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B.A.A. Announces 2015 Boston Marathon Registration Dates

Registration Opens September 8. Field size limit to be determined.

BOSTON – Registration for the 2015 Boston Marathon will open on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. ET. The B.A.A. will use the same process to register qualified runners as it used for the Boston Marathon in 2012, 2013 and 2014, allowing the fastest qualifiers in their gender and age group to register first.

The 119th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015, Patriots’ Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will mark the 30th consecutive year that the event will have John Hancock Financial as its principal sponsor.

Registration will be held entirely online at www.baa.org. The qualification window for the 2015 Boston Marathon began last year on September 14, 2013.

To qualify for the Boston Marathon, athletes must meet time standards which correspond to age and gender. The qualifying times for the 2015 Boston Marathon remain unchanged from recent years and are listed on the B.A.A.’s website: http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/qualifying/qualifying-standards.aspx

Registration will occur on a “rolling admission” schedule, beginning with the fastest qualifiers. On Monday, September 8, eligible runners who have met the qualifying standard for their age and gender by 20 minutes or more may register. On Wednesday, September 10 at 10:00 a.m. ET, if space remains, registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standard by 10 minutes or more. If space remains, registration will open on Friday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m. ET for those who have met their qualifying standard by five minutes or more. Registration will close on Saturday, September 13 at 10:00 p.m. ET.

If space remains after the first week of registration (Monday, September 8 through Saturday, September 13), then registration will re-open for all qualifiers from Monday, September 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET through Wednesday, September 17 at 5:00 p.m. ET. As during the first week of registration, entry during this period (Sept. 15-17) will not be first-come, first-served and the fastest qualifiers in their gender and age group among these submissions will be given entry as space allows. If space remains after this initial period, then on Monday, September 22 registration will re-open to anyone who meets the qualifying standards. Registration will remain open on a first-come, first-served basis until the maximum field size is reached.

“The B.A.A. worked for a year to organize what we knew would be an historic event this past April, and we appreciate all who cooperated with us to take back the finish line this year,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. “Now, as we look towards 2015 and beyond, we will work to further demonstrate the unique and inspirational aspects of the Boston Marathon. Our qualifying standards are among the features which make the Boston Marathon special, and our registration process recognizes the perseverance needed to gain entry. Our rolling admission schedule will provide runners with the fastest qualifying times in their age and gender group the ability to have their entry accepted in an orderly and systematic manner.”

The registration process ensures that the fastest qualifiers will be accepted first. However, achieving one’s qualifying standard does not guarantee entry. Those who are the fastest among the pool of applicants in their age and gender group will be accepted.

The registration fee for the 2015 Boston Marathon for qualifiers is $175 USD for United States residents and $225 USD for international residents.

Working in cooperation with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the eight cities and towns along the Boston Marathon route, the B.A.A. will set and announce the field size for the 2015 Boston Marathon this summer. The 2013 Boston Marathon had 27,000 official entrants, and the special 118th Boston Marathon in 2014 featured a larger field size of 36,000 entrants (32,530 starters; 32,004 finishers).

· Monday, September 8 – Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard by 20 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.

· Wednesday, September 10 – Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard by 10 minutes, 00 seconds or faster (if space remains).

· Friday, September 12 – Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard by 5 minutes, 00 seconds or faster (if space remains).

· Monday, September 15 – All qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard (if space remains) may submit an entry.

· Wednesday, September 17 – Registration closes at 5:00 p.m. ET. Registration from September 15-17 will not be first-come, first-served and the fastest qualifiers in their gender and age group among these submissions will be given entry as space allows.

· If space remains after this initial period, then on Monday, September 22 registration will re-open to anyone who meets the qualifying standards on a first come, first served basis. Registration will remain open until the maximum field size is reached.

· The 2015 Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015, Patriots’ Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

· The qualifying standards for the 2015 Boston Marathon, shown below, are the same as the qualifying standards for the 2014 Boston Marathon.

· There is no 59 second “cushion” allowed for qualifying times for the 2015 Boston Marathon. This is unchanged from recent years.

· The B.A.A. will make an announcement if the field size limit is reached prior to the conclusion of the registration period.

· Though the B.A.A. will email registrants upon the completion of their form, runners are not officially entered into the race until their qualifying time is verified. This length of time may vary and can be as long as several days, depending on the qualifying marathon.

· The qualification window for the 2015 Boston Marathon began on Saturday, September 14, 2013 and will remain open until the conclusion of registration.

· The qualification window for the 2016 Boston Marathon will begin on Saturday, September 13, 2014.

· Registration dates for the 2016 Boston Marathon have not yet been announced.

· The qualifying standards for the 2016 Boston Marathon, shown below, are the same as the qualifying standards for the 2015 Boston Marathon.

· The 2016 Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 18, 2016.

2015 BOSTON MARATHON QUALIFYING STANDARDS (effective September 14, 2013)

All standards below are based on official submitted net time.

18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec 3hrs 45min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec 4hrs 00min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 10min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 25min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 40min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 55min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec 5hrs 10min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec 5hrs 25min 00sec


An additional 59 seconds will NOT be accepted for each age group time standard. That is, there is no cushion or flexibility with the minimum qualifying time for purposes of qualification eligibility.   

Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors, along with the international marathons inTokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. More than 60,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2014. The 119th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 20, 2015. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.

Andrews Earns AOM Honor

Tyler Andrews, winner of the Vermont City Marathon a couple of weeks ago, has picked up yet another award. Tyler has just been named the Athlete of the Month for May 2014 by the USATF-NE. Here is the release directly from the association:

VCM Mason Andrews

Tyler breaking the tape at the VCM, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Tyler Andrews, age 24 of Concord, MA, who competes for Strive Racing, is USA Track & Field – New England’s Athlete of the Month for May 2014. On May 25, he won the Key Bank Vermont City Marathon in 2:20:27. Trailing by 35 seconds at the half marathon and 51 seconds at the 20 mile mark, Tyler surged past the leader – and eventual 2nd place finisher – Dereje Deme of Ethiopia at 24 miles. He pulled away to win by more than 90 seconds. Remarkably, Tyler ran his debut marathon less than six weeks earlier at the Boston Marathon, where he timed 2:21:33 and finished 29th in the men’s race. On March 3rd of this year, Tyler set an unofficial world record of 1:07:18 for a half marathon on the treadmill.

Congrats to Tyler, who is back training at altitude in Peru and working for Strive.

Ribfest Race Footage

The 2014 Ribfest 5 Miler is in the books. On a hot, windy day Jeff Veiga of RUN (24:20) and Denise Sandahl of Millennium Running (28:40) prevailed as the USATF-NE 5 Mi champions. Full story to come later, but for now here’s footage by Mike Giberti:

Who’s Gonna Rule the Ribfest?

Last year’s USATF-NE 5 mile championship race was the Carver Cranberry 5 Miler. Tim Ritchie and Steph Reilly were the champs, running 23:59 and 27:48, respectively.

Tim Ritchie takes this round from Ruben Sança at Carver. Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Tim Ritchie takes this round from Ruben Sança at Carver. Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Unfortunately Tim is recovering from an injury still and not quite even running at the moment. So who’s the favorite? Taking a quick look at the men’s field from the perspective of the standings, we can see that it’s probably wide open. Series leader Ruben Sança (Whirlaway) is not competing. His former teammate Nick Karwoski currently sits in second, but Nick moved away to Arizona to join the USA triathlon team. Eric Ashe is registered, so it seems that he would slide into the spotlight as being the pre-race favorite.

Reilly Carver 2013 Mason

Reilly hammers it home at the Carver Cranberry 5 Miler, courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

Steph Reilly currently isn’t listed as a registered runner, but you never know if she’ll show up on race day and throw down. She randomly decided to test her mettle on the mountains by driving out to Wachusett on a whim a couple of weeks. Will she do the same here? If so, she probably is the favorite to retain the title. Sans Steph, comparing the women’s series leaderboard to the list of registered runners shows us that Nicole Casey (formerly of RUN but now in GBTC red), Jenn Mortimer and Larissa Park are all going to toe the line.

Only had time for an open preview (sorry all you masters and senior runners out there!), but please chime in with your race predictions for all divisions in the comments or via social media. See you at the Ribfest!

Ascutney Mt: The Battle For Second

Although we’ve already posted a couple of items from Ascutney, there are a few key things that we haven’t touched upon yet. What we’ve already covered is the fact that Eric Blake dominated. It was as if Blake was on the lead bicycle or something, it just wasn’t even close. Blake’s on another level. Behind him, the Battle For Second unfolded.

Newcomer Drew Best was able to top Brandon Newbould by the slimmest of margins (30:59 to 31:05). It was a deep, competitive field and Drew showed he could run with the mountain men of New England. Todd Callaghan continued his (uphill) roll by finishing 6th overall and locking down the top masters spot yet again (31:59).

For the ladies, Christin Doneski yet again won the women’s race. She probably won’t like us continually reminding the Level Legion of her age, but she’s a masters runner and she showed all the open runners that age doesn’t have to slow you down. Christin ran a 35:10 and finished 17th overall, topping the 37:15/22nd overall of runner-up Kerri Lyons.

For more on the stats of the race, we kick it over to Dave Dunham: 

Ascutney SNAPacidotic Pearce

Cathy Pearce, courtesy of SNAPacidotic.

Christin Doneski (WRT) ran 35:10 to take the women’s title running the third fastest time ever. Her time also smashed Suzy West’s previous course record for masters by 1:42. West ran 36:52 in 2003.

Cathy Pearce (WRT) finished in fifth place overall as she topped the 50+ age group. Her 39:32 broke Suzy West’s age group CR of 40:52 from 2013.

Dave Dunham (CMS) finished in eight place overall taking the senior title in 32:09. His time broke Mt Washington Hall of Fame member Keith Woodward’s course record of 33:34 from 2002.

Len Hall was top veteran running a 40:10 which knocked one second off of John Pelton’s age group CR from 2001.

The final record of the day was the field of 201 finishers which topped the biggest field of 192 from 2011.

New senior record holder Cathy Pearce had this to say about her race:

“I didn’t know what the record was when I ran up. I was hoping to break 40 minutes. And not be too far off what I ran back in 2002, which was the last time I ran up there.

“Training is coming around after a foot injury in February that kept me from running Boston. Sunday felt really tough though. I got a little dehydrated and was getting chills, so I’m hoping the weather is a little cooler for Mt Washington. Or I might have to carry some water.”

And lastly, we had to get an interview with the soon-to-be Mt Washington Road Race Hall of Famer Dave Dunham:

How does it make you feel setting the bar a little higher for the other seniors?

Ascutney SNAPacidotic Dunham

Mountain Man Dave Dunham, courtesy of SNAPacidotic.

Great to be in the new age group…sort of like hitting the reset button. I’m looking forward to setting some records but there is always someone right there. Heck, Erik Vandendries finished 10 seconds behind me at Ascutney and he is 49. I’m guessing we’ll have some battles in the 50+ next year.

Do you view this race as a measuring stick for Mt Washington?

Ascutney is a bit tougher than Mt Washington. The average grade is the same but Ascutney has a bunch of flattish sections so the steep stuff is quite steep. It does help with confidence knowing you can do some tough climbing leading into Mt Washington.

Considering your rough start to the year, do you think you’re just getting going taking down these senior records?

Not many other records I’d have a shot at with guys like Craig Fram, having run many of the races. I’m looking towards just trying to place well in my new age group and get/stay healthy.

Ah, looking forward to Mt Washington and beyond. The mountain season is just starting to heat up!

Zegama: A Muddy, Bloody Experience

By Kasie Enman

Over Memorial Day weekend, while most other Vermont runners were taking part in VCM, I flew out to Spain for the Zegama-Aizkorri Sky Marathon. I have a goal this season of completing the SkyRunning race series and Zegama would serve as race #1. I’ll be hoping on a plane on a monthly basis through October to races all over Europe and the western US, including both extended stays and weekend getaways. The logistics alone of traveling to all these races is daunting to me, but when opportunity knocks, I open the door. So off I went.

According to someone who did the math, this course has an accumulated height gain of 5,472 meters. I made a point not to do the math, so I’m not sure if that’s total climbing or combined elevation gain plus loss, but either way you get the point – this course wasn’t flat. On my drive from the Bilbao airport, the afternoon before the race, I looked around and felt at home. The landscape reminded me of the green mountains with rolling hills, forests, and sparse population… with the exception of the occasional industrial town and the Aizkorri mountain range that rose up out of the land in steep rocky peaks.

I got to the town of Zegama just in time to sneak in a 30 minute shake-out run on the final kilometers of the course, pick up my bib-number, and appease the throngs of children asking for autographs and photographs. They had no idea who I was, I’m sure, but this race is a major event in their small town and runners are therefore celebrities. I squeezed in some dinner and a short night of sleep before waking up to the sound of pouring rain on race morning. My mud-season training in Vermont and sleep deprivation training as a mom left me feeling very prepared for the day.

Mason Sleepy Hollow Enman

Kasie showed off her mud running skills at the Sleepy Hollow race back in May. Courtesy of Scott Mason Photo.

It was a who’s who of international mountain running there. My Salomon teammates, Emelie Forsburg, last year’s winner, and Stevie Kremer, plus a list of other European women with strong resumes who I would be racing for the first time. For the men, Kilian Jornet, Luis Alberto Hernando, and Marko DeGasperi headlined the field. A lot of the competition is either coming off a ski season or a big ultra, or both, so I don’t think anyone felt totally prepared for what was to come. I tried to keep in mind some good advice from mountain running legend, Jonothan Wyatt, that unlike on the track or the roads where you are racing other people or the watch, on a technical mountain course the contest is between you and the terrain.

European races are notorious for starting on a road in the middle of town where everyone sprints like they all forgot they’d be out there climbing up and down mountains for hours. My inclination is to start at a more moderate pace, but the problem with that strategy is that you’d get plowed down and then trapped behind slower runners when you enter the uphill single track a short few hundred meters in. So despite not being warmed up and despite being jet lagged and despite being very undertrained for what would turn out to be the longest duration run of my life, I went with it.

By 7k, we came through the first major crossing and I located Emelie and Stevie in my vicinity. They had both successfully run this course before, so I took that as a good sign. I had no idea where the other women were and wished that I’d brushed up on my Spanish a little better so that I could understand the cheers. Turns out the three of us were in the lead. Each of us had a slightly different strength out on the course. Emelie ruled the downhills, Stevie was a beast on the ups. I was figuring it out as I went. It had been a while since I’d navigated terrain like this, if ever. There were some downhills where I had to check my speed or add my own switchbacks to avoid tumbling head over heels. Think Upper Walking Boss in reverse plus Sleepy Hollow mud. I had read a race recap from Max King a couple years back mentioning that the fastest way down some of these hills may be on your butt. Yep.

By 21k Stevie and I were still 1-2, trading the lead. I had started to figure out the downhills, so I would pull ahead there. She was stronger on the uphills, so she’d move by me there. I was pretty stoked to be a factor in the race considering that my training bank was close to foreclosure. I also noted that I was starting to lose my climbing legs. Both my energy stores and my quad muscles were throwing up red flags. Other red flags: I started to fall a lot and every time I fell, a muscle would charlie horse. I think it was shortly after 30k that I lost contact with Stevie for the last time. I was really hoping the course was all downhill from here. It wasn’t. I went with “ignorance is bliss” over studying the course map. Somewhere in the final kilometers the chase pack of women blew by me like I was standing still. I took one final digger and dragged my mud-covered bloody body to the finish line in 5th place.

I was actually very pleased with how this race played out. I took some risks, raced way above my current fitness, and left it all out there on the course. I was out there for almost 5 hours, which is totally unchartered territory for me and I survived in one piece… for the most part. And I was back home in Vermont the next day! Next Sky Race up is the Mont Blanc Vertical Kilometer and Marathon on June 27 & 29th. I’ll be traveling with my family for that one so I can take some more time to soak it in, between a trip up Mt. Washington and Loon.

Louise Rossetti Women’s 5K

The 21st running of the Louise Rossetti Women’s 5K will be held on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

Louise RossettiThe race is a living tribute to Louise as well as her daughter Suzanne Maria Rossetti, who died tragically on January 28, 1981. Over the years this race has become a “must run” for women of all abilities.

Louise ran in the race for many years and now is the official starter of this special event. After the race please stick around to join in on the celebration for Louise’s 91st Birthday. We hope it’s not a surprise party, or that if it is she doesn’t happen to see this. Either way, better not mention the birthday thing around Louise just in case.

There’s a Fun Walk that starts at 6 PM followed by the feature 5K Race at 6:30 PM SHARP.

It all takes place in beautiful Lynch Park in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Online Registration is now open for the 21st running of the race.


Doneski Not Taking It Lightly

Christin Doneski ran really well at Ascutney, although she wasn’t even aware of how well she did. In checking in to how her performance stacked up, we got this back from Dave Dunham: “Christin Doneski (WRT) ran 35:10 to take the women’s title running the third fastest time ever. Her time also smashed Suzy West’s previous course record for masters by 1:42. West ran 36:52 in 2003.” The questions we sent out were typical:

What was the race plan?
Were you able to execute?
How did you feel?
Less than two weeks until Mt Washington now. Are you feeling ready?
How do you rank this race in comparison to the rest in the series?

The response that I had no choice but to roll with (in a good way):

Ascutney SNAPacidotic Doneski II

Doneski ran historically well at Ascutney on the way to a win. Pic courtesy of SNAPacidotic.

I ran Ascutney for the first time last year. I went into the race really sore last year from having run Bretton Woods the week before. A smart person would have decided not to make the same mistake twice….but not me. I ran a 5k with my son on Saturday, the day before Ascutney. My son’s goal for this year is to beat me in the 5k and I feel obligated to give him opportunities. I do NOT feel the obligation to make it easy. I was lucky enough to have a good race Saturday and stay ahead of Simon (this time) and win the race for women. It was a fairly flat race so I felt confident I had left my hill climbing muscles in good shape for Sunday.

I expected all the powerhouse runners (Hardcastle and Nadeau for example) to be there and promised myself to run as hard as I could for as long as I could. That’s exactly what I did. Ascutney is tough, but it’s short and before you hit your breaking point you always get a rest or a break in the climbing.

I had NO IDEA where I was amongst women runners throughout the 3.7 miles. People cheered but nobody said “first woman” and I just assumed the fast YOUNG women were ahead of me. When I crossed the finish line there was no fanfare and nobody said “first woman” so I finished still unaware that I had won the race. In fact I asked someone at the top who had won and they said “didn’t you win?”. I had 5 fourteen year old boys arriving at my house at 1pm so I needed to head back down the mountain before results were available. I was not certain I had won until much later.

I couldn’t find results for over 24 hours so I sent a message to Dave Dunham. I figured if anyone would know where to find the results he would. Thank God for Dave. He sent me a link to the results and told me I  had broken the masters CR too. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was. I’m 43, I do not take a single win lightly.

All the more impressive considering that she won two races last weekend. It can be easy to start taking them lightly when you rack them up like that. There was one question that she did answer directly:

As for Mount Washington….I NEVER feel ready. NEVER.

I’m pretty sure the results will show something different. Just over a week away until Mt Washington!

Blake Sounds Ready to Top His ’13 Rockpile Race

Ascutney SNAPacidotic Blake

Blake dominated at Ascutney, running the race solo. Courtesy of SNAPacidotic.

Eric Blake decimated the field in his record-breaking win at the Ascutney Mountain Race. It’s a 3.7 mi race, all uphill, and Eric ran a blazing 27:57. Runner up Drew Best said it, well, best, when he said “To even the best New England mountain runners, Eric is basically untouchable in an all-uphill race. It’s understood. Instead, the battle for second played out.” I think I just found the title for the Ascutney recap article. Anyway, here’s an interview we did with Eric afterward:

What was your old course record? When was it from?

28:16 from 2010

Is this your last tune up before the Rockpile?

Yes. Really my one and only race during this build up.

How do you think your conditioning compares to this point last year?

I feel stronger and fitter than last year. Looking forward to Mount Washington.

Blake bike Hypoxico Altitude generatorHave you been doing the same things (oxygen tent, etc) as you did in your prep for last summer’s races?

Yes I have a Hypoxico Altitude generator. It works great! I have one mask for sleeping and one for exercise. Normally I have it set to simulate 13,000 Feet. I usually spin on an exercise bike a total of 2 hours a week broken up into 3 to 4 days. I usually jump on the bike after a run. An example would be a 75 min run followed by a 30 min bike. When I get closer to Pikes Peak in August I will bike for much longer.

Is it a big challenge to push yourself when you’re all alone going up a steep slope?

In mountain races it doesn’t seem as important for me to have someone competing directly alongside. In a normal flat race or on the track races I usually need someone dragging me to even come close to a PB. But mountain races I don’t seem to need that. Having said that I think I could run faster at Ascutney if I needed too.

Was it your goal to break the record?

My number one goal was to come off the race feeling good. I wanted to go hard because a lot of my treadmill incline runs are a progression. Racing is not always like that so I took the race out relativity hard. Once I got past the second mile I just held the effort knowing I would break the record but also knowing I have more down the road.

The Camaraderie of the Long Distance Runner

This morning’s run marked the last significant workout in my three-month buildup to the Boston Marathon. It was the type of cold and damp Saturday morning that when the alarm goes off at 0600 you can easily come up with 100 different excuses to stay in your warm, cozy bed. This morning, however, I only needed one reason to get up and into my running shoes: my teammates, with whom I have run almost every workout during this buildup.

While I usually write about the prevention and treatment of common running physical injuries, this month I wanted to expand The Body Shop to explore the mental benefits of group training. I hope you not only find it beneficial but also relatable.

Having never run on a track or cross-country team in high school or college, running had always been a solo exploration for me. Despite always enjoying running it was primarily used as a means of getting in shape for the “real team sports” of soccer and lacrosse that I played throughout my high school and college careers. After my college lacrosse days had ended, I found myself part of a few different running clubs as my passion for marathoning grew. However, despite my membership, I still clung onto the notion that running was a solo endeavor and that the only motivator I needed was my own desire to succeed.

Nurse BAA Issue 20Thankfully, that perception has changed since moving back to Boston from Portland, Oregon and rejoining the BAA. Over the last two years, I have seen firsthand how much group training can improve not only the individual but also the group as a whole. While we have all experienced the advantage of having friendly competition, running with a team offers more than just that. There is a certain understanding that running teammates have with each other that is hard to describe but impossible to ignore and invaluable to the individual runner. While challenging to put into words, this morning’s workout is a prime example of this shared understanding…

It’s now 7:55 a.m. and we meet at a familiar spot, the corner of Mass Ave and Memorial, for the prescribed 12 miles at our hopeful marathon pace. As we greet each other with gloved fist -pumps and anxious looks on our faces, there is no explanation needed as to how we are all feeling. We have all worked so hard together and overcome multiple obstacles and injuries to get to this point in our training. We are exhausted but energized and comforted with the knowledge that there is strength in numbers. Without having to explain it to each other, we all know what we need mentally right now. With two weeks to go, we all desperately seek that last confidence boost that will reassure us that all the early morning runs in the arctic cold, the lung searing intervals endured on the track, and the leg numbing long runs in the hills have yielded the necessary physical adaptations to allow us to run faster than we ever have over the unforgiving Boston course. Simply put, we all want and need for this run to feel “easy,” yet we all have our doubts and concerns and know that if we had attempted to do this workout by ourselves it would have felt anything but. Like a true team, we have become one unit that has learned to feed off each other’s energy and drive. We are there to support each other when someone needs to tuck-in when things aren’t feeling good, and we are there to push each other when new levels need to be reached.

A little over an hour later, the workout is over and the fistpumps and anxious glances have been exchanged for smiles and even an unexpected big group hug. Yup, that’s right, six sweaty, tired, thirty something guys clad in short shorts and half tights, sporting various combinations of blue and yellow, and wearing smelly adidas shoes just had a group hug on the banks of the Charles River. While most people walking by were probably wondering what the heck was going on, I have a feeling anyone who has ever been part of any type running team whether collegiate, professional, charity, or recreational, understood exactly.

Ian Nurse came scintillatingly close to a new marathon PR at Boston, missing it by a mere two seconds. This article originally appeared in the May/Jun 2014 issue of Level Renner. Get your free subscription today (box in upper right portion of screen). Since it’s all free, the little things like getting on our subscriber list go a long way in helping us grow!

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