New to the Rock/Creek Race Team, we are proud to share Sam Linhoss’ honorary running experience in this year’s 114th running of the Boston Marathon. Read below to follow how his Boston trip rolled out. ~ Rock/Creek
“As I stepped off the plane Friday evening in Boston’s Logan airport, I knew this race was going to be different – something very special. Everywhere I turned, I saw young runners, old runners, foreign runners, wheelchair competitors, and even elites. The Boston Marathon buzz was everywhere! At this point, I realized that everything was going to be of a higher magnitude than any other race I’d ever done.
Monday April 19, 2010 aka. Marathon Monday
The Boston Marathon is a point to point course. You start the race in the town of Hopkinton and run 26.2 miles to the finish in downtown Boston. Because of this, all 27,000 runners have to be bused to the athlete’s village. It’s not really too bad except you have to be at the bus loading area at 6:00 am. (The race starts at 10:00 am.) You board a yellow school bus and try not to think about how far 26.2 miles is while you’re riding to the start. Once you arrive at the athlete’s village, you sit, wait, stand in line for the port-o-potties, and try to stay warm until you walk from the village to the start. A couple of my former Tennessee Tech cross country teammates and their spouses picked this year to run Boston which made it really cool to hang out with good friends and share the experience and craziness together.
About 45 min. before the race, I checked my clothes bag that I would retrieve at the finish line and started walking to the start 0.7 miles away. My friends and I were all starting in Corral #2 and we arrived at it about 25 minutes before the race started. We didn’t want to go into the corral just yet, so we walked down an adjacent street to use the restroom and relax before the race started. With about 10 minutes till the start, we entered the corral. Then was the singing of the national anthem and the fighter jet flyover (which got us super hyped!) It was now go time!!!
The gun went off and we were underway in the 114th running of the Boston Marathon. The first few miles are a blur. I was in a sea of runners and the course was lined with fans, especially kids. They were out of school since it was Patriot’s Day and every kid was on the side of the road holding their hand out for a high five. I high fived as many as I could in the first few miles before settling in to the job at hand – making it to Boston. The coolest thing about Boston is the number of fans cheering you on. The entire course is lined for 26.2 miles. You never go through a dead area where there are no fans. And once you get into the small towns, they are crowded in 4 and 5 people deep. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced as a runner.
I went through the half at 1:26:36, but knew it probably wasn’t going to be my day to set a PR. However, I still ticked out 6:35 pace and hoped my legs had something special in them. At mile 14 professional runner Josh Cox http://joshcox.com/ (American 50k record holder) passed me as he was pacing the last 13.1 for the Powerbar pace team. We exchanged a few words and I congratulated him on his B.A.A 5k win the day before and then tucked in behind him. He had his Iphone with him and was tracking the race leaders, so I asked him what was happening ahead of us. The leaders were at 18 while we were at 14. It was definitely a very cool experience to run a mile and chat with a stud professional runner. This was definitely a highlight of the race.
Miles 16-21 are referred to as the Killer Chain of hills at Boston. There are four tough hills. It’s not so much that they’re super hard, but more where they come in the race – when you’re getting tired. I settled in and ran very conservative through this section, hoping to be able to pick up the pace the last 5 miles. Once through the Killer Chain it was flat to downhill into Boston…and every step hurt. At this point, the fans were 7-8 people deep and the excitement was flowing. I asked my legs to pick it up, but they had no response. They were shredded. Now, I just had to suffer the last miles and try to take in all the sights, sounds, smells, and excitement of the race. The last few miles of this race are indescribable. Imagine thousands of fans cheering, ringing cowbells, and waving banners. The only real way to describe it is to experience it. It is truly amazing!
I finished in 3:02:30. Not a PR or what I thought I was capable of running, but definitely a race that will never be forgotten. I now realize why runners want to run the Boston Marathon.
Side Note: A couple years ago the Boston Athletic Association added a 5k on the Sunday before the marathon on Monday. This race draws some top elites but also allows spouses, children, and others who are not running the marathon to do a fun race. The course runs through downtown Boston’s Back Bay area around the Boston Common and finishes at the marathon finish line. This year the race reached maximum capacity with 5,000 runners. My wife (pregnant with our first child…a little boy!) ran the race and absolutely loved it! I think she may have won the pregnant category…?!?!?!”