Hello readers, and my legion of supporters.
I DID IT.
It being the 2014 Boston Marathon. Man, let me tell you about an unique experience. Bear with me, this is going to take a couple posts. First let me tell you about how I got there.
My posse, my mother, step-dad, and I, left early from Northeastern PA after mass on Easter morning to make it for packet pickup. I am sure it’s not my mom’s ideal way to spend the holiday (no grand kids, no typical Florida vacation, and lots of driving), but she was a great sport. I mean, the Easter bunny left a basket in the backseat for this 28 year old after all.
We arrived in Boston at around noon. Our bags were checked before we entered the convention hall, but besides that security for the expo was not terribly noticeable. My family was allowed in to join me in the race expo building. First things first I got my numbered bib. Without that I would not have been able to run the race. Would have been heartbreaking.
Then I noticed something. So many of the athletes were wearing the same jacket. Well, mostly the same jacket. They had the Boston Marathon emblem a year on it. There was an array of colors: green, red, royal blue and bright orange. I looked down at my packet pick up. I had no jacket. This is far from my first time at the race rodeo. I know different races have different gear you can buy. But I almost pride myself in not buying extra things… well except maybe on of those ego boosting magnets for my car. But anyway, I had never seen so many people wear the similar looking thing without it being free from the swag bag. This had to be a thing right?
By the time we worked our way to the merchandise I saw ROWS of bright orange jackets with the 118th Boston Marathon embroidered on back. Addias brand, it had nice lining and looked like a great sport jacket. Unfortunately it cost a lot of money. Readers may not know, but I feel uncomfortable buying expensive things in front of my mother. I am a public interest attorney by day, and my mother tends to help me do this good work. I respect her enough not to blow my money away.
We had been separated, so as I waited for her to come back before I left the official merchandise area, I clutched my desired jacket. I mean how many times would I be able to run the Boston Marathon again. And there were no magnets in sight anyway. Luckily she agreed. Cause now I am a proud owner of a Boston Marathon finishers jacket. In convict orange, but at least all drivers shall see me running now.
Last known point about the expo. The Friday before I saw on the runDisney Facebook page that they were going to be at the Boston Marathon Expo. They had a photo of a sling bag and issued a dare: Find us and ask us how to get this bag. From the photo I thought it looked kind of cheesy and was maybe one of those string bags every college freshman gets on orientation day. But since I was going to be at the expo any way….
Took me about an hour since I don’t like asking for help, but I eventually found the booth. I ogled the Dopey Challenge medals and chatted up with the booth cast member about the races. Yes, I had run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2013. Yes, I am going to compete in the Expedition Everest Challenge with my sister in a few weekends. Yep, signed up for the Tower of Terror 10 miler the week before my October Disney wedding. Didn’t even have to say that if I completed the Boston Marathon without dying (which happened at Philly), I was planning on signing up for either the Goofey or Dopey Challenge in January. I am an unofficial runDisney ambassador.
So I asked, tell me how to get the sling bag.
Her response: show me something runDisney on your person. Tricky tricky. They really didn’t want to give out this bag. Hmm. I flashed her my Disney Princess Dooney and Burke bag which was my law school graduation present from my sister. Not runDisney, but serious Disney-holic here. She waivered. I then mentioned how I had my Disney Princess half t-shirt in my car outside the expo. (which I did… over packing win!). She didn’t make me prove myself and handed over the goods. Talk about a nice bag! Perfect for my soon to be park hopping. Not cheap, not cheesy. Jena win.
The remainder of the day flew by. We grabbed lunch at a Thai place by the expo. Mom hated it, step-dad and I loved it. We made our way to my parents hotel in the financial district, Langham Hotel. Luxurious and well staffed, I was almost jealous I wasn’t staying there as well. Met up with my best friend from college Sara. We had dinner at a nice little Italian restaurant (hello carb loading).
Then Sara and I were off on the T to go back to her place. Her husband was out of town, so we stayed up late talking about wedding planning and our lives. I love every moment with this girl.
To be continued in my next post… RACE DAY!