BOSTON—Winter still hasn’t quite relaxed its grip back here, but the Charles River was absolutely shimmering in all its splendor on my run in the early morning sun. I love running up and down rivers (or, in our case, Lady Bird Lake), but going up and down the Charles is always special this time of year and not simply because of the approaching marathon in 18 days.
Along the Charles, the crews are out in full force after a winter of rowing indoors and the sailing dinghies are venturing out for the first time since fall. There’s no sign of ice or snow, but the trampled pathways that border the pavement along the Charles are soft and muddy.
It’s way to early for any signs of the influx Boston marathoners, but I’m going to try and get a long run in this weekend on the Boston course, just for old times sake. And on it, I’m certain there will be huge packs of marathoners getting in their final long run.
What an advantage the Boston-area marathoners have. Just being able to train on the venerable course and know every up and down, has to be an enormous confidence boost. I can remember in 1982 when our own Dick Beardsley escaped the Minnesota winter to train for Boston in Atlanta and then came here to pound out several long runs on the marathon course. (He should have practiced running behind motorcycles as several of Boston’s finest got in his way in the last half mile as he tried to stay with Alberto Salazar.)
Anyway, this should be an historic Boston come April 21st. With 36,000 runners, this will be the second biggest Boston Marathon in history, second only to the 1996 Centennial. Boston is gearing up and all sorts of new restrictions will be in place, including banning bandits (yeah) and doubling the number of police (boo).
What won’t change is the reverence this city and its citizens have for their race. There isn’t a race in the world in which a city has a love any greater for its race than Boston. There’s no grumbling about street closures, traffic delays or unreasonable police in Boston on Marathon Monday. People who have never run a step in their lives and wouldn’t know Bill Rodgers from Aaron Rodgers, know their marathon and its history and are protective of it.
It might be their race, but it’s our Masters, Super Bowl and World Series wrapped up in one race. And unlike those mega-events, we get to run in ours.
O Poked my head yesterday into the new space that Jack & Adam’s Bicycles will soon be occupying on South Lamar. J&A will be taking over a ground floor retail space in the new building just south of Schlotzky’s on the same side of the street. Jack Murray says he’ll have a lot more retail space for bikes and is putting in a shower and locker room (for bike commuters) as well as room for yoga classes and packet pick up for races. There are also 100 parking spaces (with a back entrance) and—the big news for us—is J&A will start selling running shoes. Murray says a soft opening is planned for mid-May but no date has been set yet.
O In unrelated news, it looks like Hill Country Running may be closing. The doors on its two locations are locked and there’s been a sign up saying they are undergoing inventory. But the phones at both stores are going unanswered and attempts to communicate with owner Jamie Cleveland (texts, calls, emails) to clarify their situation have been fruitless. If they do close, very sad.
O If you were supposed to run the canceled MetroPCS Dallas Marathon back on December 6th , the race will offer a limited time discount into the ’14 race. Register before April 30 and ’13 runners can get into the marathon for $65 and $50 for the half. It doesn’t matter which distance you signed up for in December to get the discount into the ’14 race. A refund would be even nicer, but that’s never going to happen as all the entry fees were spent on race expenses.
O Triathlon season is getting under way (Galveston 70.3 is Sunday) and last weekend was the Cabo San Lucas Ironman. Patrick Evoe, who nows lives in Boulder (but we still claim him), had a huge race and finished fifth overall in 8:40 with a great run of 2:58. Stephan Schwarze was 56th in 10:01, Jason Lentzke was 58th in 10:02, Lon Breitenbach placed 75th in 10:14 and Jim Ryan, the fittest firefighter in Austin, was 109th in 10:36 with a sensational swim and solid run.
O After a seven-month lay off from the triwars, Kelly Williamson had a tough day last weekend in her first race of the year—the Oceanside 70.3. Just a few miles into the bike, Williamson knew it wasn’t going to be her day and fought off the demons of quitting. But, she still finished a respectable 11th among the women’s pros in 4:38 and had the fifth fastest run (1:20). Kelly will be seeking some redemption in Galveston this weekend.
O Larry Bright took a first place on Tuesday in the 5000 (in 17:56) at the Texas Senior Games in San Antonio to qualify for the Senior Nationals next year in Minnesota. Larry was also running the 10,000 on Wednesday, but results aren’t in yet. (The Senior Games website must be run by octogenarians.)
O Bill and Mindy Schroeder both doubled down again in the Senior Games 10,000. They both took home silver medals in their age groups after earning silvers in the 5000 the day before.
O Down in Boerne last weekend, Moses Luevano (of Austin) wore his 2009 Boerne HS singlet in the Texas 10 Series, but even with home cooking, Luevano couldn’t match Jeremy Daum of San Antonio. Daum led most of the way on the double loop course to win the first Texas 10 Boerne in 52:57, 32 seconds ahead of Luevano. Michael Merwarth was a distant third in 1:03:34. Daum picked up $200. Daum’s wife—Emily, a former All American Trinity—was also a winner in 1:03:10 and earned $225, Lauren Haney of Boerne was second in 1:08:28 with Kristin Neal of San Antonio in third in 1:09:09. The next race in the Texas 10 series is in Huntsville on April 13.
O What I’m listening to this morning: “Lonely Runs Both Ways”, by Alison Krauss & Union Station. Even though Alison and her buddies are back together and on the road this summer, that road doesn’t lead anywhere near Texas.
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