with less than 3 hours of sleep i woke up at 7am to get ready to go see the women's olympic trial marathon along the charles river. my godmother's son alex was supposed to show up at my place around 7:30. with the race about to start (8am) i called his cellphone with no answer. hurriedly i changed into warmer clothes and motorcycled down to kendall square, where i parked and walked to memorial drive along the charles river.
161 of the best american female marathon runners gathered in boston this morning. the first three winners will receive a cash prize as well as a shot at some medals in the summer olympics in beijing in august. marathon runners are the closest thing we have to superhumans. they push the limits of human endurance, tapping into some secret ability of our savannah dwelling ancestors. although a small percentage of the population could probably run 26 miles, it'd take them 5+ hours. the women competing today are the elite class of these special humans; not only do they have the endurance to run 26 miles non-stop, they also possess the speed to make that distance in record time. the sustained pace of their jog is probably faster than my sprint. i struggle to even come below a 10 minute mile, while these ladies are running less than 6 minute per mile.
their circuit involved a 2 mile loop within the city then a triple dose of a 6 mile loop around a stretch of memorial drive along the charles river. that's where i was, watching the spectacle. successful marathon runners have a specific body type: skinny and muscular, and it doesn't hurt to be tall either for that longer stride. something about the training though that seems to wreck havoc with the aging process: while some older runners look much younger than they should, many younger runners looked way older than their actual age. it's not uncommon to see somebody that might look like a well-maintained grandmother who's actually in their 30's.
alex did finally show up after i directed him to where i was watching the marathon. he never did explain why he didn't show up this morning and i didn't bother asking (figured he didn't charge up his cellphone alarm clock). he was their to test out his new nikon lens, a 28-70mm f2.8 AF-S. i let him try out my canon 70-300mm so he can get a sense of the power of telephoto for event photography. after the runners made their last loop before returning to the finish back in boston, alex and i parted ways, with a tentative agreement to meet up for the big boston marathon tomorrow, time to be determined.
in the early evening i went over to my parents' place for dinner. i had some time to kill beforehand so i went into the yard to dig out some dandelions that were starting to show their yellow flowers. after dinner i felt lethargic, and decided to head back to cambridge early before it got dark and cold. a colorful sunset was transforming behind me. when i finally got back home, i took some photos.
earlier i watched the red sox pull another come from behind final innings victory against the texas rangers. even though i was tired, i got sucked into watching the celtics playoff game against the atlanta hawks (c's win, natch). with the bruins hot as well, it's a great time to be a boston sports fan. almost makes me forget about the patriots debacle. almost.