30 April 2009

Boston Pictures - Part 4

This is becoming an every-other-day habit, and it’s the other day, so Boston Marathon segment 4 is here. Episode 3 took us through the Wellesley scream tunnel. brought us to the 10 km mark of the marathon. Today, the Hoyts, the hills, and on to Kenmore. And that will leave us just one more installment to the big finish, or perhaps a big Norwegian.

Yet again, remember that the posted pictures are reduced resolution. Please email me at secondlap@comcast.net and identify the pictures you’d like by their number, and I will be happy to send you the full resolution versions. Don’t be shy, feel free to ask for as many as you’d like.

To see my article on the race itself, follow this link.

To see the first batch of pictures, follow this link.

To see the second batch of pictures, follow this link.

To see the third batch of pictures, follow this link.

Now, on to the pictures!

BM-117: Heading up the slope toward Wellesley Center, I pass the Hoyts. If you don’t know who Dick and Rick Hoyt are, you’ve been under a rock. They are 100% pure inspiration. Heading for the halfway mark on a day I didn’t expect to finish, what a boost they provided!

BM-118: #5957 David Harding of Greely, Ontario gives the thumbs up to the Hoyts.

BM-119: Another shot of #5957 David Harding of Greely, Ontario and the Hoyts.

BM-120: #9296 Molly Schmelzle of Arcata, California.

BM-121: And a better shot of #9296 Molly Schmelzle of Arcata, California.

BM-122: Half of #6391 Carl Deland of Niles, Michigan. Last year the TV commentators were calling Cleveland Circle “The Meat Grinder” because of the wear and tear of the downhills. We haven’t even hit the hills yet, let along Cleveland Circle, but my camera aim managed to slice Carl in half. Stay tuned, I got another one!

BM-123: Here’s all of #6391 Carl Deland of Niles, Michigan. Carl was kind enough to leave a nice comment on my blog last week, thanks! I hope he comes back to see his picture since I didn’t get his email address. Oh that more were so bold as to leave a comment, it is what I live for. Well, sort of.

BM-124: Heading up the first hill after the turn onto Commonwealth Avenue in Newton, the fans are out in force. I got a fever, and this lady’s got the cure! MORE COWBELL!

BM-125: I was intentionally walking the hills to avoid stressing the repaired tendon in my foot. You just can’t explain that to all these fine fan folks cheering you to get running again. I settled for a simple phrase, “I’m doing this on 42 days training, I’m taking a break!” That line inevitably got big smiles from the fans.

BM-126: #6593 Terry Mullins of Richmond, Kentucky motors up the Newton hills. Go Army!

BM-127: The view near 1600 Commonwealth Avenue in Newton

BM-128: Near the 19 mile mark in the Newton hills, Commonwealth at the corner of Walnut. At this point I’m unable to wipe the grin off my face simply because I’m still doing this, well beyond my expectation.

BM-129: #7369 Joe Rombold of Sacramento, California. Peace!

BM-130: #7258 Mark Duncan of Calgary, Alberta.

BM-131: A mini-sized water stop manned by mini-sized fans. These guys are great! And at my slower pace this year I had the liberty to appreciate their service.

BM-132: It’s a blurry shot, but the only one I have of Heartbreak looming ahead. Hot diggity, we’re actually going to do this today!

BM-133: And we’ve arrived at Heartbreak. By definition I walk it until just before the top, so I’m running again when I pass the WBZ TV camera. I’ve never partaken in those omnipresent orange offerings before. Man, what I’ve been missing. Fabulous. Thanks, fan supporters!

BM-134: #9250 Mark Willis of Richmond, Virgina climbs Heartbreak

BM-135: Look at all these people working so hard on Heartbreak while I take a pleasant stroll!

BM-136: And just like that, we’re over the hills. Grinning is turning into euphoria as we reach Boston College at mile 21. There’s still 5 to go, but since I just don’t care how long it takes, it’s sinking in that I’ll be picking up that third Boston medal.

BM-137: We’ve made the turn and are heading downhill to Cleveland Circle. Just before this shot I was walking next to a young lady who was utterly wiped and asked not to be photographed, a request which of course I obliged. The contrast between her state and mine was striking; I wished I could have passed on some giddiness.

BM-138: Hey, Mr. Cop, I just couldn’t get the whole plate number. Here’s #1029-something, and hunting the entrants on the BAA site doesn’t give me an obvious answer who it is. Oh well… [Post-script: That's Dan Gullage, #10290, from Orange, Massachusetts, apparently deep in meditation! Thanks for the note, Dan!]

BM-139: Earlier in the day we raced the train through Framingham. Now we race the Green Line down Beacon Street. Reminds me of the old saying, “Shall we walk or do we have time to take the Green Line?”

BM-140: It’s tiny, you have to look hard, but the Citgo sign is in sight! That can only mean one thing: It will take a long time to get to it.

BM-141: #9824 David Hovey of Hebron, Connecticut on Beacon Street.

BM-142: A better shot of #9824 David Hovey of Hebron, Connecticut.

BM-143: It may not be apparent, but the Citgo sign is just a little larger. I told you it would take a long time to get there!

BM-144: #12728 Andrea Klein of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, one of those places you always hear about but never meet anyone from. Well, here’s someone from there!

BM-145: #10141 Gregory Denkler of Arlington, Virginia being chased by the bathrobe trio, including # 4780 PJ Eichten of Minneapolis. That shower cap has to be uncomfortable.

BM-146: Holy Cow, Batman, 24 miles on a piece of horse stitched into my foot.

BM-147: The bathrobe trio. Uninhibited joy. Question: Do they need a shower after the race?

BM-148: An unidentified runner has the look of “Only two more miles” on her face.

BM-149: And that Citgo sign, while larger, is STILL a long way off.

BM-150: And it slowly draws nearer…

BM-151: The 40 km mark, just before the bridge over the Massachusetts Turnpike. When I run the race hard, that bridge hurts. Today, doing the run / walk / whatever cruise, well, who cares about this little hump?

BM-152: Unidentified runner bearing badges of honor: Last year’s Boston cap and a fabulous collection of salt stains.

BM-153: Until I handed her the slip telling here where to get her picture, I think #12759 Tamara Pavlov of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania thought I was a weird stalker or something. Perhaps I was?

BM-154: At last the Citgo sign looms large as we near Kenmore. My daughter loved this shot of the runner she named “Lizard Man”.

BM-155: Mile 25! On a day I didn’t expect to finish, it’s getting overwhelming.

BM-156: Kenmore!

BM-157: And as we enter Kenmore Square, it is overwhelming. I’ve only teared up in a marathon once before, last year finishing Boston with my first sub-3. Today, the fan support in Kenmore pulling me onward, not just to the end of the marathon but literally on my recovery and comeback, does it again. How can you thank the fans, let them know how much this means?

BM-158: And the last one for today, another shot of the fan support in Kenmore.

One more batch of photos to come, the last mile and the finish!

28 April 2009

Boston Pictures – Part 3

Boston Marathon episode 3 has arrived. Episode 2 brought us to the 10 km mark of the marathon. Today we pick up in downtown Framingham. Expect two more entries in this series, for a total of five. I know I’ve got you all on the edge of your seats! Well, OK, that may be a bit much…

Once again, remember that the posted pictures are reduced resolution. Please email me at secondlap@comcast.net and identify the pictures you’d like by their number, and I will be happy to send you the full resolution versions. Don’t be shy, feel free to ask for as many as you’d like.

To see my article on the race itself, follow this link.

To see the first batch of pictures, follow this link.

To see the second batch of pictures, follow this link.

Now, on to the pictures!

BM-071: Back around the Ashland-Framingham line, we’d heard a train blast its whistle and fire up its engine. Now, passing through downtown Framingham, the train has caught us but isn’t moving much faster than we are, which gives an interesting quarter mile or so of train racing.

BM-072: Continuing to race the train. It’s going the same direction we are, despite the appearance of engine 7705.

BM-073: This lady was clearly happy, or at least trying to convince others to be. Look closely at the fuzzy antennae, easy to miss.

BM-074: Still pacing the train, this gent powers on. (Ed Note: Learned later that this is #7711, Chris Roberts, of Findlay, Ohio running his 10th Boston and notching his second fastest finish. Way to go!)

BM-075: In east Framingham, a local business sports a sign encouraging you to check out your form in their reflective windows. Look closely on the right edge of the third pane and you can see me taking the picture.

BM-076: Another attempt at form checking, this time the camera flashed making my location a dead giveaway.

BM-077: In West Natick, a formed co-worker (holding the green sign, reaching for an orange), her husband (green jacket) and daughter were right where they told me they’d be and gave me a huge cheer. Thanks, Cori & Chris!

BM-078: Cori tries to give me an orange while I try to take her picture. Neither of us were very successful. But I’m glad I tried, because I didn’t realize until I viewed the picture that she had a sign made up for me! Way cool, I think that’s a first for me! Thanks again, Cori!

BM-079: Over the hump past Wendy’s, we head through West Natick.

BM-080: Here’s #4893, Bob Miller of Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Big grin, I like that!

BM-081: Bob then returned the favor. This was not an easy feat, because the camera was tethered to my belt. Not bad aim. Thanks, Bob!

BM-082: Can’t see her number, can’t say who she is, but she’s smiling. There’s a theme here.

BM-083: #5057 David Butterfield of Papillion, Nebraska (which is near Omaha). Now, before you think, “What hills can he train on in Nebraska?” I’ll tell you that at one point in my life I spent a good amount of time out there, and they do have some hills. They used to even have a ski area (don’t know if it’s still there) near Lincoln called – I can’t make this stuff up – Nebraski.

BM-084: Another gaggle of my ‘peeps’ is right where they said they’d be, near St. Patrick’s church in Natick. Thanks, Christine, for the great cheering!

BM-086: And there’s St. Patrick’s, a landmark on the way to Boston.

BM-087: What’s that we hear? You hound dog! It’s Elvis! He is alive, and eating a donut in Natick!

BM-088: A better shot of The King.

BM-089: #4363 Reavis Eubanks of Asheville North Carolina and blind runner #21553 Dickson Perez of Passaic New Jersey. I’m amazed these guys do this sightless. Truly amazed.

BM-090: #6328 Jonathan Drum of San Francisco, California. Grinning. This camera thing worked!

BM-091: Truly dedicated fandom, trying to make it more fun for all. These folks created a replica of Boston’s signature Leonard P. Zakim Bridge. The bridge is impressive, Lenny Zakim was impressive, though I’ve always been puzzled why we needed such a big bridge to get over such a small stretch of water. Go figure.

BM-092: Unfortunately my side-on shot of the bridge missed the top of the towers. Here’s a look back at the total grandeur of the creation.

BM-093: An unidentified runner shows off fine form and another fine grin. Love the flying hair!

BM-094: #9316 Mary Lebrun of Buffalo, New York. A little sleuthing was in order, since I’ve run Buffalo twice – love the race – including my 2:54:09 PR. Yes, she ran it, yes, we have indeed raced before.

BM-095: Mary again. I thought I missed the shot the first time, so I took another. Lucky Mary, both came out.

BM-096: Heading into the dip just before Wellesley College. We can hear it coming.

BM-097: And here we go into the Wellesley College Scream Tunnel. I just held the camera up and click-click-click-clicked almost all the way through. It’s long, there’s lots of clicks. These get a bit tedious, but the sheer number of shots reminds us what an amazing experience the tunnel is!

BM-098: Wellesley College

BM-099: Wellesley College

BM-100: Wellesley College. What’s that MAN doing there? (Answer: Enjoying the company.)

BM-101: Wellesley College. That sign starts to take on new meaning at my age.

BM-102: Wellesley College

BM-103: Wellesley College. The guy in the green hat was shopping. He found a girl he liked and plunged in for the smooch. I missed the shot.

BM-104: Wellesley College. This was my attempt to aim backwards to get the smooch in action. I missed the action, but the looks on the ladies’ faces tells the story. Classic!

BM-105: Wellesley College

BM-106: Wellesley College

BM-107: Wellesley College. Get a load of the ‘official’ sign: “Kissing runners since 1897” Love it.

BM-108: Wellesley College

BM-109: Wellesley College

BM-110: Wellesley College. On the left, she’s holding a sign, “Kiss a first year”. Cripes, that might not even be legal!

BM-111: Wellesley College. These ladies weren’t waiting for runners to stop, they were sending them airborne.

BM-112: Wellesley College. Kiss a Tarheel? Yeah, I know, it’s a regional thing, but it’s just not an enticing sounding idea.

BM-113: Wellesley College

BM-114: Wellesley College. Free kisses for NY-ers? I grew up there and spent my first 22 years there, do I qualify?

BM-115: Wellesley College

BM-116: And finally, the last Wellesley College shot. Two important points: First, I stopped taking pictures before reaching the end of the Scream tunnel. So as long as this appeared, that wasn’t all of it. Amazing. And second, very important, NO, I did not stop.

And with that, we’ll close for tonight. Next time, we see the Hoyts and head for the hills!