26 April 2009

Boston Pictures – Part 2

Here’s Part 2 of the Boston pictures. When last we left off, we were heading for the starting corrals. This batch picks up there and goes to the 10k mark. I’m estimating three more entries in this series for a total of five. Stay tuned!

As I noted before, a blog isn’t the ideal way to post lots of pictures, but that’s what I’ve got to work with. These 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.

Now, on to the pictures!

BM-030: We’ve turned the corner and are heading east, up the hill in downtown Hopkinton. What amazes me is that with thousands of runners trying to squeeze their way toward their corrals, you still get dingy fans trying to ride bicycles, push strollers, and seemingly drive tanks through this crowd in the other direction. What are they thinking?

BM-031: I have arrived. Indeed! Corral 1! It’s hard to believe I belong there. How did an ordinary Joe end up in the front row? Just seeing the sign is a bit of an emotional moment.

BM-032: Though I don’t plan to start in the front of the corral since I know I’ll be relatively slow, I sneak up front to get pictures of the starting line. Most won’t see this for days, even weeks!

BM-033: Another view of the starting line. I learned later that the elites hang out in the basement of a nearby church (I should have known that), so no paparazzi pictures of Mr. Cheruiyot!

BM-034: And another view. If you look closely, I think that might be my running companion Chuck Hanko two heads to the left of the state troopers with their hats on. Chuck is a trooper extraordinaire who works starting line mayhem control every year. He spotted me as I went past at the start and gave me a shout and a big starting lift.

BM-035: Yet another starting line shot, with a media type checking us out.

BM-036: And one last shot of the starting line before I ducked safely to near the back of the corral

BM-037: Here they come! While The Singing Trooper Dan Clark sings the national anthem (he’s fabulous! He and his wife once sang a concert at my church – Wow! And he was a classmate of Chuck’s at the Academy as well.)…the Massachusetts Air National Guard arrives for the flyover.

BM-039: Another shot of the flyover. Off they go!

BM-040: In the corrals, chatting with other runners. Here’s #1594, Chris Brenes, of Allston, Massachusetts. Take note of his ironman visor, this gets too weird, I can’t make this stuff up.

BM-041: Didn’t catch the number of the gent on the left, but on the right that’s #1442, Kyle Schmid, of Annapolis, Maryland.

BM-042: Here’s #1206, Jeff Abbott, of Dunwoody, Georgia. Personally, I prefer GU myself, though I’ve never forgiven them for discontinuing the banana flavor. Let’s start a petition drive!

BM-043: A little tough to read his number, but I think this is #1665, Mark Wojenski, or Baltimore, Maryland. Could be mistaken, though…

BM-044: An unabashedly cute fan. What else can I say?

BM-045: Two Fleet Feet guys who’s numbers I can’t see.

BM-046: Unexpected Heroes Department: Though his number isn’t showing and it never registered with me while we were chatting (about long sleeves versus short sleeves, of course), my wife picked up later that this is Patrick Harten, #1549, of Long Beach, New York. The BAA gave Patrick this number in honor of his work in guiding Flight 1549 to its safe ditching in the Hudson. Too bad I didn’t figure it out at the time, as I, like anyone who flies, owe him a thank-you not just for that day, but for every day. Patrick ran a strong 2:47, and was interviewed afterward the race. And for the record, he mentioned that he came prepared with both long sleeves and a singlet, but had to buy a short sleeved shirt at the expo. Like I say, you just can’t win with Boston weather.

Oh, and remember #1594, Chris Brenes, in the Ironman visor? Here’s #1549, Patrick Harten, in an Ironman visor. Inverted digits, inverted visor color. Way too weird.

BM-047: Here’s #1318, Michael Keenan, from South Glastonbury, Connecticut. I forgave him for wearing the Yankees cap, but warned him I couldn’t guarantee his safety once he arrived in Boston.

BM-048: The gun sounds, we’re off! If you look carefully you can see the starter’s arm raised.

BM-049: The usual shuffle switched to a run very quickly, being in the first corral. I wish I knew what all those signs were that read “pod”. Any ideas out there?

BM-050: The crowd at the start. My aim isn’t so good, I’m just getting started with this running photography thing, and need some practice!

BM-051: Another shot of the crowd as we depart Hopkinton Center.

BM-052: And another. I like the kid in the tree.

BM-053: Race volunteers line the course as we trundle out of Hopkinton.

BM-054: This shot didn’t come out clear enough to read, but the sign on this runner’s back advertised that he was single. I wonder if it worked?

BM-055: Every year when I reach this spot, where you can see nearly half mile ahead, I am amazed that even starting in the early corrals (third, last year) you cannot see the front of the pack. Considering how many are behind you, it’s staggering to consider the size of the event. Well, finally this year, starting in the first corral, but starting slowly, I can almost maybe just sort of kind of see a thinning of the pack as they round the bend up there. (It was more apparent before I took the picture.) Maybe next year I’ll be keeping up with the pack and really see it!

BM-056: I rotated and cropped most of the pictures, but something in the weird angle of this shot said, “Don’t edit me, I’m cool!” and screamed speed and excitement. We’re not going downhill here at all.

BM-057: Boston is all about fan support. Here’s some from around mile 1. Thanks!

BM-058: Unfortunately, these guys, captured around mile 1, came out blurry. Must have stepped in a pothole.

BM-059: But these guys were crystal clear. That’s #2438, Michael McCauley, of Greenville, South Carolina on the left, along with some others.

BM-060: The crowd outside of TJ’s in Ashland is always boisterous and highly supportive. And why wouldn’t they be loud when Captain America (the blue thing) is passing by?

BM-061: And on the theme of America, someone is running with the flag. That’s really gotta’ hurt the arms! Captain America is still visible here – do you think he’s trying to catch the flag?

BM-062: Mile 2. At this point I still didn’t think I’d finish, so I figured I’d better snap a few mileposts since I might not see many. And considering an 18 second gun time / chip time starting lag and a, uh, brief stop, I’m going way too fast for my condition, but, what the heck…

BM-063: That’s my optometrist (the one holding the sign) out there cheering me and everyone else on. It’s ironic that this shot came blurry, considering her profession. Better here? Or here?

BM-064: I didn’t get his name or number but this turned out to be one of my favorite portraits from the race. Clearly, he’s having fun!

BM-065: Another who’s name I didn’t catch. We’re heading into Ashland center at this point.

BM-066: In Ashland there are two spots where the course splits around center medians. Stay right at the first one, left at the second, for the shortest routes. Of course I know that, which is shy I totally forgot at the second one. No big deal… This is looking across the taped off median.

BM-067: As the pack rejoins itself after the median split, we head out of Ashland center.

BM-068: Heading out of Ashland, I don’t recall that this runner was as sweaty as he looks, it was just an odd lighting trick.

BM-069: At the 10 kilometer mark in Framingham, I’m realizing that I’m feeling good and starting to contemplate the idea that I might finish this thing. But there’s still a long way to go.

BM-070: Yeah, I’ve got no right to be moving at this pace on 42 days training. So sue me.

And that’s enough for now. In the next episode, we race a train!

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