Thursday, April 22, 2010

Boston Marathon 2010 Race Report

Boston Marathon 2010 Race Report

Here is Mike Danko’s race report on the 114th running of the Boston Marathon. So sit back and grab a Gatorade because I am going to take you along the famous journey through Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and Boston.

Before I begin the actually race report. Let me refresh everyone of how the journey began.

My training began back in Dec 2009. I was following my usually 16 week program. Then we had the most snow ever in the Philadelphia area. 70 plus inches. I trained through that. Then the back issues started. I was diagnosed with l4/l5 partial herniated disk. So I stopped running and got treatment (PT and Cortisone Shots). I began pool running and some light road running. I was about 300 miles less than last year in mileage going into Boston. I had managed to get two 20 plus mile runs in and also I had done some high mileage weeks and my base was high during the month of December so I was not worried. So as I approached the Marathon date I decided to run and whatever happened, happened. I was going to have fun no matter what.

Fast forward to Friday April 16th. Jen and I head out we arrive in Boston around 2pm check into the hotel and then head to the Expo. Got my race stuff and even more free stuff. A free bag and arm warmers from Brooks and a free race jersey, hat and case of mix1 juice from race menu. So I was pleased free gear is always nice. After the Expo we chilled and then Head to Fenway. We watch the game for a few innings and then headed out. It was so cold and I did not want to get sick so we headed back to the Hotel

Saturday got up quick run on the treadmill (raining out) and then went to the JFK museum and did some other fun things. Had dinner with another buddy who was running the race.

Sunday just did some things around Boston. It was raining again. Got all my race gear ready.

Ok now to the race…time to toe the line

Monday (Race Day)

Got up around 4:30. Showered and got dressed. Met my buddy around 5:45 for the buses and we waited. We boarded the bus and headed out around 6:10. After about 45 minutes on the Bus we were at athlete’s village. We setup camp and relaxed. We got a spot in the sun so that we could stay warm. The time really goes by fast here. You are either lying around or waiting in line for the porta potties. Around 8:30 I got ready and waiting to begin the trek to the starting line. I met up with the people from race menu real quick and then dropped my gear off and walked to the corrals. It was cool to see the jets fly over the start. The National Anthem was sung and we were ready to race. The cannon sounded and we were off (took about a min to get to the line).

And we are off…..Here we go. The race started out fast. The first couple miles are always a bit crazy because people are trying to find their rhythm and settle into a good pace. I ended up going through the 5k check point quicker than I expected. I was still moving from the started and knew that I had to settle down. I went into this race with no goal but I thought I could run a 3:10 based on my training and knowledge of the course. A 3:10 marathon averages out to a 7:15 pace per mile. Going through the first few miles I was at 7:07. Slowly I began to slow my pace. I was eating cliff blocks and hammer caps ever 30 min (45/15/45 etc) and taking my hammer caps (00, 30, 00 etc). I was out on the course enjoying myself. I was running and having fun. I got to see some sites I had not seen before. Along the way I ran with some people some first timers and some vets of the race. As I got to mile 11 I met a guy who was running the marathon for the first time. I think his name was Scott he said he was shooting for 3:10 but had some IT band issues. I told him I was on pace and he could run with me if that would help him. He was like cool and ran with me until we got the Wesley College. Here is about half way and the girls line the course and screen and have signs. It is really cool but it can cause you to use energy too quickly. Well that guy Scott who was running with me took off and I saw him begin to run faster. I could see him increase his pace but I did not go with him. I continued to run my own race and kept my pace around 7:12. As the miles began to wind down I felt good. I was holding myself back because I knew that the hills were approaching. As I passed mile 16/17 I saw that guy Scott and he was dying. He was really dehydrated and looked bad. I told him try and get some gel and Gatorade. He faded and I kept going. As I made that right the hills were upon us. I attacked the hills and made nice work of the first one. I tossed the nice brooks arm warmers that I had gotten for freeL. I did manage to keep the nice gloves I purchased on Saturday. So as I crested the top of heartbreak hill I felt good. I was still on target. I just had to get back down the hill and make the final run towards the finish. As I made my way down the hill I began to increase my speed as I felt good. Once I was through Cleveland circle I could see the CITGO sign and I knew that end was near. Before I finish the last three miles I want to revisit the Newtown Hills. These are a series of 3 hills at about mile 19-21 in the marathon. I compare it to the last round of Rocky II. The hills are Apollo and the runners are Rocky. Some will win and some will lose. I paid the price my first year here so I know what the hills can do. They can be demoralizing to some runners who go out to fast because they are so late in the race. The last 10k of this marathon is tough.

Back to the last 3 miles. So as the race hit the final 5K I ran into to a friend of my one race buddy. This guy is a sub marathoner as well but he was also looking to run 3:10 or under. So I began to run with him and this is where the pace really picked up. We were moving. We use each other to push ourselves. As we crossed the Mass-Turnpike and saw the CITGO Sign I and made that turn into Kenmore Square I knew there was a mile left. I could feel a small crap in my calf but at this point it did not matter. We began to hammer it. Quick downhill and then up hill. Made a quick right then that famous left onto Boylston. As you make that left you have .2 miles left. You can see the finish and you know the end is near. As we ran the last part of race I knew I could make it under 3:10. This is probably the best part of the race. Where else do you get to run down the middle of the street in a major U.S. city will thousands of fans screaming for you. As I crossed the line I looked at my watch and I saw 3:09:50 and I knew that it was done. I had run a great race. I once again paid respect to the queen of all marathons and in turn she allowed me to survive the race in one piece. Also I had nailed the nutrition and hydration for the race and the weather was perfect.

I must say that overall I am pleased with my performance. After all the issues I had this winter it was nice to have a great race. I do feel that experience helped also. The weather was great the crowds were awesome. The volunteers were great.As I said it before if you have been to Boston to watch or run the Marathon you know what I mean when I say that it the Superbowl of all Marathons.One Big Thank You to Boston.

After the race, met Jen and we headed back to hotel and then go some food and then went to some stores and shops.

Tuesday before we left I went to Bill Rodgers store and got his autograph and picture. This was a great experience. He won the Boston Marathon 4times. It was great to meet him. He was telling stories and just talking to everyone. He is a very nice guy and I am glad I got to meet him.

One last Thank you to Boston.

Here is a breakdown of my times

























Newtown Hills










1ST Half


2nd Half


50 sec positive Split

As you can see I went out a bit fast and by half I had settled in. The pace did go up around the hills but the last 10K I was still strong.

I did requalify again which is an accomplishment itself at Boston.

Now time to rest and get my back healed.

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