*Pic of me at the finish in this post. Or scroll to the end without reading. Whatever works…
After crossing the finish line of my PW (personal worst) marathon, I could only think of lying down, having been nauseous the majority of the race. I eyed the medical tent to my right, but quickly noted the line of athletes pouring out of the entrance. Most in wheelchairs. Probably not worth it, since they would likely hook me up to an IV or some sort of nonsense and all I really wanted was to paint a psychedelic rainbow.
Through the runner’s chute, I stopped often, needing to sit for a bit before moving on. Pathetic, I know. But, hey, I was going to do what I needed to feel even a titch better. Every time I stopped, or slowed, a medical volunteer approached and asked if I was okay. I was mostly honest and told them I was just nauseous and lightheaded. When I would sit down, they asked me about visiting the medical tent, which I quickly shut down. I knew what I needed. A little privacy and a technicolor yawn, but they gave me a biohazard bag and a 5 minute time limit nonetheless. After 5 minutes, and warned me that they would take me to the medical tent. I eyed my watch, and methodically moved on when the time limit approached. At one of my stops, I saw a guy collapse. A runner just standing there, talking to a spectator. Gosh it was hot….
I finally had enough sense to ask one of the meds for her phone so I could call the boy and tell him I was okay but it might be awhile before I made my way to the family meeting area. He seemed worried. I hung up.
Gradually, I made my way to receive my medal, the heat blanket (which served no purpose), and my food bag. Next stop, port-a-potties. I probably don’t need to go into too much detail about how I took advantage of that empty, private space. But I can assure you that I felt better when leaving. I could actually make it to the bus to pick up my check bag without stopping. Next stop, family meeting area.
I began walking toward the A’s, as that is where the boy, family and I decided to meet after the race. As I was making my way, a couple of volunteers approached me and asked if I was Rebekah. Yes, a bit disoriented. Your family is waiting for you over here, they said, as they directed me to my left. There was the boy. The sweetest sight I had seen since 6:45am when I saw him last. Okay, okay, not to mention the couple of times I saw him during the race, but this was different…
A big hug and then lots of banter about how I ran my PW, and how hot it was, and how nauseous I was, and lightheaded, and how they weren’t getting any text updates after the halfway point, and they didn’t know where I was, and my dad and brother were checking the medical tents, and thank goodness I finally got a round trip meal ticket (if you know what I mean).
We rounded up the family and made our way back to the hotel. During which, I found out about the heat (86 as a high and 90 as the heat index) and the elites who collapsed. Or pulled out of the race. I guess they didn’t feel as much pressure as I did to finish.
PS-Next up: Fun stuff and fun pics about our time in Boston AFTER the marathon! And NO reference to Barffalo Bill at all!