Getting to Boston was a three year journey. After two years spent trying to run a qualifying time, I finally made it in the 2015 Vancouver Marathon with my 3:09:30 qualifying run. Combined with turning 40, this meant I comfortably beat the 3:15 qualifying time and the journey began in earnest.
Training in Calgary didn’t go as planned. Achilles injury and hip problems meant I was not in the same shape for the big run, but I set out with a 3:30 target time and a plan to enjoy it. Given the heat on race day, I should have gone out slower – but I wasn’t really prepared for the Boston hills. Even though it’s net downhill to 16 miles, it’s still rolling hills. I cramped up around Heartbreak Hill and struggled to a 3:42 finish. Still, it was an amazing experience with the support along the route.
The marathon weekend was a great experience. We met Donovan and Liane (from Calgary Roadrunners) and Ruth (from PEI/Durham) in Boston for the race weekend. It’s really well organized, from the pre-race dinner to the post race party at Fenway Park baseball stadium. We enjoyed Boston, although of course you don’t see as much of the city as you’d like when chilling before a big run.
After Boston, Ruth, Gill, and I picked up a rental car for a road trip through Vermont, finishing in Plattsburgh in New York State, just south of Montreal. We then took the Amtrak north to Montreal. Vermont was great. Beautiful, liberal, lovely towns, and great craft beer. We really enjoyed a stay in a lovely heritage house in Montpelier – what an amazing small state capital. Great great bars and restaurants. We toured around Green Mountain and enjoyed Stowe, Woodstock and Manchester.
In Montreal we met up with Ciaran and Maike, our friends from Indonesia who now live in Toronto, and Fiona, another friend from Durham. It was great to spend some time eating good food in Montreal. Fresh hot bagels and great coffee every morning, with a few dozen packed in our luggage to take home to Calgary.
Check out our photos on Google Photos.