marathon, I need to evaluate my ability to train well much better, and drop about 20#. The foot has healed, I got 3 miles in this morning, and now its time get after it again. Watch out critters, I'll be out there tomorrow morning.
Happy Palm Sunday and Happy Holy Week! We're in the 0.2 of Lent and here comes Easter!