Gatta la Bandito: Boston 2011

Boston, the majority of competitive runners’ dream race. People train their brains out to get here and, in the process, many succumb to nagging injuries and fatigue. Such was the case for a friend. So, it was off to Boston to cheer for our injured running friend.

I didn’t know I’d become a bandit runner!

Ryan Hall

I had never witnessed, in person, the caliber of runners I was fortunate enough to watch in Boston. How can anyone just stand there and watch them run!? You want to find out if you can run 1 mile next to Ryan Hall (the answer for me is “No”). Could I hang with Kara Goucher for a couple of miles and find words to inspire her at the end of the race like she inspires so many with her words and actions? What’s shocking is that they don’t even look tired. They make it look easy. They are masters of their craft. What else is incredible is the amount of people behind the elites, the people who are still running sub-3:00 marathons.

Kara Goucher

Desiree Davila (2nd Place) running with 1st place finisher Caroline Kilel

My friend was on track to run sub-3:00, then the injury. Thanks to the fancy chip timing, cell phones and the mashing of these technologies, I was able to track my friend throughout the race and, thus, knew when he would be passing near mile 22, where the husband and I were waiting to scream our heads off for him. He was on pace, even with injury, past the halfway point. He, however, was hurting when he approached. I jumped in the race with him and we proceeded to that Citgo sign in the sky.

Something you don’t realize as a spectator is the sheer mass of crowds lining the streets cheering for the runners. I would yell at them, “GO KEVIN!” And they would yell back, “GO KEVIN!” Every time my friend had to stop and stretch, they cheered him on, told him to keep moving forward “he could do it!” Something special about Boston is that, even though it’s a crowded race, you have enough room to see the city, enjoy the old buildings. The mere 3 miles I ran with my friend went by quickly and I began to recognize the final mile of the race by the fences separating spectators from runners (and the cops shooing banditos out of the race). I gave one last yell for my friend and turned to run back. (Don’t worry fellow runners. I run backwards behind the spectators not on the race course. I have a strict rule to not disrupt anyone’s race.)

When I was running backwards, I somehow, miraculously, spotted another running buddy. I had enough time to jump into the race and tell my speed-workout buddy that she was doing awesome! If you can go watch a race…go watch this one. WARNING: You will want a BQ more than ever!

The rowdy bunch waiting to board a plane to Boston (L to R: Kevin (the runner), Lyndsie (the runner’s wife), Cat (the runner’s bandito), Travis (the runner’s bandito’s husband)

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