April 29, 2008

Boston Marathon (Spectator’s) Report

Everyone else has been slow posting their Boston race reports, so I decided I’ll follow the trend (at least, I’ll pretend that’s why it took me so long). Here at last is my spectator’s report!

After a really annoying flight on Sunday afternoon with a screaming baby behind me, I arrived in Boston in time for dinner. I was staying with my friend Adam, and to thank him, I took him out to dinner to a restaurant that’s been on my list to try for a while: Petit Robert Bistro on Comm Ave (yes, right on the marathon route). It was really reasonably priced (~$25/person), and the food/service was definitely more in line with a $40/person restaurant. If you’re ever in Boston and want to impress someone but are short on cash, it’s a great pick.

Sunday night I was absolutely exhausted and falling asleep while watching some awful movie on TV (I think it was Cudjo… there was some big rabid bloody dog running around and it was pretty creepy). However, instead of letting me sleep, Adam decreed that we should go see a movie (like, at the movie theater). I begged off but he finally convinced me that Forgetting Sarah Marshall was just what I needed. And actually, it was – I enjoyed myself thoroughly. If you haven’t seen it, I’d recommend it, and will guess that it becomes a classic in the line of Knocked Up. Not quite Mean Girls status though. (But then, I don’t know what would ever be Mean Girls status. I’ve watched Mean Girls three times in a day and still been content to keep watching).

Monday morning, we woke up at 10 AM – just as the race was starting. While we got ready to go, I turned the TV on so we could watch the race and know when they were getting close. Finally around 11 we headed out, stopping at Staples to pick up sign-making materials. It was only one block to the course – we stood around Mile 24, at Audubon Circle, and were in the front row along the fence.

As we waited for the winners, I cursed the fact that I hadn’t started drinking yet. There were drunken college students everywhere, and I started to understand what my friend Nick meant when he called it the Boston version of Slope Day (though let’s be honest, nothing really compares to Slope Day. Just three more days! I can’t wait!). We watched the winners go by, and I took lots of videos and pictures… until my camera died. And I hadn’t brought my charger with me – oops. But here are the two videos I did manage to take (for the record, none of that screaming on the video is me. I was silent b/c I didn’t want to scream directly into the camera).

Anyway, after we had seen about the top ten women go by, we headed to… the liquor store! Hurray. I picked up a nice big bottle of black cherry vodka, which the salesman of course gave me crap for because he doesn’t like that I have a New York ID (I’ve been to this liquor store before and they always try to avoid selling to me. I’m not really a Yankees fan but I really hate Red Sox fans for stupid reasons just like this). We also stopped at the grocery, where I picked up black cherry seltzer, cherry Juicy Juice, and a 20 oz Coke. During our stop at Adam’s apartment, I drank some Coke, and threw two shots of vodka in there. I then drank some seltzer and added one shot of cherry juice plus four shots of vodka. Finally, I had a shot of vodka chased with some cherry juice. I was all set to get wasted!

We headed back to the race, this time equipped with my “Go Nitmos Go!” and “J-Money 3:16” signs and our drink concoctions. Mine turned out to be absolutely delicious, and the seltzer one is pretty much the healthiest alcoholic drink you can have – the mixers are almost calorie-free, and yet there is no artificial sugar in sight! I think it’s going to be my new standard.

So obviously, I got pretty drunk pretty quickly, which meant that I was a very enthusiastic fan. Tons of people had their names on their shirts, so I took full advantage of that to shout things like “Bob, you look awesome! Keep going, Bob! Bob, I love you!” Bob (or whomever I had spotted with my roving Vodka Goggles) would inevitably give me a big grin, and if he was close by, I got a nice sweaty slap as well. Mmmm!

I found it difficult to hold both signs and my drink at the same time, so at times I recruited the people around me to help. I couldn’t remember what Nitmos was wearing, so I just hoped he would see me. As for J-Money, I described her awesome shirt in detail to everyone around me and put them on alert. Sadly, we didn’t see either of them, and neither of them saw me either, which kind of sucks. I also didn’t see Lance Armstrong. As I asked on Nitmos’ blog, was there some kind of alternative fake race in Boston that I was accidentally sidetracked by?

By 3 PM, I had finished all of my drinks and was tired of standing out in the sun. The left side of my face was also tired of it too, and turned red in protest. Unfortunately, the right side of my face didn’t seem to care, so I was left with a half-and-half face kind of reminiscent of a Kabuki mask. Adam’s face reacted the same way (really, someone should tell the race organizers to change the route so that you’re facing the sun straight on. While they’re at it, they could also eliminate the hills), so we decided to… go up to Adam’s roofdeck and drink and stay out in the sun longer.

Amidst beer and barbecue, I got a phone call from J-Money around 6 PM, which was pretty cool. In case you’re wondering, she’s just as funny on the phone as she is on her blog. Conversely, if anyone of you ever meet me in person and/or talk to me on the phone, you’ll find that I’m just as lame and dorky in person as I am on this blog.

By 7 PM, I was done for the day, and headed to my hotel to get some rest. I found many marathoners who were finishing up their own rest periods and now about to hit the town in celebration. Actually, on my floor, there were a bunch of rooms that had signs on the doors indicating that they were designated shower rooms for certain groups of athletes, and the doors were left unlocked so people could go in. I really wanted to go sit in one and then congratulate anyone who came in, but I figured a) everyone had probably already showered, since it was now more than 5 hours since most people finished, and b) that would be really, really creepy. I settled for congratulating anyone I saw wearing a medal, a 2008 Boston Marathon jacket, or walking funny. That video of “the day after the marathon”? So true.

This weekend, inspired by Boston, I’ve ultimately decided to do a marathon in two parts: the NYRR Brooklyn Half-Marathon on Saturday, and then the Cox Road Races Willow Tree Half Marathon on Sunday in Providence, RI. I have a feeling I’m not going to do too well on Sunday, but it will be really cool just to complete mileage like that, and I know for sure that I can least walk my way through it. It’s kind of unique too – I think most people tend to do a long run in one day.

Plus, I have a new goal. By the time I’m 30, I’d like to have run (and hopefully raced) in every US state. I have a long way to go before I can accomplish that: right now, I’ve only run in five states (New York, Massachusetts, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas). However, with a goal in mind, that list is going to expand pretty rapidly. I’ll keep you updated on my progress!


7 thoughts on “Boston Marathon (Spectator’s) Report”

  1. Great videos. Glad you managed a strong liver work out! Somebody has to consume the booze those Boston runners aren’t drinking. Good luck on your new goal–that’s a good one.

  2. SOOO fun!! i wish i could have been there watching! lucky girl!

    and you need to get out to cali for a race one of these days 🙂 thats such a fun goal!!!

  3. Again, thanks for the support! I’m so sorry I missed that sign as that would have been cool as hell. Though at that point of the race, I might have stopped for some drinks and never finished.

  4. Aron, I think I’m coming out to San Fran in a few weeks to do the Bay to Breakers. I’ve never even been to Cali, so I’m really excited!

    Nitmos, next year if I’m spectating again, I plan to make a barricade across the course with a sign on it. The runners will have to slow down to go over/under it, thereby increasing my chances of being spotted. I may not be too popular, but I WILL be noticed!

  5. Ok, mark down on your calendar to come to Kansas City on October 18. You can run the Kansas City Half or Full (it’s on the Missouri side), then you can drive a mile or so and do a quick run on the Kansas (better) side. Then the next day you can drive up to Des Moines Iowa (three hours) and run in the Des Moines Half or full. You’d get three states checked off in one weekend.

  6. I’m a brazillion times sorry that I missed you too but can’t thank you enough for MAKING A FREAKING SIGN FOR ME! That’s pretty much the coolest thing ever and I’ll be sending you half of a “Best Friend” necklace with the quickness.

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