Boston Marathon 2016 Recap

by Joanne on April 22, 2016

We left Utica at 9:30 am on Saturday April 16th.  This year, we didn’t have Ted’s bike because he wouldn’t be riding the course pre-marathoners race day morning.  This was going to be a different year for us. Post surgery Boston and still not quite mobile.  I would be on my own at the expo and we would make use of cabs instead of walking.  Still, we were lucky to be back in Bean Town to enjoy the race.

As usual, we exited the Mass Pike at Hopkinton to drive the course and stop at about the 10 mile point to eat a late-ish lunch at Morse Tavern.  Arrived at 2:15 pm.

Into Hopkinton Sat

I seem to view the course differently every year. The first year, 2011, I didn’t even notice Heart Break Hill.  The second year, it looked very hilly to me. The third year, a rolling course.  The fourth year, hilly again. My fifth run along the iconic course, it seemed more down hill than up.  This year, my 6th drive from Hopkinton to Boston, once again like a roller coaster ride.

Morse Tavern

We arrived at our hotel, The Hyatt Regency at 1 Avenue de Lafayette, where we stayed in 2012.  As I was checking us in, Ted signed the poster in support of all runners.

hyatt support board

Saturday dinner was enjoyed at Legal Crossing. A restaurant on the corner of our hotel which was a mix of seafood – Asian fusion.  As we sat at the bar waiting for our table, a nice couple inquired about the marathon then gave me a free Rodan+Fields facial sample. Loved this! It made my skin so soft!

gift from stranger

Sunday morning at 7 am I took to the street for a 2.6 mile easy run through Boston Commons. It was a beautiful morning so I was never alone on the road. All runners were shaking out their legs.

Me and ducks

The 5K run was held on Saturday and this duck wore a medal to prove it.

Just ducks

After washing up and a big breakfast, I ventured off to the expo.  Like I said, it was a mild, sunny morning and perfect for a walk along the busy streets.


Took my annual photo at the finish line and looking forward to seeing it on the way in as a 6 time Boston Marathon finisher.

Finish line Sunday

This year was a celebration of all women who made it possible for women to run the marathon distance and run Boston.

50 years women running


The Anthem Jacket this year was the color Sea foam with pink and white for women, black and white for men.  It’s growing on me.  I’m more of a fan of the traditional blue and yellow.


Got back to the hotel where I met Ted and went to lunch then enjoyed Starbucks coffee while sitting in Boston Commons watching the goings on. Just too beautiful in the sun even though it was cool about 60 degrees.

We relaxed during the afternoon for about an hour and a half before getting a cab to Smith & Wollensky on Congress St by the water for dinner. Very good but no pasta offered.  I settled for roast potatoes and bread as my pre marathon carb load.

When we got back to the hotel, this had been slid under our door by Hyatt staff:   The best!

Good luck from Hyatt

I fell asleep by about 9:30.  Woke up about 3 times, the last time was at 3:03 AM when I decided to take 2 Aleve for my right leg and hip.  Just can’t get that hamstring in check.  It would be achy but not debilitating through the entire race later that morning.

RACE DAY:  Monday April 18, 2016

Got up at 5:45 am just to move around and eat 1/2 a large honey wheat bagel.  Relaxed, used the bathroom 50 plus times before leaving for Boston Commons to catch the bus to Athletes Village.  I took a one gallon clear plastic bag with a large garbage bag to sit on, banana, water, Clif bar, and all other necessities such as a couple sheets paper towel, small tube sunscreen, gels, run belt, phone.

As I got off the elevator, there was loud noise as those Hyatt cheerleaders cheered all runners on their way. There was a table of bananas and water free to runners. What a great way to get off to a race.

Boston Commons bus lines were short and well organized.  Use the porto pottie before getting on the bus.  It was a dry morning, cool temps around 40 deg. I wore 2 sweat shirts and a blanket around my legs. I was wearing a tank top, shorts for running.  I should have lathered on the sunscreen especially on my back but since I saw cloudy skies in the forecast, didn’t think it was needed. My mistake.

not sure

Just before getting on the bus, a guy behind dropped his Mountain Dew which sprayed all over my foot. So much for a dry morning. Still, positive thoughts, I decided to not let it get to me and thought instead: “Mountain Dew is loaded with caffeine. Ok, so maybe it will absorb into my skin and help my run.”  Not likely but it helped me get over the wet, sticky foot.

Sat with a guy from Ohio on the bus. We talked the entire way.  He told me about the time he had to have an IV in a race. He said those IV’s are not like the ones in hospital. They are big needles and cause a lot of bleeding. Great!  That thought would come back to me during the difficult miles I had during the race.

Finally arriving in Athletes Village, we were dropped off at the lower level this year. Past two years, it was the upper level.  As expected, the porto potty lines were very long.  I walked to the upper level, got in line which took about 25 minutes to finally use the facility. I sat on my garbage bag under the tent for about 10 minutes then decided to get in line again. Another 35 minute wait.

Athletes Village

How I fueled my race this year:

At 6 am, I ate the 1/2 bagel.  At 8 am, on the bus, I ate the Clif Bar.  At 8:30-9:45 am I drank a 5 Hour Energy as well as eating 3/4 of the banana. *The 5 Hour Energy seems to clear my stomach (aka – makes me go).

I would take 3 gels and a pack of Sports Beans along the race. Gel at miles 4, 10, and 16. Beans at 20 – 22 miles.

At 10:00, we lined up in corrals to exit Athletes Village. I tried to hurry in order to use the porto potty at the starting area then quickly got into my corral. It was only about an 8 minute wait and it was getting warm. Too warm.

At the start

We were off before I knew it.  Those first 6 miles were my fastest miles. Even though I wasn’t feeling 100% my legs were fresh and wanted to make the best of the down hills.

I really knew the course this year but it seemed like getting to Wellesley took a bit longer. Once there, those screaming girls and all the support was outrageous. It was the loudest I remember it has ever been.  As usual spectators lined the course from start to finish. They cheered, called out names, helped runners who were cramped or ill.  The volunteers and spectators were quick and efficient when handing out water, Gatorade, oranges, popsicles, cups of ice, wet cloths, tissues, and even M&M’s.

Down the hill into town and over the 20K mat. The half way marker was just ahead. Miles 13 through 15 the pace slowed in anticipation of conquering the hills. At this point a girl running beside me asked if it seemed hot. I said yes. She asked if it affected my pace as she felt she was running really slow.  I said yes but once we got closer to Boston, it would cool down. Reassurance to a fellow runner. It helps. I like it.

I saw mile 16 and got happy. I looked forward to running those hills and not allowing myself to walk.

That first long incline (about the 16 1/2 mile point) didn’t seem too bad this year. A lot of folks were walking. I conquered that and looked forward to the next which was the one right after turning at the Firehouse. “Firehouse Hill.” Again, I conquered.

The next hill was barely perceivable to me as I was so looking forward to Heart Break because after coming off Heart Break Hill, I knew it was only 5 miles to go before receiving my 6th Boston Marathon medal.  There were two men laying in the road cramped up. Spectators and volunteers were helping out.

The run from Heart Break to the tracks seemed longer than normal this year but once I turned that corner with the tracks, I felt good. My pace was still slower than usual but I felt as if I was pushing harder.  Had a good 2 miles bringing it home, a slower final mile but once turning onto Boylston, I chased two younger girls with white bibs (Wave 2) to the finish.

The Wave 3 Clock showed over 4 hours but I knew I was under. I checked the Garmin. 3:57:23.


Paces (Garmin Recording):

Mile 1: 8:22, M2=8:29, M3=8:28, M4=8:24, M5=8:52, M6=8:41

Mile 7: 8:50, M8=8:57, M9=9:06, M10=8:58, M11=9:10 M12=8:51

Mile 13: 9:02, M14=9:08, M15=9:16, M16=8:58, M17=9:38, M18=9:31

Mile 19: 9:04, M20=9:22, M21=10:04, M22=9:07, M23=9:01, M24=8:59

Mile 25: 8:48, Mile 26=9:12

Once again I worked for it.


I earned it.


2016 medal and me

Upon walking into the hotel, there was a roar. Those Hyatt cheerleaders were at it again, welcoming runners back and cheering their success. Two massage chairs were set up and a table with food. What a great way to be greeted!

Until next year when I hope for a better place in my starting wave and a better finishing time. Feeling honored to be able to run the Boston Marathon.


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