Boston Marathon 2014

April 22, 2014

melanomateam2I ran the Boston Marathon!  Amazing.   Inspiring.  Sad.  Awesome.  Mission.  Accomplished.

And that’s it folks.  The show’s over.  Wally World is closed.  This is the end of the line for the Boston or Bust! blog.  I’ve been at this for a long time.  I documented my first marathon in Run. Fat Bastard.  Run.  (www.rfbr262.com).  Soon after I decided the next big goal had to be Boston.  In fact in my very first post in this blog in November 2011 I said “only 41 months and 26.2 miles to go…”.  That is how long I thought it would take between when I said I’d do it and April 2015.  Fate intervened and gave me the good fortune to join a charity team called Running for Cover raising funds and awareness for the Melanoma Foundation of New England.  It allowed me to obtain a bib number and run this year – 2014; the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.  My goal was running the Boston Marathon but by being part of the team raising awareness for Melanoma and funds for an organization that is doing incredible things I was given more than just the gift of the Boston Marathon; I was given the gift of establishing inspiring new friendships all over the country and the gift of giving back to this cause.  I am incredibly blessed.

I know most of these blogs have been a bit verbose so I thought you’d rather see the event in pictures and then I’ll summarize my thoughts at the end.

IMG_2229

Gourley family in front of the Green Monster and Advil sign (my new best friend after this race). Tribute night at the Red Sox game for the victims and first responders.

 

I was hoping they would drop the big flag again.  So awesome!

I was hoping they would drop the big flag again. So awesome!

 

Big Papi!  The Fenway announcer says "Remember last year when our Big Papi said this is our (something) city?"  He used the word something this time.  Not quite the same effect.

Big Papi! The Fenway announcer says “Remember last year when our Big Papi said this is our (something) city?” He used the word something this time. Not quite the same effect.

Bagpipes, UMASS Marching band, victims, medical staff, police and fire, volunteers, runners all on the field together.  Awesome and tear jerking moments throughout.

Bagpipes, UMASS Marching band, victims, medical staff, police and fire, volunteers, runners all on the field together. Awesome and tear jerking moments throughout.

Adding this one in honor of Team Running for Cover!  (on statue just outside of the gates of Fenway)  I bought a Red Sox hat and adopted them since I love Boston!  So long Braves...

Adding this one in honor of Team Running for Cover! (on statue just outside of the gates of Fenway) I bought a Red Sox hat and adopted them since I love Boston! So long Braves…

In honor of my wife and best friend and the Melanoma she had to have cut out of her right calf.

In honor of my wife and best friend and the Melanoma she had to have cut out of her right calf.

I can't tell you how many people confused the Packers with NC State along the race.  C'mon man!

I can’t tell you how many people confused the Packers with NC State along the race. C’mon man!

Walking to start in Hopkinton

Walking to start in Hopkinton

My running partner through the first half Nick.  He was so close to finishing last year (26 and change) but got to do it this year!  Congrats Nick!

My running partner through the first half Nick. He was so close to finishing last year (26 and change) but got to do it this year! Congrats Nick!

Wellesely girls at the midway point.  Tradition is to kiss them.  5 was my last count.  This killed my time and is where I lost Nick.

Wellesely girls at the midway point. Tradition is to kiss them. 5 was my last count. This killed my time and is where I lost Nick.

 

Holy Crap!  That was brutal.  26.2 miles done.  Boston Marathon 2014.  Might as well jump!

Holy Crap! That was brutal. 26.2 miles done. Boston Marathon 2014. Might as well jump!

I read one quote I very much agree with. “There’s never been a day like this, there’s never going to be another one. Might as well stay out here and enjoy it as long as possible.” – Amby Burfoot, the winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon.  I wish I could make yesterday groundhog day and we could do it over and over.  But there will never be a day like yesterday again.  It was inspiring, motivational, brutally hard (especially the not over-rated Newton Hills and where they come in the marathon) and just plain perfect.  And I got to share it with my wife Lynn, daughter Anne Marie and son Adam.  Perfect.  Since yesterday, my team has been busy sharing pictures and stories from the race with each other.  Some people blew away their PRs, some got injured and hobbled in and some just soaked it all in.  I would say I was in this last camp.  I ran a great first half marathon and then when I realized I was dead on time I just enjoyed it all.  (I should have listened to Bill!)  Kudos to the women I kissed, the kids I high fived, the Boston College kids who were leaning over the rails so far they might fall and SCREAMING c’mon Paul!!  But everyone finished this year.  Also perfect.

When we were flying up to Boston we sat next to Carri who had completed 25.5 last year and was returning to finish what she started.  She said (and I wrote it down) “To me there was so much more good that came out of that day [April 15, 2013 – last year’s bombings] than bad.”  So true.  I slowed down a bit (if I could go any slower) at each of the spots along Boylston and said a small prayer.  It was very emotional and to see the spirit of Boston come alive for all 26.2 miles was the best tribute of all.

Thank you to all my friends and family who came along for this ride.  Many joined in with the campaign for supporting the Melanoma Foundation of New England – and for that I was overwhelmed and grateful.  (FYI – we are now over $400K!).  And many joined along on my endless Facebook posts and e-mails.  I am sorry about that but I think after a while everyone got used to it and had fun with it (just like I did).  And on the day of the race I gave up trying to keep up with all the texts, e-mails and Facebook comments.  I have so many great friends and family and everyone realized how important this race was for all of Boston and all of America.  I thank you all for the comments, “Likes” and support!  You are all awesome!

Say.  Do.  This huge goal is complete.  The End.  No more miles to go.

Sincerely,

BOB (Paul)