Monday, April 22, 2013

Unfinished business...

This post started in my head on Sunday the 14th because I have a number of friends running the Boston marathon this year. All the talk of the everyone's training leading up to race day, the talk on everyone's social media, going to the Marathon Expo seeing all the new running schwag and hearing runners talk nervously about "Monday" reminded me why this marathon is so special.

Then comes Monday...even though I rarely watch the Boston Marathon live, even though I live 5 miles from the start in Hopkinton and work about a mile away from the 10-12 mile markers on the course, I wanted to go down this year to cheer on my friends: Greg, Nat, Nooch and Lisa as they made their way through the race. Standing on the side of the road, seeing the faces of determination and pride on the runners' faces made me anxious, jealous and angry all at the same time. Not at them of course but at myself. I tackled the Boston Marathon in 2011. Going into a divorce, wanting to focus myself, hoping to do a "bucket list" race and looking for a driving factor to focus my training, I put Boston on my wall when I found a charity number about 5 months out. The race did not go to plan at all (you can read about it here). That picture sums up my marathon. It was sheer agony towards the end as the wheels fell off! Add insult to injury, try as I might, I didn't raise the required amount of money for the charity so I ended up spending just under a grand out of my own pocket to make up the difference. No, not ideal results at all...

I walked away from Boston saying I'd never do another marathon...period! That also meant that a full Ironman was out because of the marathon distance run leg of the event. I was disappointed, angry and ashamed of myself and my "performance".  As time passed I reevaluated myself and knew that I couldn't let that course and race have the better of me. I've run long distances since, to include 50k during a 12 Hour Ultra marathon and started to think I had at least another marathon in me. My 2012 race calendar is pretty full with distance events (including the Marine Corps Marathon with that signup not fazing me at all) and dealing with the aforementioned I decided I needed to relook doing Boston...not just doing it but BQ'ing a marathon in order to get in...because that race and I had some unfinished business...and then Monday afternoon happened.

No, this will not turn into some self important rant or "what they did to us" speech. Rather, the event was the catalyst to ensure I'll toe the line in Hopkinton in 2014. I'm a military guy first, athlete second...both of which espouse the "never give up" and "don't let anything scare you" mentality. Upon hearing of what happened I tweeted immediately to the BAA that I'll toe the line next year come hell or high water and have since been tweeting and FaceBooking my butt off about my idea that all those that were First Responders, medical personnel, those that were injured and the families of the injured and the dead should not only get their own special numbers in next year's race but should be the first wave so we can cheer them for their hard work, and run with them. I will shift my calendar around and try to get ni a BQ time before the cutoff for 2014's race. If not, I'll run on a charity number...and if I'm short the money I need to raise...I'll pay it out of pocket... with a smile on my face.

We will prove to everyone that the we are all strong and...and that we need to take care of some unfinished business...


  1. Awesome Dutch! Looking forward to seeing you out there next year and celebrating our finishes triumphantly! Good luck getting in your BQ, I know you've got it in you! Thanks also for being out there cheering us on!!

  2. Thanks Greg! You looked strong as you zipped by me at mile 10! I have to shuffle my racing schedule around to focus on training but fingers crossed I can get a BQ.