For many of us, kicking off the new year means setting new goals – in fitness, life or even in the workplace. In the running world, it is an opportunity to focus on new races, taking down personal records and challenging yourself both physically and mentally.
With the flip of the calendar to 2016, January 1st means 108 days until the 120th running of the most prestigious road race of them all – the Boston Marathon.
I had my first taste of Boston last April. I’ve done a number of marathons in the past – Chicago in ’10 and Philly four times – but there was something different about my experience last spring in Beantown. While it wasn’t the fastest I’ve covered the 26.2 distance, it is certainly the race I am most proud of. I still recall every step of the race like it was yesterday.
The jittery nerves as we sat underneath the tents of the Athlete’s Village trying to stay warm and dry. The stressful realization of the daunting task ahead. The surprisingly calming effect of the starting gun. Finding a rhythm early on. The blaring cheers as we blasted through Wellesley. The sting in the legs as we churned up the Newton Hills and conquered Heartbreak. The quick dissent into the heart of Boston. The Citgo sign. The right turn onto Hereford St. and the final left onto Boylston St. The stadium like roar as we muscled through the final quarter mile. The release as we crossed the finish line…
I wax poetic because it is so darn special.
There is only one Boston.
As I gear up to tackle my second Boston Marathon, there will be many challenges ahead, but none that have not been overcome before – the brutal winter weather, the daily grind of mileage, and the always elusive work/life/running balance. As the buildup begins, I invite you to follow along and join me on my journey to Boylston.
Craig Segal, Co-Owner of Runner’s High-Freehold has been running since his days as a youth navigating the trails at Holmdel Park. He competed at the prep level at Holmdel High School and moved on to run for Villanova University before competing for Monmouth University as a graduate student. Since graduation, he can be found on the roads, racing anything from the 5k to the marathon. He holds a half marathon best of 1:08:20 and a marathon personal record of 2:25:09. Most recently he was the top New Jersey finisher at the 2015 Boston Marathon. He is admittedly a running shoe geek.