The Boston Marathon weekend has ended and what a weekend it was! Rogue Racers had 13 runners representing in this year’s race and also competed in the team competition in all 4 divisions (Men’s & Women’s Open and Men’s & Women’s Masters). It was an honor to compete with some of the most established and talented teams in the world and we were proud to represent Ohio.
Men’s Open: 53rd place
Women’s Open: 51st place
Men’s Masters: 20th place
Women’s Masters: 32nd place
With 13 runners, we thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A on their Boston Marathon experience. From first timers to veterans, here’s what they had to say.
Q1: How many Boston Marathons have you finished now?
Brian C.: This was my 5th consecutive Boston (2013-2017)
Brian K.: 3rd in a row – 2015, 2016, 2017
Bryan: I just finished Boston #3
Jake: This was my 2nd Boston finish
Krista: 3. My first in 1996, the second as an Elite in 2008. – RR: That’s 21 years of the Boston Marathon!
Susan: First one.
Q2: Would you say this was one of the hardest for you?
Brian C.: This was probably the hardest one yet, considering the level I trained at. The heat was extremely tough and the tail wind was really not evident until the final miles of the race. Sadly, by that time my legs (quads especially) were shot and I was unable to take advantage of the extra push as much as I’d have liked!
Brian K.: This was definitely the hardest, I was not ready for the heat. Plus my stomach was causing some issues.
Bryan: This Boston was the warmest yet for me, even warmer than last year. But ironically, it wasn’t the hardest. That’s because I learned my lesson last year. I adjust my goal just a tad this year, as well as my strategy, and this left me feeling fresh throughout (unlike last year when I bonked at 17)! This year turned out to be one of my best executed races!
Jake: This one was harder only because of my limited training the five weeks leading into race day (injury). I fought the marathon and the marathon won.
Jason: It was tough for sure but not tougher than finishing with a slight calf tear at mile 7 last year. I think conditions were tougher this year than last year though.
Ken: My first year was by far my hardest as I did not do enough hill training and ended up taking several walk breaks during the last five miles. Last year was also a pretty tough year with the warm weather. I was a little smarter this year and backed off the pace early when I started feeling hot and felt much better at the end.
Krista: No, it was the most rewarding running a friend to the finish given it was her first!!
Kristina: In 2012 it was 85 degrees at the start and I was 14 weeks pregnant. However, because of this I took it very easy and conservative that year. This year was not quite as hot but I was not as conservative at the beginning which made the end more challenging for me.
Megan: No, 2016 was by far the hardest year for me, due to sickness.
Ryan: This one was challenging with the heat but it felt a lot better than last year. I trained for the hills and increased my cross-training which helped a lot.
Susan: As a first-timer, I felt prepared for the course–ups and downs. I was not prepared for the heat, so it was pretty tough in parts for me.
Wendy: Yes. The heat was difficult.
Q3: Did you adjust your race plan at all knowing how hot it was going to be?
Brian C.: I did, but then didn’t really follow it. I planned to drop to a 7:05 pace and try to keep it consistent. Unfortunately it wasn’t until mile 10 when I finally did that, with every mile prior being quicker than planned.
Brian K.: I thought it was going to be in the lower sixties and was not prepared for seventies.
Bryan: Yes. I had originally planned on trying to PR (sub 2:55). But given the rising forecasted temps the closer we got to race day, I adjusted to focusing on breaking 3 hours. I also adjusted my strategy by choosing to run the first 10k more conservatively. This was a good decision, as I still felt good after cresting heartbreak hill. I had my second fastest mile of the day at mile 23!
Erika: Yes. I started about 10 seconds slower. Held that for the first 17 miles. Didn’t really feel the effect of the heat as I thought I would.
Jake: I didn’t adjust my plan and paid the price going for broke. Live and learn :). Next time it is hot I will make adjustments without a doubt.
Jason: Yes, I was originally going for sub 3. I adjusted my goals down to be around 3:07 at best and I finished in 3:11:55 and I think that was actually equivalent to running sub 3 this past fall so I was very excited and happy with my time.
Ken: Going into the race I knew I might have to slow down because of the warm weather but I didn’t actually back off the goal pace until around mile 8.
Krista: Yes, we went out on pace for 13, then backed off when the sun beat on us!
Kristina: Yes, the first six miles put it into perspective for me. The sun was beating down and I was already feeling overheated. I decided at that point to back off goal MP and go by feel and take in all the sights of this amazing race. I was able to high five a ton of little ones, eat freezer pops and orange slices, and notice things along the course that I normally wouldn’t while being in the racing zone.
Megan: Yes, I started off conservatively and decided at about 7 miles to take it easy and soak up the moment. Temperatures were no good for PR.
Ryan: Yes, I had initially had a goal to PR but after seeing the warm weather forecast I adjusted my goal to 3:05 and I was able to just barely get it.
Susan: I adjusted my plan slightly before going in. And then adjusted again.
Wendy: I did. I slowed down by 15 seconds per mile
Q4: Was there anything you wished you had with you in Athlete’s Village that you didn’t?
Brian C.: More shade?! We were fortunate to find good spots to cool down but many people didn’t. The BAA does a great job at the Athlete’s Village, it’s tough to find anything to criticize.
Brian K.: I wish I would have put on sunscreen in the village.
Bryan: Since I had two previous Boston’s to learn from, I was adequately prepared for the athletes village. I only needed a clif bar, water, my Gu’s, and my racing flats (I wear old shoes to the start and donate them at athletes village before loading into the corrals).
Erika: Something better to sit on…it was muddy where we decided to sit.
Jake: I had what I needed in Athlete’s Village.
Jason: No, but my back and shoulders disagree and said sunscreen.
Ken: I brought a bagel, a banana, some water and sunscreen. There is coffee at Athlete’s Village, so I felt I pretty much had everything I needed.
Krista: Vaseline and a camera!
Kristina: No. With this being my 8th Boston, I have the Athlete’s Village routine down thank goodness.
Megan: More portable toilets.
Ryan: No, I felt that I was well prepared.
Susan: Time! Everyone said to plan on sitting and waiting for a long time once arriving in Athlete’s Village. I spent all but maybe 5 minutes waiting in very long bathroom lines, leaving me barely enough time to get myself situated before the start.
Wendy: Not a thing
Q5: What was the funniest thing you saw on the course?
Brian C.: Forget where, somewhere in Brookline I think, I saw a guy pound a beer much to the delight of the guys who gave it to him!
Brian K.: Nothing memorable
Bryan: When racing, I get pretty focused and sort of zone out. But, I did notice a runner with a spiked mohawk painted in Boston colors!
Erika: I ran behind Tarzan…brown butt and no shoes who I followed for the majority of the race.
Jake: A guy running in sandals…really? Showoff.
Jason: The two guys with the crazy Mohawks. I got a picture with them after the race.
Ken: The guy with the giant, green and spiked Mohawk.
Krista: A naked girl, holding a sign, temporarily covering her, that said (kiss me and I will drop this)
Kristina: I giggled at the Chafing is Sexy sign.
Megan: All the signs along the route! People are really creative!
Ryan: I enjoyed the below one referencing the score of the super bowl before the Patriots came back. It was motivational in that it promoted the inspiration message of never giving up. I heard a runner say that that seeing that never gets old and I agreed that it was awesome to see!
Susan: Signs that would need edited here for explicit content.
Wendy: I saw a man dressed in a loincloth and running barefoot at mile 15. I had to giggle!
Q6: What was your favorite moment of the day?
Brian C.: It’s always when I see my family, this time they were at mile 17.5. I get very emotional every time I see them, at that moment the race doesn’t matter, it’s more important to me to see and acknowledge them for a moment.
Brian K.: Seeing my girlfriend, Anna, along the course cheering me on and seeing some fellow Rogue’s. Also seeing the finish line and knowing the torture was over.
Bryan: By far, my favorite moment was finding Ken on the course somewhere around mile 22. It gave me a huge boost! And coolest of all, we were able to finish all the way down Boylston together! Second favorite moment was realizing, after an exhausting sprint down Boylston, that I was going to break 3 hours at Boston! Third time was the charm!
Erika: Crossing the finish line knowing I did all I could do that day on that course.
Jake: Teammate Brian encouraging me to finish the last half mile with him when I thought I couldn’t run another step. Just wish I’d seen him two miles earlier.
Jason: The last straight away running down Boylston knowing I had redeemed my race from last year. Close tie, getting to go on the field at Fenway with Ryan Arens marathon night.
Ken: My favorite moment was when Bryan ran up beside me at around mile 22 or 23 and tapped my arm. That is a rough part of the marathon and it gave me a much needed boost.
Krista: The finish, with a first time Boston finisher.
Kristina: There is no better feeling than turning from Hereford onto Boylston and crossing the finish line. No other marathon finish comes close to matching this.
Megan: Seeing my husband, Bryan, right after I finished. Both of us are 3-time Boston Marathon finishers now!
Ryan: Finishing Boston and hitting my time goal.
Susan: My favorite moments were seeing my people when I needed them most. And of course making that turn onto Boylston to the finish.
Wendy: The finish! Nothing beats the finish of the Boston Marathon.
Q7: Did anyone stop for a kiss in Wellesley?
Brian C.: Nope! Not even a high five this time… I was looking for our Rogue sign but didn’t see it. 5 years, no kisses! RR: Brian did advise Olympian, Jared Ward on running his first Boston, including some Wellesley tips!:)
Brian K.: I did get a kiss in Wellesley…from my girlfriend!
Bryan: No kisses for me. If I had stopped, I would have not broken 3 hours (I only did so by 22 seconds)!
Erika: Yes…got a kiss from a nice young lady!
Jake: Did not stop for smooch.
Jason: Absolutely. I tied my PR of 2 last year. That way I have to come back next year to get a PR.
Ken: No stopping when I am racing.
Kristina: I didn’t stop but since I was going slower, I was able to read most of the signs.
Megan: Lots of people were stopping around me, but I just observed from afar. Lots of good people-watching in this area to be sure!
Ryan: Nope. I was on the left side of the road, but I did look for our sign and didn’t see it.
Susan: Had there been a boys’ scream tunnel…
Q8: Do you have any rituals that you do before, during or after this race?
Brian C.: I don’t really have any rituals. I have a stable plan for nutrition before and during the race but nothing weird.
Brian K.: Fresh new England oysters and a cold beer after the race.
Bryan: Just before the gun goes off, I always close my eyes, focus on taking deep belly breaths (like in yoga), and remind myself that I’m at Boston! I know once I start racing, I tend to focus and zone out, so this is my chance to really be mindful of my surroundings, and that I’m standing in Hopkinton at the start of the most storied foot race in history! Once the gun goes off, it’s time to go to work!
Erika: Eat a bagel and banana and visualize my race. The words that my dad would say before a middle school/high school race go through head as I visualize the course.
Jake: Listened to music in the corral before hand to calm nerves (I don’t run with music though).
Jason: No. Just thankful to be able to run it.
Ken: Nothing exciting; I just make sure I have a little to eat, some coffee and at least two bathroom breaks.
Kristina: Coffee/Cliff bar before. Wine after 🙂
Megan: Bryan and I both have Dunkin’ Donuts coffee the night before the race. We run on Dunkin’!
Ryan: I take a gel every 4 miles and right before the race. I am a heavy salt sweater and It helps to keep my energy levels up from a nutritional standpoint. I received this advice from an elite masters female runner and it has made a huge difference.
Susan: Too many pre-race rituals to list, without appearing like a nut case.
Wendy: After the race I shower and have nachos and a glass of wine.
Q9: If you bought anything over the weekend, what was your favorite purchase?
Brian C.: My Heartbreak Running Company hat! It’s in the ‘classic’ Boston colors. I’ve visited the Newton store the past 4 years (after seeing it when running past during the 2013 Marathon!). I love the branding, the line through the heart is the elevation of Heartbreak Hill.
Brian K.: A cool Sam Adams 26.2 brew running shirt, it has a mileage chart down the sleeves with all the cities on it.
Bryan: After spending a lot on merchandise the first year, I chose to keep my money in my pocket this year.
Erika: Shalane’s cookbook…then had her sign it.
Jake: Entry into the 5K event with my family. My second favorite purchases over the weekend were the 3 pints of 26.2 brew post race.
Jason: I didn’t buy much this year for myself but I bought my kids Boston marathon shirts this time.
Ken: I bought another Boston jacket since the colors are much better than the previous three.
Krista: I was well behaved and didn’t buy ANYTHING!!!
Kristina: Probably my Adidas BAA sweatshirt. So comfy!
Megan: The Boston 2017 jacket! The best feeling is slipping that jacket on post-race and letting the accomplishment wash over you.
Ryan: Future Boston Marathon shirts that I got for the kids and the Heartbreak Hill shirt for my wife.
Susan: Didn’t buy it at the expo, but finally allowed myself to cut the tags off the prized jacket.
Q10: How much recovery time do you need before you can think about doing this again?
Brian C.: I thought about my next race that very night! I am one for having something on the calendar, I can’t stand not having a plan. Fortunately I have 3 triathlons and another marathon already lined up!
Brian K.: I’m running Cleveland in late May so I don’t have much time to recover or think.
Bryan: I usually take a week completely off from running before I get back out for a few easy recovery runs. However, because I have big goals for Indy this fall, I’m planning to take two full weeks off to ensure proper recovery. I want to be able to hit this upcoming training season hard, and at full health! Rogue!!!
Erika: Right after the race the thought of doing it was horrifying. But by the next day in the after glow of the race I knew I would try to conquer it again next year.
Jake: Crazy enough to be doing the Cleveland marathon in 4 weeks…hoping that’s enough recovery time.
Jason: Apparently not much. I took a free bib to run a half marathon next weekend in Canton.
Ken: I was thinking about my next marathon near the end of the race. A sharp contrast to what I was thinking during my first Boston when I remember thinking to myself at mile 22 that I never want to run another marathon again.
Krista: NONE! Since I didn’t race, it made me excited for fall racing 🙂
Kristina: I am trying to be very smart about recovery this time around, but I will definitely be back for Indy in the fall and Boston 2018.
Megan: I usually rest for 1 entire week and start back into slow running the second week. My general rule of thumb is to only “race” 2 marathons per year.
Ryan: Ha, as much as possible. I will be back next year. 🙂
Susan: By Tuesday I found myself considering a redemption race!
Wendy: 2 minutes!