More specifically, the road to Boston starts in Albany, NY where Kathleen ran a PR of 3:58:15 on October 10 in the Mohawk Hudson Marathon. Everything went right: a solid training cycle using Hal Higdon's Intermediate II program, a near-perfect marathon day with starting temperature around 40F and ending around 55F as well as a mostly flat net downhill course along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers from Schenectady to Albany.
It was a great race and a great day to BQ, with as many as 10 other Houston runners making the Boston grade on the day. We were part of a huge Houston contingent of more than 30 runners, most of whom arrived on the Friday before the race. Kathleen and I enjoyed meeting several of the Katy Fit 'ATP' training group members - such enthusiasm and run ('work') ethic! Truly a fun bunch of people and we had a superb time at Jillian's sports bar, the Pearl Lounge, Lombardo's restaurant (pre-race pasta loading), Miss Albany diner for breakfast one morning and a grand finale dinner at brewpub. I am having to work off the 5 pounds I gained accompanying the group! So much food!
As Kathleen's part time coach and adviser, I am just as thrilled as she is upon reaching this milestone of amateur running. Boston is our Olympics and to actually qualify for Boston immediately and forever elevates the most non-assuming mid-packer into near elite status. At least in the eyes of the thousands of recreational runners who are still out there chasing this goal.
Registering for Boston was almost just as difficult as qualifying: some 22,000 spots filled up last Monday in less than 8 hours - a new record. The Boston Marathon governing body may consider tinkering with the qualifying standards to reduce the almost overwhelming number of runners clamoring for spots.
Here are a few of my favorite pics from the Mohawk Hudson Marathon: