Week 12 – The Plan

Thanks to all that got back to me, we now have a plan with a couple of question marks in it. There’s a lot of information in here so read through, correct any misinterpretations I have,  and ask any questions…

THE CARS: We’ll bring 5 cars to Hopkinton, but we have 6 cars to choose from. The final count will determine which ones we take. The options are Sue (seats 8), Barry (5), Liz (5), Dave (5), Ginny (8), and Gen (4). If we need the extra seats we’ll take Ginny’s car instead of one of the others, if we don’t need the seats we’ll let her family use their car. Right now I count about 24 people making the trip plus a few maybes. I haven’t turned anyone away, so if you asked to come we should be able to accommodate you.

THE DRIVERS: This year we have 3 dedicated drivers (Liz, Barry, and Gen’s husband Nate). We have several partial route runners that will keep the other two cars rolling along (Catherine, Ginny, Jim, Lois, Nancy, Sue). Drivers, e-mail me your cell-phone numbers, I’ll make a list so we can communicate along the course. A cell-phone will be assigned to a car in case one of the partial route drivers gets separated from their belongings.

THE WATERSTOPS: Each car will get a map of the route and the assigned duty of the car: lead car at odd stops, trail car at odd stops, lead car at even stops, trail car at even stops, and wandering assistance vehicle. The odd stop cars will be responsible for stops 1, 3, 5, and the finish.The even stop cars will be responsible for 2, 4, and 6. The lead car is responsible for being at the stop for the lead runners, the trail car stay at the water stop until the last runner has come through. During the latter parts of the run, the lead car will need to be at the stop before the first runners come in, stay until the trail car arrives, and then head out to the next stop. Don’t assume smooth sailing to the next water stop, traffic builds up due to all the runners on the road. The 5th car will be available to check on runners along the way and pick up the slack if the runners get so spread out that we have troubles covering all the necessary waterstops.

GETTING READY: A tip for first time marathoners, use this run as a training run and a test drive for marathon day. Saturday eat what you plan to eat the day before your marathon. Sunday Morning eat as you would marathon day (although with Boston’s start time that timing won’t be the same).  Plan to wear the same shorts and shirt you plan on using on marathon day, and sock and running shoes for that matter. You may wear layers over it, but at least you’ll have the same layer touching your skin as you plan on having on the big day. This way if the meal upsets your stomach, or a seam irritates your skin, you can learn that this Sunday instead of when it matters most.

PACKING YOUR BAGS: The run will start with cold temperatures around freezing. The end of the run will likely be much warmer. Dress in layers as you will be discarding clothing at waterstops along the way. Don’t rely on those clothes being available at the finish line however. You may finish well before the water stop cars all gather at Boston College, or a car may inadvertently head back to Melrose with your discarded clothes in it. Pack a bag with some warm clothes, money, and a hearty post run snack. There are no facilities at the finish, however coffee shop bathrooms across the street can be used to change, and buy coffee.

GETTING READY TO GO: Cars should be at Brueggers at 6:45. Runners show up before 7AM. Each car will have a packet, with information on which role it will execute during the day. Runners can ride to Hopkinton in whatever car they want, but choose the car you put your bags in based on your pace. Fastest runners put your bags in the lead odd stop car. This will be the first car at the finish. Mid-pack runners put your stuff in the lead even stop car or trail odd stop car. Slowest runners put your stuff in either trail or the 5th car. We want to make sure your bags are at Boston College when you are.

THE TRIP: Again, we’re leaving at 7AM sharp. The ride to Hopkinton will take just under one hour. When we get off the highway in Hopkinton we’ll stop briefly at the first gas station on the right for a bathroom break. There’s a bathroom across the street if the line’s too long. From there we’ll head right to the starting line and take a group picture at the start and send you on your way.

THE RUN: Know the course (pretty much a straight line) because if you get lost we’ll have no way to find you… and you’re far from home. If you do think you’re lost, head back to the last spot you were sure you were on the course and wait, we’ll come back to find you. Also, remember this run is a training run, it is not the Boston Marathon. There are no medals at the end for finishing, we’re not publishing any results, so don’t push yourself beyond your limits on this one. Get your 22 miles in, learn from the course, and go from there. Don’t hurt yourself trying to do something crazy, save that for the marathon. If you haven’t run this before, the start of the run will be just us and a few other runners along the way. After the half way point you’ll see many runners along the way, running in both directions, training for the big day. Enjoy the experience, look around, and have fun!

AFTER THE RUN: 22 miles later you’ll wind up at St Ignatius Church at Boston College. Actually this is slightly less than 22, those with a Garmin and the need to make it officially 22 miles can turn right here and follow the road to Alumni Stadium and back to ensure that they got their 22 miles in. The group will gather on the grass in front of the church. Make sure you check in with one of the drivers when you finish, we’ll be counting heads. Typically, if the weather is nice we all hang out there until everyone finishes. If the weather is bad however the lead odd car will take the first carload of runners home before they get too cold. Otherwise know, you will be driven back to Melrose when the group is ready to leave so don’t make other plans that require you to be anywhere before 2PM.

BACK TO MELROSE: Typically we are back to Melrose by 2PM, and sometimes we go out for a little celebration to kick off the Boston Marathon taper. Last year we went to the Dockside in Wakefield. This year, I don’t know what we’ll do (I don’t plan this part of the day) but keep your ears open if you’re interested.

LOST ITEMS: Once you get home you’ll realize you left clothes in random cars along the way. Car drivers should put items left in their car in the water stop bins and bring them to the Tuesday Night run. Runners should show up on Tuesday Night to collect their stuff… otherwise I’ll wash it and it’ll become mine if it fits and its not girlie.

That’s all the things I can think about. Or at least all the things I’ve considered in planning this run. Again, if you have any questions, ask them so I can add them to my list of things to plan.

Ready? We’re almost there!

18 Responses to “Week 12 – The Plan”

  1. Nancy says:

    I think you thought of everything, Jim. I would suggest that everyone put a name tag on their bag.

  2. Judi Chiavetta says:

    Thanks for coordinating Jim! Thanks to all who are driving and allowing stinky runners in their cars. I will wear extra deodorant:) Let the fun begin:)

  3. Catherine Kane says:

    Hi, it does look like you thought of everything, Jim! I need to be home about noon so I was planning to meet at Breugger’s and take anyone up who needs a ride, drive to Hopkinton, run 10 miles or so (probably further up the course) and can brig back anyone who needs to leave early. I have to work at 7 that night but I wish I could hang out with everyone after! Is that OK?

  4. Mike Urquiola says:

    If the lead car is traveling west at 25mph, and the lead runners overtake the back runners at 2min/mile. What if we arrive at BC at the same time a train from Chicago is loaded with live stock and travels SSW at an average speed of 35 mpn, indersects a plague of locasts invading a Ohio farm. What would we do in that case?

  5. Sue Clough says:

    Mike, TOO funny. I don’t know about the locasts, but in past years, we have seen runners with bright green vests on running the opposite direction than us, that we refer to as the green flys..

  6. Okay, up until reading Jim’s very thorough plan and everyones great comments, I was getting really nervous about this run. Now I know for sure it will be long, but fun. I did a very stupid thing yesterday- I drove
    the route. Only because I have a very bad sense of direction (as most of you have noticed). Yes, its a long, long run. And I think I saw that
    train from Chicago in Framingham!

  7. Jim says:

    Mike, that is precisely what the 5th support car is for but I thought I would confuse everyone if I spelled it out.

  8. Melisa says:

    Thanks! You are really on your game. Looking forward to meeting everyone Sunday.

  9. Dave Hayes says:

    Any thoughts about after run? I thought Dockside was nice and low-key last year. I was hoping to host something, but I’m about to buy a house and would rather wait just a bit and invite you all there! (Location Undisclosed at this time) One more thought – Lord Wakefield allows Take Out food, or in this case, Take In – we could get pizza or Chinese or whatnot and play Billiards and PacMan. The bar is open for all our beverage and hydration needs. Any other ideas?

  10. Jennifer Rapaport says:

    Dave- what about the chinese buffett at that place across from REI in Reading? That place rocks and has a lot more to offer than Dockside….the scratch-ticket, hamburger place in the middle of nowhere. Jen

  11. Katie Sinnott says:

    Thanks for coordinating it all Jim! And thanks Mike for a great problem I will give to all my students today. I am sure they will thank you for it! See you all Sunday morning – bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

  12. Dave Hayes says:

    Jim, thanks very much for all the logistic work.

    Jen, Mandarin sounds good to me! They have these “dry cooked’ beans that are really great, and especially after a run, I bet. Anyone else have thoughts on afterward?

  13. Barry Cossette says:

    Jim, you deserve a raise! Thank you for all the important and useful information.
    Dave, Jen. I’m in for any place to celebrate afterwards. I’ll just follow along like a lost puppy.

  14. Lois Parker Carmona says:

    i’m already hankering for a burger… (says the one who isn’t running the full 22 miles but will refuel as if she did).

    i can’t wait to get out there! gonna be a great day on Sunday.

    jim doesn’t get paid… how can we get him a raise?

  15. Dave Hayes says:

    Upgrade his Snickers from Fun Size to Regular?

  16. Nick Lamberti says:

    Hi Guys!

    Since I am on this side of the world & since I do not want to wake my wife up at 6:30 to drive me out, plan to park at BC & run out to Wellesley then back to BC with you guys. I am sure some one will catch me from the first group!

    Hope to see you there!

  17. Jim says:

    When planning the post run meal, remember to appeal to a group that may be very hungry, very dehydrated, exhausted, and a little nauseous.

    Online and Offline suggestions so far:

    Bring take out to Lord Wakefield
    Chinese buffet
    Mexico Lindo

    Any other suggestions? I was thinking Bobby C’s but they don’t do lunch menu on Sundays 🙁

    Take the time you’re running your 22 miles to make up your mind, we can decide after the run.

    That’s all from me on the subject, I have running stuff to organize.

  18. Joe Terranova says:

    Just want to give kudos to Jim and all the volunteers. Runners, this is such a great way to gauge your Boston readiness. I am both sorry and disappointed that I cannot be a part of this tomorrow. At least it will be drier than last year’s excursion.

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