I have a friend. And he will not run Boston today.
For a lot of runners, the Boston Marathon is our Mecca pilgrimage. For most runners It’s aspirational if not attainable. There is a reverence reserved for the Boston Marathon.
According to Wikipedia “…The Boston Marathon was first run in April 1897, having been inspired by the revival of the marathon for the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. It is the oldest continuously running marathon (US).”
Because of its storied history and popularity, it requires a qualifying time based on your age. Running 26.2 miles is an incredible accomplishment – Running 26.2 miles under a qualifying time is Herculean.
Unless you are superhuman, training for a marathon takes literally months of preparation with focused planning, a physical/mental commitment, discipline and desire – All of which will be challenged daily. Those who have endeavored will attest to mental toughness as being 90% of your success.
My running buddy qualified for Boston in April last year (2019) in the 65-69 age group. He needed to run under 4 h 05 min, which he did. We trained together leading up to his qualifying race. For 3 months prior, we shared part of our training runs – 2-3 times each week. That’s a lot of running time together.
You get to know someone pretty well training like this. So, I understood his plan- his focus and commitment. His aspiration. I understood what this meant to him. I watched his progress. I celebrated this training milestones and listened intently to the challenges he encountered.
We traveled to the race together, sharing a hotel room the night before.
I took this picture of an enthusiastic Boston hopeful at the starting line.
And this picture of a Boston qualifier approximately 4 hours later.
He won’t be running Boston today, but he has accomplished something that he has earned and can take great pride in. I personally am very proud to call him a friend and running buddy!