That’s right folks, 5 weeks from right now, many of us will be reveling in the glory of having run the Boston Marathon. How excited are you? (twitter users, use tweet tag #boston2009) I’m very excited going into this year’s race… and think I may finally eek out a sub 3:00 finish. (if so, it’ll be very close)
A few interesting news tidbits related to the marathon today:
1. B.A.A. Announces New ‘Invitational Mile’ Races
This was a pleasant surprise, since I’m working on plans for a 1-mile “dash for cash” along the streets of Boston later this year. The B.A.A. race simply adds credibility and exposure to the distance.
2. 23-Month Old Qualifies For Boston Marathon
Heart-warming story… especially the guy’s training routine w/ an empty carriage!
Rest day for me today, after a 4-day block of long, intense mileage. Yesterday I raced the Hungry Dog Criterium up in Phoenix, AZ. Since the prize list was ridiculously weak and I’m here to TRAIN, I opted to let it all hang out in this race. To that end, I hit it hard from the gun and lead a strung-out field the first few times through the start/finish line. (note, laps were less than 1km)
There were 10 Team Waste Management riders along with at least 6 Team Landis riders and two more teams with at least 4 riders, so I had my hands full covering attacks all day. Not to be out-done, I threw down a few of my own but none evolved into a group with all teams represented.
The fast pace (27+ mph) and constant attacking was starting to get to me about 2/3 way through the 70 minute race, so I chugged my remaining water, stretched and hoped for the best. Luckily, no cramps for the finish… which was a full-on field sprint. I got into the Landis lead-out with 4 laps to go and was sitting in 2nd with 1 lap to go. Unfortunately, the guy peeled off too soon so I had to shuffle things around a bit. Ended up 5th wheel into the final turn until one of the Waste Mgmt riders lost control and slammed into me; man, I hit him so hard he bounced across the road. Everyone stayed upright but that momentary tango moved me back to 10th-ish. I could hear flyin’ Ryan behind me “pedal Alain, pedal as hard as you can” but I was admittedly a bit spooked from the near-miss.
With ~150 meters to the finish line, I was only able to move up to 8th place. Not the best finish, but considering how much time I spent off the front, I was very pleased. After the race, I went out for a 35 mile ride and thought about my father the whole time – cancer took him from us on March 15th, 1990.