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At the Races

Boston Marathon–April 20, 2015, by Pia LoPresti

Jersey Strong Meets Boston Strong
“Your greatest run ever” was the moto for the 2015 Boston Marathon. From the day I was able to register for the race back in September, to the acceptance e-mail and snail mail that I was an official participant, to all the B.A.A. updates leading up to the big weekend, and not to mention the months of brutal training in what was a pretty harsh winter (‪#‎weatherproof‬), the excitement of having chased down the unicorn was everything I was hoping it would live up to be!
After recovering from that seemingly unavoidable taper cold and obsessing about Marathon Monday weather, my family and I finally arrived in Boston the Saturday before the race. If I could capture the essence of Boston during marathon weekend, it’s this: I’ve never felt so appreciated and loved as a runner! The city opened its arms to the swarms of Boston marathon repeaters and first timers and their loving, adoring fans who’ve traveled with them and supported them throughout their journey to this mecca of marathons.
When Marathon Monday finally arrived, I had thrown away all my worries about the rain and the pesky headwind. It was the calmest and least nervous I’ve been before embarking on 26.2 miles. I had earned and fought my way to Boston and I was simply enjoying and taking it all in. I met so many wonderful (not to mention FAST) runners during the bus ride and at the starting village in Hopkinton. Everyone was so generous and helpful as we tried to stay warm before the start. I offered my second pair of throw away gloves to a 7-time Boston marathon and he was soooo excited and thankful. Good karma was certainly in the air that day!
When Wave 2 Corral 8 was finally called, I could feel the adrenaline starting to build and before I knew it, I crossed the starting line half in tears and with the biggest smile on my face! I hardly noticed the rain for the first 6 miles because I couldn’t wait to see Ryen, my family, and friends in Framingham. Their high-fives and cheers fueled my 7:30 pace. By the time I hit Wellesley, I was starting to struggle a little as the rain and wind kept on. But the throngs of screaming girls certainly lifted my spirits and left me with a ringing right ear! I also knew my support crew was coming up and what could be better than a kiss from Ryen to push me through the halfway mark and towards the Newton hills. If you know Ryen and I, you know that we LOVE hills, but that day, the wind was relentless and those Newton hills took a little toll on my pace which was down to an 8:15 min/mile. But onwards I went with the help of some friends who spotted me shuffling up Heartbreak. The next 6 miles were the toughest miles I’ve ever run! I managed to salvage my pace and while my A goal was no longer in sight, a PR and BQ were still within reach. But each of those final miles lined with cheering spectators was a struggle, mentally and physically. And while those miles may not have been my fastest, they were certainly one of my finest as I was giving everything I had left in me. I was running for my family and friends and each of those miles was dedicated to them. The right on Hereford and left on Boylston was simply incredible! And as I crossed the finish line, I knew I had that PR and BQ, 3:28:08! While it certainly is not my last marathon (or Boston…woohoo!), that day was my greatest run ever!‪#‎bostonmarathon‬

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