By Dr. Robert Weiss
The Boston Marathon is one of the world’s greatest sporting events. It is far more punishing then the Olympic Marathon. The elite field has been announced for the 2012 Boston Marathon taking place on Monday, April 16 (Patriot’s Day).
As a veteran of 35 marathons, 19 of them being Boston Marathons, I’ve always found it to be the “granddaddy” of all marathons.
Marathon day goes something like this: Everyone boards buses the morning of the race bound for the small village of Hopkinton (the starting point of the race). A cannon sends the runners off the Hopkinton green at a minute past noon. All runners try to maintain a steady pace through the towns of Ashland (3 miles), Framingham (6 miles), Natick (10.5 miles), Wellesley (12 miles) where hundreds of college students cheer runners on.
It’s all been quite flat up until this point and the mind starts thinking of the famous Newton hill—Heartbreak Hill. It’s the 19-mile mark. I recall one year when a young child handed me his Coke and the sugar absorbed quickly took me out of a state of mild hypoglycemia.
At this point (20 miles out), it is where most runners “hit the wall.” It now becomes a struggle between an exhausted body and a yet undefeated spirit. Coming up the final hill you can hear the loudspeaker announcing that it is all downhill from here on.
Continuing on Beacon Street, you make your way through Brookline (23 miles) to Kenmore Square, then on to Boylston Street turning the corner where thousands jam the streets in front of The Prudential Center. Here is the finish line, a most spectacular sight.
Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathons and has a practice in Darien: The Foot & Ankle Institute of Darien For more information, visit www.therunningdoctor.net.