Boston (UK) Marathon – 17.4.17

Race report by Dave Phillips.

Another early start as I left the house at 0500 hrs today to get to Boston by 0730 for the 0900 hrs start of the full and half. About 700 runners turned out for the half (300) and 400 in the full starting in the lovely town centre of Boston. The HQ was at Boston college where there was loads of parking and as I got there early I parked 10 yards from the finish line. Good start there.

That recent cold wind accompanied us throughout the event and at times it was so cold that hat, gloves and waterproof came out of my back pack and I was thankful for them. The 1st half was almost entirely into the wind but at least the course was dead flat. In fact the only hill were the kerb stones on the road sides. But what a bore of a course. No trees, hedges, houses, farms, animals, pubs, shops, traffic, people (except superb marshals). In fact no nothing but what made it a mind blowing killer was that you could see the fields for literally miles in every direction and all were dead flat. I reckon we saw Holland at one point!.

We could call this the Plastic Marathon as most of the huge fields (many single fields over 100 acres were covered in plastic and polythene to protect the crops growing beneath. The other huge fields had been ploughed and the spuds were in or full of cabbages with the appropriate smell. No hedges at all so as far as the eye could see it was non-stop plastic for half the course. Never have I been on such a lonely, desolate, pretty boring and sole less marathon-except last year at Boston of course.

Plus my left heel was playing up (plantar fasciitis again) so it was a race walk marathon for me trying to keep the left foot off the ground-not easy. Bodes well for London next week and the 4 fulls in May!

So eventually after an eternity Boston College loomed large and with 600 yards to go I put a spurt on to beat the chap I’d been dragging round for 18 miles. Medal, T shirt, plastic water carrier bottle + goodies made it worthwhile.

However you’ve heard nowt yet so here we go.

My lucky number must be 17.

I ran the Boston USA marathon on 17/04/2000. So that’s 17 years ago and also on the 17 th April. Last year I was the 1st person (in the world) to have run both the UK and USA Bostons (it was the UK’s first marathon) and was also on 17th April. Still the 1st and always will be I guess!

Then this year it was run today the 17/4 and that’s where I was.

This week in the London marathon it will be my 17th year with the Brain and Spine Foundation charity and this week I achieved fundraising goal for them with £100,000 over 17 years.

Spooky or what but wait for this. Today was my 476th full marathon. So what you say? Well 4+7+6 = 17!

So I’m like a 17 year old kid again-see you for 17 hill reps on Wed then. OK?

Finally it was great to see the 3 Massey runners doing the half-well done all.

 Marathon time:

Dave Phillips 6hrs 4 mins (not quite last)-but not 17 behind me unfortunately.