I'm going to go back to our friend the Barefoot Running Caveman. I was well-behaved and did not smack caveman bum on the race course, even though the mischevious prankster in me momentarily thought it would be funny. This was good, because if I'd been Captain Inappropriate, I probably couldn't have asked him the burning question everyone had when I was walking next to him in the finish chute, and saw him texting something on a phone. Um....the other men around me clearly had the same question, but weren't going to ask. This was clearly a job for a woman.
"Hey, can I ask you a question?" I said to The Caveman. "Where, um, did you keep that thing (pointing to the phone)?" This loincloth was about the size of a napkin. Seriously. I think it was fashioned out of a brown dish towel. He couldn't have kept the phone under that. The Caveman, who turned out to be a software engineer from California named Glen Raines, turned and showed me his "leaf" arm decoration/armband, and lifted it to show the iPod armband underneath. Brilliant, sir! A regular Renaissance caveman...minimalist runner who still stays connected to civilization.
We chatted for a minute about his barefoot running, and how many of his former chronic running injuries went away when he made the switch from shod to barefoot running. I mentioned that I hadn't "gone all the way," but race in minimalist shoes, started making adaptations to POSE running last fall, and sometimes do barefoot drills at our city's track and on the infield. Turned out to be a very nice guy, that caveman. Watch the following video clip from the finish area, and you will see him walk past at about the :35 mark.
Besides the rest of us regular folk who raced the Boston Marathon, there were the guys and girls who are so fast, they get paid to do what we all love to do. On this day, (and...clearly, these photos were not taken by me-my friend Lynn gave F a VIP pass she had for the finish line stands) some epic races were thrown down by the best elites in our sport. Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya ran what cannot be officially recognized as a world record, but was the fastest recorded marathon time ever at 2:03:02.
American Ryan Hall-whom I've never been a fan of for a variety of reasons (the prosthelytizing...the excuses for bad races that have nothing to do with his strange training and behavior with regard to coaching/lack of coaching) -managed to hang on somewhat to the blistering pace, running a personal best at 2:04:58 and finishing 4th overall. I liked seeing pictures and video later that looked like he had truly pushed himself to the limit and was spent by the time he came in. In the end, I do ultimately root for him to have that big breakthrough and win some major races. Maybe this will be the start of getting there.
The race for the women's title wound up being a nailbiter right to the finish. Before the race, everyone was talking Kara Kara Kara (Goucher) as the great American hope. Desi Davila, a true workhorse athlete with great consistency coming into the race, was kind of the "and also" girl in the mainstream media. Well, the race boiled down to a sprint down Boylston Street between Desi Davila, who briefly took the lead halfway down the stretch, and Caroline Kilel of Kenya, who managed to outkick her by two seconds, collapsing on the ground after the finish after a 2:22:36 finish. I love this shot-kind of sums up the best of running-and maybe also why some of my closest friends, especially women, also happen to be runners. Fight and compete hard on the course, show respect for one another and good sportsmanship off the course.
Besides the race itself, there was a lot of merrymaking throughout the weekend. After nearly seven hours on airplanes on Saturday, I was actually quite happy to get on the T and head out to Beerworks, a place where a lot of Boston runners have gathered the past several years to socialize in a laid-back fashion two days out from the race. They sell a blueberry beer there that literally has blueberries thrown on top-and I've tried it both years at the thing. This is one of the few pictures I actually wanted to pose for..my friend Richard (also from Colorado...he came over from Denver for the Canyonlands Half) was wearing his Honey Badger Don't Care shirt, and needed to have record of that. I'm not usually big on the internet memes, but the honey badger video just gets funnier to me every time. For the record, I do not make it a habit of double-fisting beers. Someone had gone for a second round, I was nursing my first beer, and drink #2 arrived before I could get through the first one.
Anyway-we took the scenic route home. We wound up at the end of the line...literally. Four intelligent women saying "wait...what just happened?" when the PA came on announcing that we were at the last stop and everyone needed to get off. Eventually we did find our way back and got on the inbound train-I'm not sure how we all missed the fact that we were headed in the wrong direction to begin with, though.
Now I'm back home, and getting back into the swing of work, daily life, and running. I had my first early morning headlamp run in a month with my most regular of early morning running partners, Laura, this morning. It was fantastic-just a light drizzle, birds chirping, and a little bit of moonlight.