Boston Marathon 2019 

Chris Pilkington

After several years of Marathon running, ticking off 4 out of the 6 International Marathon Majors, I was finally about to run the coveted Boston Marathon. The seemingly impossible qualifying time had been achieved in Berlin with ProSport in 2017 and I had scraped in by a mere 23 seconds. 

They say if you don’t like the weather in Boston just wait a few minutes and this was spot on. As we boarded the yellow school buses which were our transport to the race start in Hopkinton it was pouring with rain but by the time we arrived it was clear sky and fine. The Athletes Village was ankle deep in mud but had plentiful toilets, a trade off I’d take anytime.

With excitement & nerves building amongst the crowd over the next couple of hours, the national anthem was sung, jets flown and we were off.

The course started downhill with sections of woods between each village, but never a gap in the cheering crowds.

By 10km I was cruising just under my goal pace for 3 hours but it wasn’t feeling as easy as it should that early in the race even with the downhill start. By 21.1km I was still on track but already feeling tired. The scream tunnel at Welesley College got the adrenaline going for while but the four hills of Newton took most of my remaining strength.

I felt like stopping for a walk but I reminded myself that it is always a bad idea to make decisions on hills and I definitely did not want to walk past my support crew on Heartbreak Hill. I got to the top of Heartbreak Hill with 10km left and saw Carly and Mel cheering and ringing their cowbell and hoped that the downhill to the finish would invigorate me. The downhill kept me going but by now my time goal was gone and it was about fighting hard to avoid things getting too ugly.

Finally I had hit Boyleston Street and listening to the roaring crowd and taking note of the significant history gave me a final burst of energy and I was able to finish in 3:10 ticking off number 5 of the 6 Major medals & bringing me closer to the Abbott Medal.

Boston was abuzz afterwards & celebration drinks and a supersized burger were a must. Big congratulations to Julie Smith, Mel Au & Marcus Pain who all earned their medal that day!