Since today is Thursday I thought that I would do a throwback post about my last weekend here in Boston back in April when I was working on the movie Southpaw. The weekend just happened to be Marathon weekend. If I had known that my contract would be extended until then I would have signed up for the 5k. Every time I am here I try to find a race to participate in, but there aren’t any in the city while I’m here.
Two weeks before marathon weekend I saw online that Meb Keflezighi was going to give a talk the Friday before the marathon. For those of you that don’t know, Meb was the 2014 winner of the Boston Marathon and seeing him cross the finish line that year was one of the reasons that I started running. I was working in Dallas at the time and was watching the 2014 Marathon on a live stream on my computer at work. I turned it on to catch the last couple unbelievable miles as Meb made history. So when I found out that Meb was giving a talk before the 2015 marathon I signed up to attend. It cost $25 dollars to get in and every guest received a signed copy of Meb’s book, “Meb for Mortals.” There was also a limited number of Sketchers gift bags being handed out. I was very fortunate to be able to receive one! When I arrived at The Old South Church where it was held, the line was wrapped around the building. I waited about 30 minutes before we were able to enter the building. It took awhile, but I was finally able to get my gift bag. The bag included a water bottle, workout towel, granola and other food to fuel for a race and a bunch of coupons. One of the coupons was 50% off one pair of Sketchers shoes which I later used to buy a pair of the GoMeb 3s.
After I received my bag I hurried to the restroom and then made my way into the sanctuary where they were handing out our free books. I was beyond excited and couldn’t stop smiling as I sat down at the end of one of the pews. I began looking through my goody bag to pass the time as it was already past 7 and should have started. I then began to read the book, which is amazing by the way. Finally Meb entered the room and began making his way up the aisle; everyone cheered! As he made his way to the front he was high-fiving people, including me! I got a high-five from Meb Keflezighi! He eventually made it to the front of the church where he was joined by a panel, who discussed his career and book with him. The talk itself was an amazing experience. You can find a video of it here.
The next day I had to check out of my hotel room. My flight wasn’t until later so I decided to attend the Boston Marathon Expo. I left my luggage with the hotel and then made my way to the Hynes Convention Center on Boylston street. On the way to the Expo there was so much excitement in the air! As I walked down the street I tried to take it all in. Boylston street was closed and they were having races on it, high school students I believe. There were thousands of people around, a lot heading to the convention center like I was. Now, I had only been to Disney race expos at that point so I didn’t quite know what to expect. The expo did not disappoint! It reminded me a lot of the Disney expos, just a little bigger. There were rows and rows of booths and so much merchandise. I can never have enough running gear!One highlight for me was visiting the runDisney booth. There wasn’t much there but if you signed up for email notifications about future races then they give you a free runDisney bag! Naturally I signed up. I also ended up buying a tech shirt with the Boston Marathon logo on it; I figured it would give me motivation. The best part of the expo was seeing all of the runners that would be competing on Marathon Monday! I have great respect and admiration for anyone that can run a marathon. I hope I will be able to run a marathon someday, but it probably won’t be for a long, long time. After I left the convention I took a walk down Boylston street and joined the mass of people that were standing around the finish line. While standing there a couple of people asked me to take their picture and then they took my picture in return. Then it was time to make my way back home to Florida.
On Monday I watched the marathon on the live stream on my computer like I did the year before. This year I got my Dad and Mom to watch it. I talked to my dad on the phone through some of the race as he got excited and shouted, “Come on Des, come on, you can do it!”, referring to the American runner: Desiree Linden. It was great to see my parents getting excited about watching a marathon, something that neither of them had done before. My parents, along with my sister, will be running the 5k during the OUC Orlando Half Marathon and Princess Half Marathon. I am glad that they have started to get into running and someday I hope they love it as much as I do.