Let the SON shine down…Literally…SUNshine!

Marathon Heat Proves to be a Heartbreaker!

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Nothing by (VERY) warm memories!

Marathon heat a heartbreaker!

These were just a few of the headlines in Tuesday’s Boston papers.  Brutal was the word used most frequently as I talked to other Boston 2012 finishers.  We were all very thankful for the finish line and for the opportunity to tell a story of survival.  One of the photos I shot on the way to the start line captured most of the runners race strategies for this day – “Old goal – PR; New goal – Survival!”  This is how I finished.  This is how I persevered.

Yesterday’s story is one of FAITH, LOVE, PRAYER AND TRUST.  I had FAITH to live out my dream. I had the LOVE and support from SO many people around the world…literally! I felt the PRAYERs of so many…every step of the way.   I TRUSTed my training…it held true and finally I TRUSTed my Lord to get me to the final Boston mailbox and HE did!

Boston 2012 will be remembered as one of the hottest on record. A year where the Boston Athletic Association(BAA) warned runners about the potential heat dangers and gave the option to opt out because of the looming high temperatures.  The meteorologists were correct on this day! It was HOT! It was BRUTALLY HOT!  The temperatures were in the 80s topping off officially at 89 but on the pavement it was in the 90s.  Crazy!

The BAA urged those of us who chose to run to not RACE but experience Boston 2012.  Experience it, I did!  The heat predictions allowed me to strip all expectations of a PR(personal record) and just run to run.  I knew my body was well prepared for the miles and maybe some of the heat…but I wanted to make sure.  Over 2100 runners were treated in medical tents.  Over 4300 didn’t show up to run…some of them took the deferment, some did not.  Did I say, it was a brutal day…but the words Beauty from Ashes…are quite appropriate.  Beauty was present even amongst the firing heat.

Here is how God turned the FIRE into BEAUTY:  Boston 2012 “experience” recap…

  • 5:15 am – We met Team Hoyt in the lobby.  Everyone was fired up and ready to go.  We took pictures with Rick. We wished him and everyone else good luck.  We were ready to go.  We hung out with our families one last time before take off.  We received our last-minute good luck hugs and kisses as we headed toward the bus.  Off we went…
  • 6:15 am – We loaded the bus after Rick and Tim…our two wheelchair participants. We sat and waited to embark on our journey to the start line – Hopkinton, MA.  We discussed race day strategies…which turned to survival strategies…especially after they had the heat on in the bus.  The air conditioning was not working.  I guess they were preparing us for our race outdoors.
  • 7:00 am – Off we go…we pull away to waves and “I LOVE YOU” hand sign(by Mike) as well as a Good Luck Team Hoyt banner. We are on our way!

  • 8:00 am – We make our way 26.2+ miles to Hopkinton.  We are in our chartered bus and we pass school bus after school bus with regular runners.  We were blessed…all except for the heat. 🙂  We exchanged great conversation with one another.  I had the privilege of sitting next to Dennis who was the first Team Hoyt member to cross the finish line. (and he did it pushing Tim in a wheelchair)  He was from Oklahoma…we talked about Arkansas and where my parents live.  Across the isle was the sound guy for the film crew following Dick and Rick. They are making a film about their story.  I enjoyed showing off my mini camera that I recorded my journey on.  I told the camera guy I had a better deal…mine was much lighter than his. 🙂  The best part of the exchange with the camera guy was when he told me not to use my music during the run.  He said to take it all in and that God would be talking to me along the way! Amen!!!! He was so right. God was with me every step of the way!
  • 8:15ish- We exited the bus and walked to the start line. Dick, Rick and Uta had an interview scheduled with a local news station.  We had the privilege of standing on the start line before the race ever started. What an awesome moment it was! We cheered for Team Hoyt, Dick, Rick and Uta on the news. We stood proudly supporting our inspirations as they celebrated their 30th running of the Boston Marathon.

  • 8:20ish – Once we were done watching the interview, Uta gave us a pep talk. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate….ice, ice, ice….enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! She told us to have cool focus. To take in the experience and be careful. We needed to listen to our body.  She would be waiting at the finish line!!! (and she was…that was a very sweet moment…a hug from Uta Pippig, a 3 time Boston Marathon winner…my coach!)

  • 8:30ish – As a team we made walked to our private home at the start line.  One of our team members met this gracious couple a couple of years ago.  The last two years they have opened their home to Team Hoyt.  If you all know anything about road races, you usually need to use the facilities often before you start…call it nerves, over hydrating…whatever it is, you need the loo.  So to have our own private house and facilities was incredible.  We also had a massage therapist at our disposal.  Pre-race massages are the best.  We hung out at the house hydrating, eating and chilling until the race started.  We got to chat and get to know each other even more.  I also had the chance to recharge my phone. Imagine that…it was dying by 8:30.  I was SO glad I put my charger in my race bag. 🙂
  • 9:30 – We watched the wheelchair start which included Dick and Rick as well as Dennis and Tim.  It was awesome.  Turns out the winner of the wheelchair division set a world record with a time of 1:18:25.  He was flying.  Mike and I had the privilege of meeting him in our hotel this morning.  We chatted with him a bit and congratulated him.  Pretty cool!n Then, we watched the elite men start their trip to Boston.  Wow!
  • 10:00 – We headed to the bag drop in athlete’s village(school buses that were driven to Boston from Hopkinton) and then joined the thousands walking to the start line.
  • 10:30 – We made it into our corral.  Corral 3 Wave 9 – the last of the last. 🙂 We took it all in and congratulated everyone and wished everyone good luck!!

  • 10:40 – Gun went off and off we went….running the Boston marathon in 84+ degree heat!
  • 10:47 – I crossed the start line and official timing started…I am off! 🙂 God’s journey and the next mailbox was in reach – 26.2 miles away.

  • 3:22pm – 4 hours and 35 minutes later I crossed the finish line of the 2012 Boston Marathon! There were so many God things…Godincidences along the way! So many, they warrant a post of their own! Stay tuned…

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