First of all, yes, I didn't qualify for the race. I admire the people who can and do qualify. I think of the runner in the movie 'Spirit of the Marathon' who missed qualifying by a few minutes. He spent a lot of time and energy in training in order to put himself in that position. I wish I had the heart, dedication and talent to be able to do that.
But, the Boston Athletic Assocation reserves the right to invite others to run the race. Mostly this is done through charities but it is also done through sponsors of the event. And, this is how I was hoping to get my invitation.
You see, I am a friend of a friend of a friend who knows someone at the BAA. And, I asked my friend if he could get me an invite. Through e-mails, he has been trying for me. In the meantime, I have been training as if I would be participating.
Last week, I found out that the entries for the Boston marathon were closed. I sent my friend an e-mail saying, 'thanks for trying. I understand its closed. Maybe next year.' He sent an e-mail back, 'wait a minute. They should have your name.' He instructed me to give the BAA a call and ask them if they have my name.
So, last Thursday, I called. I told them I understand they might have a bib number for me. The answer back to me, 'so you want a bib number?' To which I replied, 'yes, I would like to run the race.' The voice on the phone replied, 'but I thought you wanted a bib number?' Puzzled, I replied, 'yes, a bib number so I can enter the race.' The voice said, 'so you want to run the race?' In truth, I still don't know what the difference is, but I said, 'yes, I would like to run the race with an official bib number.'
I mentioned the friend of the friend of the friend who got the e-mail stating my interest in the race. The voice took my phone number down and said, 'Let me get back to you.' Well, that was last Thursday. And, still no call back.
I am not an aggressive person by nature. It took a lot on my part to make the call in the first place. And, part of me is saying, 'just leave it and wait until next year.' But, my fear is there is a number waiting for me but it is lost in the shuffle some place. And, if I don't take it, and I ask next year then what if they went to a lot of trouble to get me the number this year and I didn't pick it up, how willing would they be to get me another number?
There is less than a month to go before the Boston marathon. I have already put in my 18 mile run this past weekend (3:19 with 2 stops at the car for a quick drink). SteveRunner asked me what's my Plan B? I don't have one. I don't know of any local marathons in the area except the New Jersey marathon but that's scheduled the same day as the Broad Street Run. I have toyed with the idea of the Cleveland marathon but I'm not sure if I want to put out the money to get there.
I feel like the geeky kid wanting to be invited to the cool party. I keep waiting by the phone.
(SteveRunner touches on the same subject on his Intervals 135B podcast. http://www.steverunner.com/ He talks about his invitation to the Boston marathon and makes some great points about this process. As stated above, I ran/walk 18 miles this past weekend and, surprisingly, felt great. I'm not sore at all. I forgot my gels so only ran with Gatorade as my fuel. And, had a consistent 11:01/mile pace throughout the run. I think running with new shoes definitely helped (I usually keep the same shoes throughout the summer and use them for the fall marathon), but low temps and humidity were a major 'good-feel' factor. Also, new question on the side that you are free to answer.)