Five hardy souls embark from the starting line in Hopkinton en route to downtown Boston. They are an eclectic group, not all together uncommon, but different in many respects. However, on this day they all share the same goal; to finish the 112th Boston Marathon between 2:30 and 2:35. They've trained together for months and now they're itching to do what they came to do.
Chris Bain, dubbed "Silent Thunder" by his peers, has run 30+ marathons in his 30+ years. He is by far the veteran; the wise, silent sage. When he speaks, those around dip their heads to listen. A protege of the great Chuck Moeser, Bain is tough as nails and spits fire.
Patrick Murphy, the clover-leaf wearing Penn State alumni has run but one marathon. He has the best collegiate PRs out of any of us. A good racer. A sleeper...one to watch.
Patrick Reaves, the mileage king. He's worked harder than any of to get here. His work has paid off in dividends with a series of PRs in shorter distances leading up to this day. A workhorse. A mile eater. A ferocious warrior.
Yours truly. A greenhorn to the 26.2 mile distance but eager and hungry for personal victory. Confident I've done the work, privately I write "I've never been more ready than anything ever in my life".
And then there is Jason Dwyer. A byproduct of the D3 powerhouse Haverford of Pennsylavnia. A Georgetown Prep grad and a veteran of Boston. The goat. The card shark. Sneaky fast.
At the end of the day, we all arguably run very well and within 5 minutes of each other we have all finished (2:31-2:36).
September, 2008 (fast forward)
Things have changed since the spring...
Bain has not been seen on the roads in days...maybe weeks? His foot is a mangled mess, likely plantar pain. He has taken some time off, and rightfully so. I last saw him at pub trivia. He was 200lbs. He still has his sights set on Marine Corps Marathon and if I know Bain, he'll probably be there.
Murphy shares a similar fate (foot) albeit not as severe. Good news is he appears to be on the mend. The up and up.
Reaves questions the idea of racing Marine Corps. He is no doubt in a funk, but there is still time for recovery. The work, the heavy work, the 120 mile peak...will it pay off?
Yours truly is nursing a stomach virus. It struck me down at the half marathon but I am on the recovery. Yesterday was my first good run in a week. I hope for revenge at Army Ten Miler next weekend thanks to doctor's drugs and hugs.
While most of us are lying injured in our trench (this is where the picture comes into play) ONE of us rises. He lunges from the trench and drives forward. He is a Gentleman Racer and points out ice to his opponents during a cold winter race. He is slight, yet strong. This week he PR'd for 13.1 miles while running a workout and I'm happy he is running well again. When your down someone else is up.
Here is to Jason Dwyer!