It was a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon when Ruth and I visited the Boston Marathon Memorial.
The May/June edition of Level Renner is now available. It begins with a section dedicated to those affected by the events at the 2013 Boston Marathon that includes my short tribute to the BAA finish line volunteers.
I also have a short story, titled “We Were Awesome”, later on in the issue. The story isn’t relevant to what happened on Patriot’s Day, but the title is.
I want to express my appreciation to the runners, volunteers, spectators and first responders who made the 2013 Boston Marathon special, and who kept the tragedy from being any worse than it was.
Now that the unpleasantness is over with, for the time being anyhow (yay!), it’s time to get back to normal concerns. So…
As I might have mentioned once or twice, I ran Boston as the sighted guide for visually-impaired runner Mike M. (#21076). I’m trying to find a finish photo for Mike. It would make a nice reminder of the good parts of the day.
There are no finish photos of us from the official vendor, MarathonFoto, other than the one below, which only shows my head in the lower left corner. The photo does show the clock, so you can see our gun time at the finish (third wave, just over 4:02, about 7 minutes before the bombs).
MarathonFoto missed us because we ran to the finish in the open space in the center of the road, between the areas covered by their automated cameras. The space was open because there was a media camera station directly in the middle of the road at the finish, and most runners went on one side or the other to miss them. Mike had worked up a full head of steam running through the clear space approaching the line, and I was hurrying to keep up. When I noticed the cameramen, there was no way I was going to be able to drag him to one side. I’m still surprised we didn’t crash into anyone. I’ll bet one of them has a good picture of a determined Mike and a terrified me
I’m hoping one of you, or someone you know, has a picture of us on Boylston St. This picture might help identify us:
Mike is the tall one. We both have sunglasses on.
Please share this with anyone you know who might have a picture of the approach to the finish from the appropriate time frame. With any luck we can dig something up and give Mike a pleasant memento of his time in Boston.
If you can help, leave a message in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, the Christian Science Monitor published my Op-Ed piece titled Why I’ll Run the Boston Marathon Again in 2014.
Late this morning, I took a CNN limo downtown, had a cup of coffee, then rode back to work. CNN (rightly) decided to bump me after an attempt to poison the President.
The day before the marathon, Jim Brennan posted his review of Overthinking the Marathon. Jim writes, “What makes it all work, as in Ray’s other books, is his openness and wit.” Jim also posted a follow-up note after the race.
And Mike Niefert posted a review to his Open Mikey blog today. Mike says, “Charbonneau has a knack for making running advice interesting and helpful.”
Coming up when I get some free time, the story of my marathon guiding Mike M. Well, the story of Mike’s marathon. I just read the map.
Two more interviews, yesterday on NBC Sports Boston, and today at noon on CNN. Mike is smart enough to avoid all this. After all, as he put it, what can they ask? ”So, blind guy, tell us what you saw.”
As far as I know, everyone I know who was at the marathon is OK. Three quick notes for now:
Mike and I lost 5 or 6 minutes in the crowd at the start. Our chip time was 3:58. The bomb was at 4:09, so we missed the blast by 5-6 minutes. The lesson: always run hard to the finish.
It’s important to remember the good times when bad stuff happens. Look at Mike’s projected finish at the half-marathon, then look at the finish time:
This article on Patch.com gives a little detail. I’ll have more when I have some time.
Note: Checked some other results – apparently they update the projected time as you go along. After the finish, the projection IS the finish time. D’oh. Still, losing only 4 minutes through the hills is pretty good for a guy who’s only run on flat courses in Texas.
Today was the Massachusetts Association for the Blind’s Volunteer Appreciation Brunch. Marathon runners and fundraisers were recognized, along with the volunteers who help MAB support the visually impaired on a regular basis throughout the year.
I finally got to meet Mike M., the runner I’ll be guiding in the Boston marathon tomorrow. Mike is the tall one.
Like any other event, there’s a certain amount of milling about and waiting:
But we finally took a group photo.
Then it was off to the expo to pick up our numbers. Mike is #21076, if you’re following along at home.
If you missed Hassan Haydar and I talking about the Boston Marathon with the Diehards on NBC Sports Radio Boston this afternoon (or you loved the interview so much that you want to hear it again), you can listen to it here.
Boston will be Hassan’s 71st and final marathon. He’s quitting while he’s ahead – his goal for Patriot’s Day is to run under 3:30.
I’ll be appearing on NBC Sports Radio Boston (AM 1510) this Friday, April 12, along with Hassan Haydar. We’ll be talking marathons, running books, and whatever else comes to mind with the Diehards at 1PM. If you’re in the Boston area, tune in to AM 1510, or you can listen online at the station’s web site.
If you want to track me in the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, use the AT&T Athlete Alert to follow the runner I’m guiding, #21076 (Mike M.). And there’s still time to buy a book and help support the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.
For now, we’re tapering and tracking the weather forecast for next Monday. The latest report looks good; it splits the difference – a little warm for the locals, and a little cool for Mike, who lives in Texas. Let’s hope it doesn’t change too much in the next seven days.