Saturday, July 26, 2014

The View From the Stadium - Spectating the 39th Annual Marathon Sports 5 Miler

The forecast was for rain. It's either been extremely hot and humid or downpours for the annual Marathon Sports 5 Miler. Instead, it was a picture perfect 75 degrees with little humidity.

One of the many reasons we love this race is because:

100% of the profits this year and in years past go to our friends over at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, in their noble quest to fight blood cancers.

It was my first 5 mile race ever with memories that I will always cherish. You can read about it in #tbt Marathon Sports 5 Miler - Keep Moving Forward.

It's a fast field so I now opt to have Tom run this race solo while I experience the thrill of being a spectator.

The pre race energy is electric as over 850 runners gathered for the event.

There were vendors:

I had this photo op with my Marathon Sports Family, Ellen Gabriel who hosted my Book Release Party at the Brookline Store and Alison Eno-Ballbach who was our mother hen during our 2009 Boston Marathon Training:

Tom took his place at the start and I went to the Stadium. I took this shadow selfie on the way:

You can see what a gorgeous evening it was:

And then they were off to the strains of Chariots of Fire:

The winner of the men's race came in at a sub 5:00 minute/mile pace:

And the first female came in under a 6 minute/mile pace:

Tom said he'd be doing about a 10 minute/mile pace so I settled down on the bleachers. I looked across the stadium at about 40 minutes or so and I see him in his BAA 10K shirt, sunglasses and white hat. I was stunned and wondered if maybe it wasn't him. But after being together for 37 years and spectating many, many races during these past several years, I knew there was no mistake. He was flying and crossed the finish line with a PR 8:29 minute/mile pace. As he crossed the finish line I said, "What the f*** did you do out there?" I could see he had left nothing on the roads and was about to leave nothing in his stomach. He found a bucket of ice, took a handful of it and poured it over his head. He rehydrated. Here he is crossing the finish line and channeling his inner Rocky -- not bad for 62 years old huh?

We walked around to give Tom a chance to cool down and recover. TriJake Fitness was offering photos. Tom insisted that I get in the photo since I am part of support crew:

We were surprised to find Amanda Ravens who ran for Spaulding's Race for Rehab Team this year. Tom and Amanda bonded during the Hyannis Half Marathon. Here is their post race pic:

Colin Peddie, owner of Marathon Sports gave me a huge hug and thanked us for coming out. He said he wanted to thank each and every person for coming out. He opened his arms to the sky saying how blessed we were with the weather tonight and the entire evening. So much healing has happened since 4/15/13 when his store and the city of Boston were shaken to the core.

As I was talking with Holly Kosel of TriJake, this person comes running up to Tom and says, "You were right man. You were so right about running!" I finished my conversation with Holly and we exchanged business cards. Everyone has a story!

Tom told me that the person who hugged him was an auditor when he worked at Dossia. He told this person that he needed to get out there and run and the Marathon Sports 5 Miler was one of his first races.

As the sun set over Weston and we said goodbye to friends - old and new - I felt deeply blessed and grateful to be a part of the Marathon Sports Family for these past 6 years. What a joy to watch Tom crush the race and celebrate with him. It's a beautiful view from the Stadium and what a joy to spectate the 39th annual Marathon Sports 5 Miler.

Here's to all who ran and finished - especially 83 year old Phyllis Mays who finished last with a 17:43 minute/mile pace.

"Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" is now available on Amazon.

"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.

I donate 50% of royalty payments through on line sales to The One Fund to help Boston Marathon survivors and their families. Copies are also available at Brookline Marathon Sports. $5 of each book sold at Marathon Sports is donated to The One Fund.

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