Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting Expo-sed to Boston and Pasta!

Busy weekend, hasn't left me with much time to catch up on blogging so, I've got some catching up to do.  The official Wicked Good 2014 Boston Marathon post will follow soon.
But before we get there, we've got a Marathon Expo to get through, not to mention the obligatory E Streeters carbo-loading pasta dinner.
The Expo started with a stop at the Old South Church, alongside the Boylston Street finish line, where volunteers handed out 8,600 blue and gold scarves to runners of this year's Marathon.  An incredibly inspirational and humbling experience, as the volunteers wrapped the scarves around the necks of runners.  The scarves had been made all over the USA, as part of the Marathon Scarf Project.  My personal scarf came via Monson, Massachusetts, but the addresses hailed from all over the country.
Here's Mary-Jo, Donna, Andrew and myself, along with Tommy and his wife Ann
The wind was whipping, but the colors and signs were all there 
Into the Hynes Convention Center, where thousands lined up to pick up their official bib numbers 
Behind Tommy lies Engine 33, firehouse to the two fallen Boston firefighters, as well as the legendary Hereford Street.  The next time he'll be back there, he'll be kicking its ass
Damn right we do 
Damn right they do, too! 
Even though there were thousands roaming the aisles of the Expo, we invariably ran into fellow E Streeters, including Joe Patuto, rounding out Team MCC 
Two legends from the 2013 Boston Marathon 
Andrew marked his territory, a la, Holy Cross 
And then, boom!  Another running legend, Barry Scanlon, helping support the local commerce 
The guy must like hills, he runs them all the time down at Mount St. James at Holy Cross 
Turn another corner, and there's the entire Clan Kenny! 
Three Running Amigos 
Andrew and I stopped to pose with our Sports Illustrated cover pic.  The picture has to be blown up this large in order to see our mugs 
A couple of Boston legends raising a glass together
Trying to leave the Expo, we once again bumped into Barry for a bigger group pic 
A few days early, but everyone had their eyes on the finish line 
Tommy stopped by the 2013 Boston Marathon tribute at the Boston Public Library.  An incredibly moving experience, especially the collection of sneakers left at the finish line after last year's tragedy. 
A grim reminder of the fallen from last year's attacks 
Besides being Easter weekend, it was also time for the E Streeter gathering to catch up on carbs.  Wearing medals of Boston Marathons past, we look ready.  To eat, that is. 
Liam. the youngest E Streeter dug right in, sans sauce. 
And Barry, well he was just psyched that another Marathon weekend was here 
Prep work out of the way, time to rest up for the big day!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Track Your 2014 Boston Marathon Runners

So it's finally here.  After God only knows how many snowstorms.  Weekend after weekend of sub-zero runs.  More injuries in one season than we've chalked up over the course of our vaunted running careers. And a year of remembrance for one of the most significant events in the history not just of running, but of the spirit of Boston.

The 118th Boston Marathon arrives this Monday.

And to help all of you keep track of your friends, family and loved ones who'll be participating in the event for the ages, I've compiled this blog post to make it as easy as possible for you to track the lot of us.

The BAA has rolled out its Athlete Alert tracking program to keep tabs on all of us.

To get started, click here:
Boston Marathon Athlete Alert

Or send the text to 345678

Once there, you have options to get text alerts about our progress throughout the run, or email alerts.  All you need is our bib numbers, then follow the instructions on that web page.

So here you go: our 2014 Boston Marathon E Streeter team, along with our bib numbers.

First up, is the runner I'm most proud of, for obvious reasons.  My son Andrew, returning to the finish line after last year's unforgettable experience that will stay with us forever.  He'll be proudly representing Holy Cross again and boasts the youngest pair of legs on our team.
Andrew is number 31360.

My fellow DisneyWorld Marathoner Barry Scanlon will be running in his fifth consecutive Boston Marathon, his seventh overall.  His humor kept us going on the coldest of outings this year.
Barry is number 31240.

Another fellow Disney marathoner, Tommy Scanlon, will also be doing his fifth consecutive Boston.  He's our Energizer Bunny.  Just keeps going and going.
Tommy is number 31370.

Sean Kenny makes his triumphant return to the roads of Boston this year after a few years off, but he's been logging the miles every year nonetheless.  This will be his third Boston.  And no volcanoes are going to keep him from getting to the starting line in Hopkinton this year.
Sean is number 31341.

Lowell Police Officer Nick Laganas makes this a back-to-year as well.  Like so many of us, Nick was at the finish line when everything hit the fan last year.  An Iraq veteran, Nick ran back to check on his parents and to try to help the victims last year.  He's running this year for the Wounder Warrior Project.
Nick is number 28048.

Joe Patuto was one of the 5,700 runners who got stopped just short of the finish line by last year's events, making it to Kenmore Square before the roads were closed.  Joe is another seasoned Boston Marathon veteran who's been eating the course up this season with his Beantown Bootcamp buddies.
Joe is number 33239.

Mary-Jo Griffin will be making her Boston Marathon debut this year.  She's come a remarkably long way, considering she just started running "seriously" last fall.  From a 5K to a 10K, to a half-marathon, to our grueling 18 and 20 mile winter runs, Mary-Jo just keeps on moving forward.
Mary-Jo is number 29997.

Donna Corbin is also making her debut on the Boston course and personifies never giving up.  An avid outdoor athlete, Donna added long distance running to her repertoire last fall, and has logged crazy mileage over the winter, all the while maintaining the most upbeat attitude of any of us.
Donna is number 29123.

Scott Graham owns the Boston Marathon.  He has run it 27 years in a row.  Yeah, you read that right.  He'll easily be the first among our ranks to cross that historic finish line come Monday.  Do I really need to say anything else about this giant in our running circles?
Scott is number 9828.

And last but not least, is your blog author.  This will be my 10th Boston Marathon.  I don't know yet how this one will rank against past outings, but I can tell you the build-up that's been in place ever since we heard that first explosion last April 15 and the anguish I felt knowing my wife and daughter were right across the street has lit a fire of resolve and commitment that guaranteed I'd be returning to toe the line in Hopkinton this year.
Pat is number 31359.

So there you have it.  Your 2014 Boston Marathon E Streeter running team.  Wish us all good luck.  If you're the religious type, say a prayer for our safe travels.

And to my fellow road warriors, it has been an honor to go into battle with you this fierce winter.  It's an experience I won't soon forget.  Enjoy your day Monday.

We Run Together.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wet, Wild, and Windy!

Taking a break from the Big Easy for this blog post to visit our annual ordeal, otherwise known as the Eastern States 20 in which we run down the New Hampshire coast, usually contending with some type of wind that makes the run unforgettable and sometimes unbearable.
This year?
A nor'easter.
That means crazy ass winds that blew in off the ocean, rain that hit us sideways for the start of the race and the first five miles, washed out roads that added brook-jumping detours, and chilly temps that never climbed out of the 30s.
Luckily, at some point, Boreas, the god of the North Wind, looked down on us with favor and shifted the wind to our backs to get us into Hampton Beach.
But first? A warning from race organizers about the dangers of this year's weather, conditions that caused them to abbreviate the half-marathon course and to drill home the very real danger of hypothermia over and over and over. Quite the sobering speech.  In fact, it scared the $#!+ out of these guys.  Can't you tell by the telling glances?
The Wild Pack, in happier times
Spider-Man joined us for the pillar of excellence 
Mary-Jo and Donna had the boo-boo lips out in full force because of the storm 
We're known for our trash talking.  This race, we took it to a new level with garbage time.  Don't mock us.  The trash bags were life-savers. 
Andrew:  Seriously?  I'm running with these clowns? 
Picture of the year.
Tommy's either letting us know who's number one, or he's getting ready for a new career in proctology.  All I know is that when he ran behind us, we ran faster. 
The Garbagemen of the Apocalypse, Running Against the Wind, a Seger song I just couldn't get out of my head for the first hour
Donna's got thumbs us for on the streets of Portsmouth 
Mary-Jo has no idea about the spectacle creeping up behind her 
One of many windswept bridges in New Castle that tried to blow us out to sea 
Nick Laganas, showing the sporty Glad look, 2014
The two front men, honoring the time-worn tradition of always knowing where your cameras are 
Team Holy Cross rocking the backstreets!  No hills like Mount St. James to be found here, though 
If Tommy hadn't shed the latex glove, this guy would have something to be worried about.  Tommy chased this shirt for miles.  Alas, none were to be found at the finish line.
It's not easy running green.
Afterwards at the finish line.  One is beaming.   The other, well I was just proud of Andrew's finish 
Yeah, we were frozen by this point, but who cares?  We were done 
Sadly, the elements sent us scurrying back to hot showers, so I wasn't there for Mary-Jo and Donna's later miles, but they were rock stars, nonetheless!  Shoutout as always too, to Ann, who leapfrogged the whole course and was a welcome oasis whenever we passed her, with a welcome wardrobe change, drink, Gu, or Advil.
And yes, in case you were worrying, there was food at the end.  Chicken soup and pasta all around.
Someday, I don't know when, can we get warm and sunny conditions for this 20 mile expedition?
Just once?