I decided 10 years had been long enough and besides if I ran Boston at age 40 it would be neat to run it at age 50. The first thing I had to do was get into marathon shape again. It had been almost 2 full years since my last marathon(my longest time ever between marathons) so I had some work to do. 1st item on the list was to pick a qualifying mararthon to run. I chose White Rock besause I was familiar with the course and it was in Dec. which would give me added recovery time before Boston. I felt like I could run good enough to qualify at White Rock.
An added bonus was that Jeff and Jessica had moved to Dallas earlier in October of that year and that gave added support at the race. Not much use in me trying to go into detail about the race because I just don't remember that much about it. I know it was cold(I cheated by looking at old photos). It's amazing to me that I can remember so much about other races but not anything about this one.
The one thing that stands out in this race is an episode I or we had with gloves. As I wrote earlier my my son-in-law Jeff and daughter Jessica had just recently moved to Dallas so they were at the race. This was Jeff's 1st marathon and 1st time to see me run so that was a another reason for me to run well. As always Mary was following me around the course, meeting me with water, gel, and at mile 20 flat coke or anything else I wood need. Somewhere between mi. 7(1st meeting) and mile 13(2nd meeting) my gloves had gotten soaking wet and I had thrown them away. As I approached Mary I was pointing at my hands like a dummy but not really telling them I wanted another pair of gloves. By the time they realized what I wanted I was past them and wasn't going to stop and go back even though I knew my hands were going to be freezing around the lake.
A few seconds after I passed them I heard someone running very fast coming up behind me. My 1st thought was that someone had forgotten how far this race was or that it was a relay runner trying to make up some time in a hurry. I then heard my name being yelled very loud and turned and looked behind me. Here comes Jeff in all out sprint bring me my extra pair of gloves. Everyone got a kick out of it because my 1st words were to Jeff to be careful and not hurt himself. What I remember ids Jeff giving it everything he had just to make sure my hands did not get too cold. You just don't forget gestures like that!!!!!
Needless to say I did finish the race and qualified for the 2000 Boston. It was one of my better finishes ever in White Rock. Also back in those days of downtown finishes your family pretty much got to you as soon as you croosed the finish line. This made for one my all time favorite race photos of Mary, Jessica, Jeff, and I in the sportphoto pose-very neat! My clock time was 2:58:54 which probably back then was my official time. I think Boston 2000 was my 1st chip race(still have the chip).
I had done the hard part so all that was left was ntering Boston , training, and getting there. Nothing to it, right! That winter and spring was probably some of the best racing and training I have ever done. I also had another reason to look forward to Boston. I was a veteran of the race-I had done this before-no more intimidation for me-yea right. Next week: The Race!