Guest blog by Jason Bui
I was in bed and asleep well before the New Year’s ball dropped on 2012.
I needed the sleep in order to be ready to run at the 9th Annual New Year’s Day Boston Marathon “Fun” Run at 6AM. Of course, only a bunch of Maineiacs would consider running the Boston Marathon course, at any time of year, fun.
From the Facebook page: This is not a race. There is no entry fee, timing mats, bands, finishers medals, t-shirts, times, cheerleaders, or Mylar blankets. This run has nothing to do with the BAA or the real Boston Marathon and everyone is responsible for their own safety and liability. If you love to run and you want to experience the historic Boston Marathon course in it’s purest sense you really need to do this.
Here’s a little background and history on the very low-key event: Don’t Double Click Me
I started back in 2011, and it’s been just as much fun each time I’m out there at 6AM freezing my balls off, regretting the decision to have agreed to it in the first place.
My 2013 New Year’s morning started at 3AM, before I promptly went back to bed for another 58 minutes of sleep. I was finally up, everything packed, and ready to go by 4AM. I had it relatively easy compared to some of the Maine folks that were driving down while I was still warm in my bed.
The same reason that Boston is a great course to run, makes Boston a tough course to coordinate an event like this. The start is 26.2 point-to-point miles away from the finish.
The plan was to meet up near the finish line, drop off our cars, and take one car to the start in Hopkinton. I first had to make a detour to pick up Mike Quintal, who decided about six hours prior (most likely under the influence of something) that he was going to join us on this long run.
I was 10 minutes late picking up a panicked Quintal at the McD’s in Woburn. Panicked because of all of the crazies that were out and sobering up from their First Night activities. It got so bad that Mike texted me telling me to hurry because the locals were blasting “Funky Town”, and a black cat was staring at him.
I eventually rescued Mike from the cat, drove into town, and met up with Reno, Gary, and Blaine for the drive out to Hopkinton. Thirty minutes later we were parked at the start of the world’s oldest annual marathon.
Helen Dinan and members of HTC eventually joined us a little after 6AM for the walk to the starting line. We did the group picture and then we were off. This was the lowest-key start in the years that I’ve done it. No speech or much chit-chat.
There were only six of us in the 6AM group that were doing the entire course, the others were running to the halfway mark. For those that like to sleep in, there’s also another group that starts around 7AM.
Reno, Helen, Mike, and I led it out, while Blaine and Gary hung back with the others.
I could already tell that today was going to be all business. There wasn’t much talk in those first few miles, and even fewer over the entire course.
We all settled into a sub 7:30 rhythm right from the start, and that didn’t change much for the rest of the run. Mike eventually made his move around mile 10 and took off on his own, never to be heard or seen from ever again…….maybe the black cat got him.
I managed to stay with Reno and Helen before they dropped me at mile 17 as we climbed the Newton Hills. It wasn’t because I was slowing down. They were just going faster and faster. Fellow Whirlaway runner, Ephraim Ezekiel, joined us around this point and he ran with them into town.
We only took two bathroom breaks on the run, and I only had to take one GU to finish the run in one piece.
Overall, I felt pretty good considering that this was my 3rd “long” run since mid-December. I finished about 3-4 minutes behind Reno and Helen, who pretty much crushed the training run in 3:10ish.
I could definitely tell that my core workouts were helping me on this run. My “time to exhaustion” was beyond anything that I had before I started working out, and the Newton Hills weren’t as bad as I remember from prior years. The only way that I can describe it is that it now seems that my bigger (stronger) ass was carrying most of the load now. Odd, but yes.
Now for the hard part: recover from this and try to do it all over again in four days in Mississippi. Sub 3 or bust.
This originally appeared in Jason Bui’s blog on January 2nd (click here to see the original). There’s always room for more on this run, so mark it down on your calendars and plan on joining Jason et al out there next year. Good luck to Jason in Mississippi!