Monday, April 20, 2009

UPDATED: NETT at the Boston Marathon

Despite some chilly temps and a strong headwind, the NETT squad running the Boston Marathon produced some soild results.

Here's some early reports from the field:

Karyn Miller-Medzon (4:02) had some company when fellow Mini-Ponyettes Mary and Chrissy jumped in with her: "It was actually my slowest marathon to date. But I feel GREAT about it! I ran well and hard until just after the hills and then started getting cramps in my side and in my calf. I didn't walk, but I slowed down to nearly 10-minute pace for a few miles and lost the 2 or 3 minutes I need to sneak in under 4 hours for a qualifying time. (I missed it by about a minute and a half). But I felt like I finished strong and feel so psyched to have done this 10 months after my surgery. So no complaints here! I had one minor problem when I sort of fainted at the finish, got brought into the med tent, and was quickly diagnosed with hypothermia (the headwinds were cold and I didn't realize how bad the combo of wet and cold would be...) So my temp was down to 94 and my blood pressure was described by the doc as "um..VERY low". They warmed me, gave me an IV, and released me back into the wild when my temperature was back to 98. And I was none the worse for the wear. Chrissy and Mary were AWESOME running partners! And Mary went the extra mile (figuratively) waiting with Noah at Au Bon Pain while Ron was with me in the medical tent. Is that loyalty or what?"

Karyn's training partner Peter Evers finished a very good run in 4:00:59, his fastest marathon to date. "I'm incredibly happy to have run with him for 19 miles," Karyn said. (You can see Peter in the picture to the far right in the grey hat).

Tina Wang (3:31): "I sort of surprised myself today. I felt good all the way, except for some soreness in my gluteal muscle that started early, around mile 10. I stopped at mile 17.2 to see Frank and again at mile 23 to see my colleagues, so considering stopping a couple times, I am happy with the result. Thanks to all the NETT folks for being out there today. I saw Frank, Ron, Noah, Adrienne and quite a few friends out there today cheering. It was fun (can't believe I said that)."

Brian Scanlan ran a very impressive 3:08. "My legs just felt incredible thanks to a solid three-week taper. Thanks also to all the help from NETT in training and cheering."

And despite his prior trash talking with his bully of a sister Claire, she in fact turned out to be his biggest ally on race day. "Claire deserves spectator of the year honors. She went with me to the start and dropped off my dry clothes bag on the bus. Saved me about a mile walk. Then she took my folks to cheer me on at different points along the route."

Dima Feinhaus (3:01 the HARD way): It was quite a race for me. I haven't been in so much pain since I ran 50 miles 4 years ago unprepared. But now that pain is behind me and I'm in peace with my result: 3:01:12. My goal was 2:55 and I was thinking that if lucky I can do as well as 2:50-2:52, or...retreat to last year 2:58 if things don't go so well.

The first 5K was as planned and a bit ahead of last year time. I knew that something wasn't right, because it took way more effort than it should. I scaled expectation a bit but pushed on. Somewhere around Natick I realized that I'm getting dehydrated and I increased my fluid intake. I entered Newton slightly ahead of last year schedule and in a tad better shape. But my situation quickly deteriorated at that point though. I got cramps, legs felt stuffed with something heavy, I stopped paying attention to the watch, people around me and concentrated on managing the pain and running as lightly as I possibly could. Somewhere near City Hall the cramps got really bad and I would occasionally scream from pain (I hope it wasn't too loud).
At Coolidge corner it got so bad that I even made a couple of walking steps, but then I thought better of it. Last two miles were actually not that bad. I guess I got used to the pain. Last stretch along Boylston was a blur as everything after that. A kind female volunteer helped me to put my pants on. I think it was the first time after my mom stopped doing it ... I wasn't alone in that sorry state and it was soothing. A guy next to me got help with pants too.

I still wonder what did me in. Last year theory was electrolytes. That theory was disproved with vengeance. I theorize that weather was pretty misleading and I got really dehydrated, running against the wind wasn't helpful either. Thanks to all those people who cheered to me, I heard you! Better training next year.

Karen Mahoney-Ringheiser (3:30): I started out the day with double the amount of coffee as usual the morning of the marathon, which later proved to be too much for my system. The gun went off and I started running. Usual crowds at the beginning, didn't weave, just ran. Effort seemed more difficult than anticipated early on. Effect of coffee and first Gu w/caffeine, made me feel sick. By Framingham, I hadn't settled into the race, just felt sick and heavy legs. Also, actually had a headache the entire race from the noise level. Newton hills my legs were feeling pretty tired and new at that point, I wouldn't make my goal time of 3:15.

I didn't expect to see anyone else on the course at that point, but happily saw Doris at the top of Heartbreak Hill who spotted me on the opposite side of the road, and yelled my name. That helped. Hard to say how, but seeing supporters that you know, really does help. Struggled the last three miles and I had to walk some. I knew it wasn't my day, but it was just about over. Glad I ran such an amazing race, but such a tough course. Even with all the hill training I did in preparation, it still didn't feel easy. Oh well, made it through my 7th consecutive Boston. Placed 63rd in division. Thanks to all the NETTers who cheered, and thanks to all that helped with my training.

Other NETT results of note:

Jean Dany Joachim: 4:34 (had to walk a good part of the way from mile 18 due to severe cramping, but true to the spirit of the marathon, he did get across that line).

Rick Cleary: DNFY (did not finish yet) but plans to go back an finish from where he dropped out. He was, however, fortunate enough to make the TV coverage at the start of the second wave.

Interesting note: Dima Feinhaus (CSU) and Vlad Luppov (Shamrocks) both ran 3:01 (must be a Russian thing)

And if mom running the marathon and winding up in the medical tent wasn't enough excitement for the weekend, Noah "Little Skittles" MM had a great run on Sundayat the Heartbreak Hill International Youth race and came 3rd out of 49 kids in the 11-year-old race. (Note the B's hat--this kid obviously likes WINNING!!

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