Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blogston part one. the trials.

A quick caveat - all of my pics are still on the camera, so this post will be updated later with picturey goodness.

We arrived in Boston on Saturday, totally stoked to watch my sister-in-law Johanna run the trials on Sunday. The first order of business was checking in to the hotel, going for a walk, and hoping like hell I'd hear someone say "Pahk the cah." I love the Bostonian accent!

Johanna crashed early, so her boyfriend & I found the greatest bar in the known universe. If you're ever in Boston, go directly to Bukowski's on Dalton Street. They had an amazingt beer selection & the best rock music I've ever heard in a bar.

Sunday morning dawned gloriously with a light wind, no clouds (it was supposed to rain) and a temp in the low 50s. The women's trials course consisted of a quick 2.2 mile loop through Back Bay, followed by four 6 mile loops, each of which crossed the Charles River.

You can read the results here, but I'd rather blog about the atmosphere. About 75% of the course was lined with spectators. Actually, spectators is the wrong word. Crazy, rabid fans is more like it. Areas of the route were stacked 2 or 3 people deep & damn near everyone had a cowbell. The volume of the cheering was nuts...I bet they could hear us in New Hampshire. On the first lap, the runners looked genuinely surprised at the turn out. Johanna reported running with goosebumps at times due to the overwhelming crown enthusiasm.

The course sort of clover-leafed around, so we could see our favorite runners anywhere from 2-4 times per lap. I bet there are some cool helicopter shots of the mob dashing from point to point.

As the last lap started, we bolted for the finish line. The bleachers at the finish were insane...my ears were ringing for hours after the race. As Deena Kastor came down Boylston, the energy went up dramatically. The only thing I can compare the volume to is Weezer concert at First Ave. You know your hearing is being damaged, but it rocks so hard, you just don't care.

The coolest part was, it didn't get much quieter after Deena won. We stayed in the bleachers until well after the 50th place finisher came in, and people were still freaking out. The crowd around the jumbotron was 20 or more deep, watching footage of runners still on the course.

I've heard that Boston is a sports-crazy town. I assumed that craziness was limited to the Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox, Revolution, Boston Marathon & maybe some local minor league stuff. Never in a million years did I think that many people would watch the women's Olympic trials, at 8:00 in the morning on a Sunday. My hat is off to that town.

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