The Lifeguard Is Not
The Lifeguard collected his bib number--25058--at the Fitness Expo. The game was on; and, after months of training, and countless miles on the road (usually behind the wheel of his car), The Lifeguard was prepared for his inevitable success in the 116th running of the Boston Marathon.
With the weathermen forecasting unseasonably hot temperatures (and the BAA suggesting that all but the most elite athletes defer), The Lifeguard began to consider that his marathon dreams might be postponed until the 2013 edition. Still, The Lifeguard was holding out hope for the race (in spite of 70 degree temperatures at 7:00am).
The Lifeguard arrived at the Boston Common, prepared to board the bus to Hopkinton, and the start of the marathon. There, among the hordes of smelly bums (and coffeed-up runners), The Lifeguard ran into his muse--his inspiration--for the race. Annie R., whom The Lifeguard had met on a flight to Boston several weeks ago, gave The Lifeguard the encouragement that he needed to lube up with BodyGlide and follow the herd of humanity into the corrals for the start of the marathon.
At this point, The Lifeguard had made two important decisions. First, to grab a few bananas and a bottle of water for the first 5k. Second, The Lifeguard decided that posting to facebook (during the race) would actually be pretty useful (in the event that The Lifeguard succumbed to heat or sweaty female runners).
On a hot day--the temperatures were approaching 85 at the start of the third wave--hydration was a pivotal strategy. Consequently, The Lifeguard happily grabbed the offered water, Gatorade, and the occasional handful of ice. Additionally, at Mile 4, The Lifeguard gratefully accepted an icy cold Coors Light (when the mountains are blue, you know it's cold), a vodka martini (shaken, not stirred, at Mile 7), and a Jell-o shot (at Mile 9). This additional hydration served The Lifeguard well, not only for the numbing effects of the alcohol; but, for the comic value, as well.
The Lifeguard noted the frustration of being passed by a woman wearing a singlet that said, "Stroke Survivor"; and, by a man with a prosthetic limb. The dismay as he read one Panama City License Plate after another. The shock as a woman shit herself, then (somehow) shed her shit-filled underwear and dropped them on the course (hardly missing a stride). [At no time, did The Lifeguard's friend, Annie shit herself.] Men and women ducked into Porta-Johns, or the bushes, to relieve themselves. Elite runners dropped in the heat. The Lifeguard, however, continued his quest for excellence. (Or, at least mediocrity.)
Along the way, The Lifeguard made some new friends--Alexis, a Coast Guard chief--kept him company for about three miles. She was a pretty amazing woman, who was suffering the effects of the heat; but, still smiling as we trudged toward Boston. Sadly, we were separated about Mile Jell-o shot. (Alexis, The Lifeguard thanks you again for your service to our country.) Then, there was Kelli, an amazing young woman (from Northeastern University), who was hanging with The Lifeguard until about Mile Holy Shit It's Hot Out Here. Finally, there was a group of men from the Army and Coast Guard who recharged their batteries at the fountain that is The Lifeguard's awesomeness. (Of course, The Lifeguard is especially grateful for their service, as they keep America safe and free...so that The Lifeguard can keep posting to this blog.)
The best part of the race, however, was Wellesley College, which The Lifeguard was forced to run past six or seven times. (Wellesley women line up along the route, seeking kisses from passing runners.) In the course of a mere 60 minutes, The Lifeguard kissed a woman from France, an astrophysics chick, an Oregonian, a Swedish woman, and about 15 other flavours. Sadly, the threesome in the bushes was cut short by The Lifeguard's need to get back onto the course. [Ladies, feel free to contact The Lifeguard at your earliest convenience.]
As The Lifeguard approached Heartbreak Hill, he knew that he was going to make it his bitch. Slowing down to a more manageable pace, The Lifeguard climbed the hill, then lengthened his stride as he ran the final miles to the finish.
At Mile 24, The Lifeguard (who had had a pretty easy time of it, compared to some others) had a moment of doubt--reasons to quit the race--which was pushed from his mind in an instant. He continued, forging ahead, to the finish.
Sure, completing the Boston Marathon in 7:08.34 is pretty awful; but, it was brutally hot, and The Lifeguard had to slow down so as to text, post, or call his legions of fans.
Oh, and if you really want to make a difference, kindly donate to The Lifeguard's charity, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. You may do so by going here.