If you haven't heard, this past Monday was the Boston Marathon. It has been a while since my last in-person marathon, which was the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon. So excited to be back racing and being back with my team was a great feeling!
Boston has given me a run for my money the last few times I have completed it. In 2018 Boston gave its athletes a memory we are all glad is behind us, talk about 'what doesn't kill us makes us stronger'! The worst recorded weather the Boston Marathon had. The wind, the rain, and the freezing temperatures. Some people opted out and others left by ambulance. For me, I continued but I could not feel my hands. In order to shift gears I had to for a lack of better words, punch my gears to change them.
The following year, 2019, I ended up colliding with another racer and my bike was disabled before mile-marker 1. I had to sit there for two hours waiting for the last athlete to pass me before they would remove me from the course. As I sat there, angry and disappointed, my wife and I texted to keep in touch where I was and what "the plan" was. In the meantime, what I did not know, my wife and the team were dealing with my oldest daughter who had her rainboot and ankle stuck in an escalator. By the time I had got back to my family and learned what they were going through we left Boston in a hurry. Ready to go home and move on. To say we were being spiritually attacked would be calling it as it was. We were sure, as we always do, to pray before we got on the road. We weren't playing with fire any more than what we were already burnt from. It was an awful marathon experience, to say the least. It is funny to think back at this experience, how boring it would be if we just always showed up and things always went the way we'd plan. There is no learning or growth in that.
Last year, 2020, I would imagine you can guess, the Boston Marathon was canceled. They were just going to do it in the spring of 2021, but then it was postponed until October.
So here we are in 2021.... REDEMPTION!
All my training, my learning, and goal chasing paid off, Monday at Boston, I took first place. Of course, Boston wouldn't be Boston without working for it. While leading early on in the race, I had a major chain malfunction which I had to stop and correct. In the meantime, two handcycles caught up to me and passed me as I sat alongside the road working on my chain. After getting back onto the course, my chain popped yet again. This time I was able to correct it while in motion. I ended up playing 'catch-up' the majority of the marathon until around mile 18 when I re-gained first place and never looked back.
I have heard from so many of you this week and I want you to know how much I appreciate your support. It is amazing to hear from you and know I have people along this journey with me.
It sure does feel good to take first, especially at Boston!