" Running is for life, fitness and just keeping your head on your shoulders"
John D Parks
Boston at Fifty
At the young age of 46 years I ran my first Marathon, Valley Harvest Marathon in Nova Scotia, a time of 3:59:31. I had set a goal of 4hrs. Each year since I have run a Marathon, I decided that to celebrate my 5Oth Birthday I wanted to run Boston. At Marathon by the Sea in Saint John NB, I qualified at the age of 49. I turned 50 in December.
The next spring I would run Boston. I started to train in October of 2002. In December I had pneumonia, but started to train again in January. I felt I was behind in my training. I was back in the grove fast and runnning well. Then I slipped on ice and injured my leg. My physiotherapist first told me no running for 5 weeks. He then sent me to the Aquatic centre to run in the pool. I did this faithfully.
I made it. I hit the road again three
weeks before the Marathon. Felt good and strong. I headed for Boston with
my wife and friends. We arrived at our Hotel. I was excited. On race day
I went to downtown Boston and caught the bus. I sat with a women from
USA, she showed me a paper that family had signed and told her they would
think of her at each mile. I then showed her a paper I
We arrived at athlete village in Hoptington at 830am. and sat in the tent and relaxed until noon. I hit the start line at 1145 for the beginning of this adventure of mine. I was in awe of the crowds of people. Eight thousand in front of me and twelve thousand behind me. The gun fires and we are off.
At mile three my thighs were aching. Oh no.
I kept running. A friend at home was tracking me and reporting by cell
phone to my wife telling her I was on schedule. I felt good for awhile.
I was in awe at the crowds of people. Especially the kids wanting to high
five and pass out orange halves. I took too much water. I went over
the Newton Hills without too much trouble. Finding them less than what I
expected. Heading down into Boston I was still on time. at KM forty I
was hurting bad and hitting the wall. The crowds of people were
overwhelming. Finally I turned onto Boylston St. The end was near. I
crossed the finish line. I did not see my wife and friends, they saw me.
My wife knew I was in bad shape. I had ran hard. Not enough to qualify
but I made it. Race support gave me water, food and a blanket along with
my medal. WOW. I have a Boston Medal. I then found my way down the
What an exciting time. An accomplishment of life. Since then I have ran a 3:13 and plan on running Boston in 2005.
Running is for life, fitness and just keeping your head on your shoulders.
John Parks, Saint John, NB. August 2004
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