My Experience Running the Boston Marathon

On April 18, 2022, Ben ran the Boston Marathon for the first time.

I’ll start with the stuff which I wish went differently. I missed out on the top 50 by 3 spots and I missed breaking 2:25. If I had finished 20 seconds faster, less than one second per mile, I would have accomplished both of these. With that said, I am quite happy with how this race went!

This was my third marathon; the other two I ran had fields of about 100 and 500 people and were not very competitive so I found that I was alone for the majority. Not just alone as in no competition, but long stretches with nobody on the sides cheering. They felt like very fast workouts rather than official events. In Boston, I was not only surrounded by runners all around the same speed, but there were people on the side the entire way except for when we ran through a tunnel near the end.

The best part about running Boston, even more so than the screaming fans and the competition, was running through history. The Boston marathon course is essentially a 26.2-mile museum of running. I was running, for the most part, the same course as the people who ran it in 1897. It was the same course that Bill Rodgers had four victories on; a man I have raced against in an 8k and got to meet afterwards (I was 14 and in fairly good shape and he was 61 and recovering from cancer, but it still felt pretty nice to finish ahead of him). It was the same course that my high school coach finished second to Alvaro Mejia in 1971 by five seconds. He says Alvaro pushed him into the crowd with a few hundred meters to go, a story that has been repeated by some race officials watching.

I got to participate in a part of history, and possibly the most famous race in the world. On the bus to the starting line, I was talking to a woman who travelled from Oregon to run, another man who came from England. People travelled from over 80 countries to race it and all I had to do was drive downtown. It was quite special. My overall mile pace was 5’33”, which was my mile time my freshman year of high school. So, it is quite encouraging to think about how much I’ve been able to improve since.

There’s a sort of hangover period after a marathon, similar to what theatre kids refer to as “post show depression” where you spend months working for something that’s then over in a couple hours. But I’ve got a large support system that helps with that. All my coworkers and the parents of the children at the school I work at have been congratulating me and telling me how impressed they are with my run. And one friend is telling me that the head coach he works for might be able to get me free shoes based on the time I ran. Even though I just missed the goals I set, I am still really happy with the experience and I am very much looking forward to seeing how I can do next year.

21 thoughts on “My Experience Running the Boston Marathon”

  1. This is an incredible post. We understand the commitment it take not only to train for a such race, but also that fortitude it takes to push through during the actual race. Thank you for sharing this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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