Boston - One Year Ago

Anything on your mind that isn't about RLS/WED? It's nice to realize that there is life beyond this disease and have an opportunity to get to know our online family in a different context.
Rustsmith
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Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Rustsmith » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:45 am

I have mentioned in earlier posts that I am a runner. Well, next Monday morning I will be in Boston to join 36,000 other runners for a 26.2 mile party.

Last year was supposed to be my final trip to Boston for the marathon. I had been there four times earlier and had made it a goal to qualify for 2013 by more than 20 minutes after they changed to qualifying times and registration process to make it tougher to qualify. Well, I got my qualifying time in the my hometown and was 29 minutes under the qualifying time.
So, early on April 15 I joined 27,000 other runners in Hopkinton, MA anticipating my final Boston. It was a cool, clear day with temperatures in the low 50’s – great conditions for a marathon. At 10:20A, I started the race near the front of the second wave. My race went fairly well, except that I found that I was experiencing the symptoms of hyponatremia somewhere around Mile 17. I pushed on, like any other marathoner, and finished with a time of 3:50, good enough for requalification. Since I had been feeling bad, I asked to be taken to the Medical Tent just after I finished. The medical staff was great and provided me with the treatment to initially overcome the hyponatremia (warm chicken broth with lots of salt), lots of blankets and massage for my leg cramps. About 30 minutes later as I was nearing the point where they would release me, we heard a loud kaa-womph sound followed by a pressure surge. That was followed a few seconds later by a loud boom.
Everyone now knows what happened at that point. I was up walking to show the staff that I could walk on my own when the first bombing victims were brought in. Since I was recovered, the staff hurried to release me to make my bed available. Everything in the tent had become organized chaos. One other runner and I were released and were probably the last participants allowed to walk away from the finish line area. The first block had been cleared of people, but the tables of water and Gatorade were still there, along with lots of discarded paper cups on the street. There was an Armageddon feeling to the situation of being downtown in a major city with blowing trash on the street, sirens in the distance and absolutely no one around.
Once I made it back to my hotel, I found that voice cell phone service had been shut down due to fears of another bomb. I had text service, but with something like 15,000 runners trying to contact family and friends, the cell towers in the area were overloaded and I could only get about 20% of my messages to actually send.
That evening at 6PM (about 3 hrs later), there were TV trucks everywhere and Boston Common was still filled with lots of cold runners wrapped in space blankets trying to get back to their hotels. Several of the hotels were still under lock down and the subway system in the downtown area was still shut down. A number of the restaurants downtown started taking in runners and providing them meals with the request that if you can pay, please do and if you can’t, it’s on the house.
During the next two days, downtown Boston was shut down for normal business but TV trucks and cameras were everywhere. As we went about our business, every Boston resident we met made a point of asking “You are coming back next year aren’t you?”.
So, on Monday, April 21, 2014, I will be joining most of those same runners for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon. Boston is special to all runners and last year was supposed to be my last, but like every other runner I know who was there, I just could not pass up a chance to go back this year. Boston is like no other race and this year is going to be like no other Boston. I am expecting a 26.2 mile party that has a few very solemn moments and lots of tears interjected periodically during the day.
Steve

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Polar Bear
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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Polar Bear » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:13 pm

Oh my.... you made the hair stand on the back of my neck... and brought tears to my eyes.
I wish you and your fellow runners a wonderful day.
Betty
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ViewsAskew
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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby ViewsAskew » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:54 pm

Polar Bear wrote:Oh my.... you made the hair stand on the back of my neck... and brought tears to my eyes.
I wish you and your fellow runners a wonderful day.


Exactly the same here.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby badnights » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:48 am

Good luck tomorrow, Steve.

"How many of you can name the winner of last year’s men’s race? His name is Lelisa Desisa. He is from Ethiopia. He crossed the finish line two hours before the explosions. Two months after the race, Desisa returned his first-place medal to the city of Boston. He gave his Boston bib to a woman who lost her lower leg in one of the blasts. Desisa will run Monday to defend his laurel wreath." (Boston Globe)
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
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Rustsmith
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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Rustsmith » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:34 am

So here is the post race update. The crowds and the security were both like nothing that I have ever seen. The crowds at Boston are known to be some of the largest and most supportive out there. Well, this year they were twice as large as normal. For the last 7 miles the crowds were 6-7 deep on both sides of the course. I cannot tell you the number of times that people in the crowd yelled out "Thank you for coming" and "all of you are our heroes". I have never heard the crowd thanking the runners for being there.

As for security, there were the normal police that we see every year. Added to that were SWAT teams stationed periodically along the route and there were a large number of military police added to the mix as well. There were helicopters that frequently flew over the course that came from various government agencies. All of eastern Massachusetts was also under a heightened level of security, even those areas many miles away from the race course. It was definitely one of the safest places on the planet today.

As for my time, ... well I finished. It was my slowest marathon ever because the weather was quite a bit warmer than predicted (even at 7A today). I don't do well in distance races when it is warm and today was much too warm for my liking. Bit I had a great time, I got to see a number of friends and I got another Boston finisher medal to add to my collection.
Steve

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ViewsAskew
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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby ViewsAskew » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:12 am

YAY! I was thinking about you.

Was happy to see someone from the US take home the number one prize today, too, and a native Bostonian woman come in 7th. Must have felt incomparable to both of them, as it was to you and the others.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Sojourner » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:06 am

You Go Girl!
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Rustsmith
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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Rustsmith » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:35 pm

Views, my wife was watching the race live on the Boston TV. She said that Meb ran around dancing and joining the crowd cheering for a while until he realized that he had just run a marathon and was dead tired. Adrenaline can do wonders for a few minutes. :D

And Sojourner, your mistake is understandable since I am one of the limited number of men on the board with severe WED.
Steve

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Polar Bear
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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Polar Bear » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:03 pm

Well Done.... You should be very proud of yourself. :)
Betty
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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Sojourner » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:39 am

Rustsmith wrote:Views, my wife was watching the race live on the Boston TV. She said that Meb ran around dancing and joining the crowd cheering for a while until he realized that he had just run a marathon and was dead tired. Adrenaline can do wonders for a few minutes. :D

And Sojourner, your mistake is understandable since I am one of the limited number of men on the board with severe WED.



Duh! :oops: You da Man! What I really mean to say is, "You done good!" I ran 6 miles once. Probably the reason I walk with a limp and use a cane. :)
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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Rustsmith » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:33 am

I am bumping this thread back to the top because the 2016 Boston Marathon is being run today (well Monday, April 18 is almost today).

We have had many new members join the board since the time that I started this thread in April 2014, one year after the bombing. I realize that many of you may not be aware of the fact that I am almost as serious about competitive running as I am about helping my fellow RLSers. Therefore, you would not be aware of the fact that I was only about 100 yds away when the first bomb exploded and later had the good fortune to be able to talk with a number of individuals with more information about what occurred than was reported in the popular media.

So, please page up to the top of this thread and read through my thoughts of what happened that day as I prepared to retrace my steps one year later in 2014. Even now, the events of that day ranks it among the most important days of my life and the sadness it invokes for me makes it one that I will never completely recover from.

As a bit of an epilogue to the first note, I knew even before I left Boston in 2013 that injury was the only thing that would prevent my return in 2014. My memories of the 2014 race are almost the exact opposite of those in 2013. Everyone that I knew that was there in 2013 returned in 2014 just to prove that we would not be deterred. The people of the Boston area always go out of their way to welcome and encourage the runners, just as residents in many other cities of the world cheer for runners in their local marathons. But Boston is special to all runners and in 2014 we were all made to feel like Olympic champions. The streets were lined with twice as many people as normal (all 26.2 miles) and the cheering for the last 6 miles was like nothing I have ever heard, even during my previous trips to Boston. So, if you live in the Boston area and were there that day, thank you. On that day, there was no question about what was meant be "We are Boston Strong".
Steve

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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Polar Bear » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:35 am

Steve, I well remember you starting this thread and thank you for giving it a little 'bump'.
The experience of being in the vicinity of an explosion is one with which I am familiar.

For many years we would have heard the explosions in the near distance.

On one occasion in the City Centre during the winter of 1974 an area was 'declared security clear having been checked by security forces and sniffer dogs'. Having finished work and waited for about 3 hours behind the security cordon in the freezing rain I finally got to the bus stop hoping that a bus would be along soon. No cell phones in 1974. Standing at the bus stop there was an almighty explosiion from the store behind me and the glass was like a rain shower. By some miracle I was unharmed. I ran back to my office block but the Security had long gone. And certainly there would be no busses for who knew how long. The street lights were not working. It was very eerie. Then the jeeps and security arrived again.

I set off to walk home, no overcoat, I was dressed for the office. A work skirt suit and heels. The shoes soon came off and I carried them. Feet like ice and soaked to the skin - eventually a bus came along, not my bus but going in the general direction and it took a couple of miles off the journey. The driver wouldn't take my fare! At that time just newly married I lived way across the city from family so no point in phoning them as they wouldn't have been able to get across the city because of security cordons... well perhaps with a 30 - 40 mile circuitous detour. Living in a rented granny flat we had no landline of our own and cell phones were still a thing of the future so from a call box I rang our Landlord in the main house to pass word to my husband that I was safe, as it happened my husband was out cruising the streets looking for me having heard the news on the car radio on his way from work.

Eventually I got home, no lights on, it was the no light that did it. Adrenaline had led me home but I then sat on the door step, foundered and crying like a baby, mucous running off my chin. It was safe to cry because I'd made it home.

Into the apartment, a shower and a hot drink. Into work the next day as usual. That's just what we did.

What this very long post has been leading up to is that like Steve and the other athletes involved in the Boston Marathon .... We try not to let the bad guys win.... with their disruption, or worse.

Tenacity of spirit, determination, and a sense of respect for what is right.
Well done Steve, and all the other athletes who take part in the Boston Marathon.

And indeed for everyone who tries to do what is right in the face of 'the bad guys' (sorry can't just think of a better description at the moment)
however and wherever they may present themselves.

Sorry for this very long post.
Betty
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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby Rustsmith » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:20 am

Thanks PB, I have often wondered about your N. Ireland address and whether you had gotten caught up in any of that. During all of the travel that I did prior to retirement I got caught up in one of two minor incidents despite the efforts of my company's security department to keep us safe. The thing about this one was that it was so unexpected.

I should also add that it reinforced for me how incomplete the information is that the media reports on these incidents. In their quest to sensationalize the incident there was so much that was not reported. I know that some if it was probably at the request of the authorities for various legal reasons, but there were a number of facts about the incident and what the various forms of the press never really discussed. But that is also really a different sort of topic for discussion.
Steve

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Re: Boston - One Year Ago

Postby ViewsAskew » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:03 am

Hugs to both of you - and to anyone else who has persevered after such events. Thank you for sharing. Our humanity is built on the care and concern for others...and that only happens with trust, sharing and authenticity (or so I believe). Your stories help the rest of us in such an important way.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



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Boston Marathon

Postby Rustsmith » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:47 pm

Today is a day of great emotions for me because it marks the fourth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

It is a day of great sadness for me because I was just around the corner in the medical tent when the first bomb went off. I was close enough that I did not hear a boom, but was inside the compression wave so that I heard ka-womph and about a half second later felt the blast wave.

It is also a day of great joy, because I was very fortunate to be able to return the next year and help Boston "take back our race".

Last year I was busy on this day with my nephew's wedding, so I wasn't able to give the past much thought. But today the emotions have once again returned. After the bombing, they told us that we would all experience a form of PTSD, so I guess that it what I am feeling today and this day for several years to come.

For the newer members of this board who have not seen this thread before, take a look at the top message, which was written while I was in Boston the year after the bombing.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.


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