Boston Marathon: London Enjoyed Every Step

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing

Here’s a race recap from one of our Level Legion: Boston Marathon Edition members. It’s been a long journey, and we’re finally wrapping up with closing thoughts from the team.

Anne London


26.2 miles - DONE!  And man…was it a long 26.2 miles…and hot…and hilly…BUT AMAZING.  Not my fastest Boston, but truly the best one yet!  I finished in 4:33…not bad considering I didn’t train very much, I’ll take it!  Finished strong and without injury, very happy!
I started off the morning by taking a bus from Boston Common to Hopkinton and it was very relaxed, leaving at 9 am - much later than in the past.  My start time wasn’t until 11:25 am, there were four waves of runners that were spread out to allow a ‘less’ congested course with 36,000 runners.  I was a little worried about how to fuel with such a late start, but my 1 1/2 bagels, a 1/2 snickers bar and a diet coke did the trick 🙂  No hunger during the run at all!
The start was very crowded, and the field didn’t start thinning out until around mile 3.  In the first couple of miles I really held back - I have a tendency of going out too fast, and I didn’t want to make the same mistakes I have in the past, so I really took it slowly.  9:30 miles, very comfortable.  At mile 3 I saw Brian and his Dad for the first time, armed with a “GO TEAM NACHO” sign.  That sign was amazing…I ended up seeing it 5 more times (!!!) along the course, at miles 5, 8, 14, 19 and 24!  Brian and his support team of his Dad, Mom and baby Catherine were incredible. It is SO DIFFICULT to drive anywhere that day, but somehow they got it done!  Every time I saw them I would stop and chat. Again remember, I was taking it easy this year.  I was in no rush, just tried to enjoy myself and take it all in.
At mile 13 I saw Grant, Maana and Christine - thanks for the big hugs guys!  By then the legs were starting to get a little tired and the sun was beating down; it got HOT!  I was pouring ice into my hat to try to stay cool; 65 degrees feels like an oven when you’ve been training in a polar vortex!  Also around there I was drawn to a sign that said “East Greenwich RI”…and it was Elizabeth!  I stopped for a photo and a high five, what an unexpected treat!
At mile 17 I ran by the MS Society party, wow, they were having fun!  Big cheers and smiles - they did that for all 150 MS Society runners!
Just after that I made the right hand turn onto Commonwealth Ave in Newton, the start of the hills, that’s when I really decided to ‘relax’ and walk a bit.  I ran 50% of each of the four hills, legs were really getting heavy at that point.  Ate another half of a snickers bar (yum) which helped, and then kept on pushing.  Got a big hug from Kate R. going up one of the hills (great to see you out there)!  Heartbreak hill wasn’t so bad, better than years past, again, because I had made a point of going out slowly.

Coming down the other side of heartbreak I took the headphones out and really enjoyed the crowd noise, they were incredible!  I had written “NACHO” on my singlet, so there were a ton of “Go NACHO” cheers helping me along.  Got a big cheer from Cassie and Matt turning onto Beacon street (so happy I saw you guys)!
Beacon street was incredible - so many people out, the crowds had to be 10 deep.  I looked frantically for my sister Hope, but never saw her and she missed me as well, we now think by 15 seconds.  Standing out there all morning only to have me “speed” by her…haha.  Truth be told, I had really slowed down by that point.  I got a huge cheer from Linzy around mile 24, stopped to visit with my Dad and Arlene at mile 25, and then the Sullivan party (Blair, Jonathan, Chris and Brad) at mile 26!
The last 800m down Boylston street were fantastic, with huge crowd support!  By then I really needed it, I was ready to be done 🙂  Legs a bit heavy by then.  Okay, super heavy.  I was tired, but smiling 🙂
This whole year has been amazing, and I thank you for that.  So much support during training, fundraising and race day, I have the best friends and family.  Proud to say I have raised $6,830, my largest amount ever, and the team set a new record as well, bringing in $577K! That money directly goes to research and support of MS patients, and I am so happy that we could all help a very important cause.
I will announce that this is my last marathon, I am retiring from this distance (Jarod is holding me to it - long story), but I’ll be back racing this spring and summer in a bunch of 5Ks and 10Ks, no worries!  That you so much for being such a great support crew over the years, you’re the best!  I am not stopping my support for the MS Society, just giving the legs a break for a bit 🙂
Big news there at the end, with Anne’s announced retirement from the marathon. We’re so pumped that she collaborated with us on this last effort, and so proud to see that she raised so much money and helped such a great cause. Congrats Anne! Marathon, 5k, 10k…no matter the distance, you’ll always be On The Level.
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