So the big day has come and gone, and NOEL KICKED BUTT! Before I spill the beans on her race, I just want to share a few photos (shocker)
After Noel got in her ride to the start line shuttle, I met up with friends and went into the city to ride out to Newton, it took almost 2 hours! Next year I will be figuring out a shuttle of some kind.
We watched in front of Newton-Wellesley Hospital, which was giving away free branded cow-bells-WOO! I am still milking a strained voice and my right hand hurts from shaking the cowbell so intensely. All in the name of the Marathon!
Noel’s focus and form was impressive, at this point she had been pacing roughly 8:01 miles for over 16 miles. She was so focused that she almost didn’t see us! Good thing I went absolutely CRA-ZY cheering when we saw her because she ran over and gave a quick hop and funny face…
As soon as she ran away, we sprinted for the train. Which sadly had a ridiculously long line, so instead of stopping at Heart Break Hill we had to continue straight to the finish in order to see her. The train ride back to Hynes Convention center stop took an hour, seeesh! I was sad that I didn’t have the chance to jump in with Noel, but I figured she was pacing such a fast race that I would just hold her back if I hopped in.
Herreford and Boylston was a MAD HOUSE. It was such a gorgeous day that it attracted more people than I’ve seen in past years. The crowd was easily 5-6 people deep on each side of the barricade, such great motivation for the runners.
We saw Noel shortly after I took this picture, sadly I was so excited when we saw her that I didn’t have the chance to document it!
Her final time? 3:44:25! Not a bad time for a girl that was injured and had to curtail the intensity of her training just a month ago. We finally met Noel along Berkeley St, where she said it was the hardest marathon she’s ever run. Her first admission? “THOSE HILLS! There were more hills than I ever prepared for!” She admitted she went out to fast, but she felt great and the field was so fast that she really couldn’t stop herself. Around mile 17-18 the hammer really started to drop and she started to feel intensely fatigued. She said it took everything she had to keep going and not walk, and she credited the amazing spectators for helping her stay focused on her goal. She felt so sick near the end that she was unable to take any Gu, gel or Gatorade, ouch.
When she finished she was in great spirits, but once she showered and started to get ready for a celebration meal the fatigue and lack of nutrients really hit her. After about 2 hours of waiting and trying to take it slow in the locker room of my gym, Patti and I went up to the street and got the medical staff to take her to the med tent. Their solution? Two IV drips of Saline and she came right back to life. While Noel was in the med tent we saw not only Celtic’s star Ray Allen and Tracey from the Biggest Loser!
All in all, it was an awesome day. A bit of a tough finish, but at least it happened once the race was over, and not in the middle. The race was a great chance to see one of my best friends run a fanastic race and get pumped to run the Chicago marathon together. Noel, thank you for inspiring a new level of dedication and passion for running! I can’t wait for 10-10-10!