I woke up on Friday 7/20 with the intention of running ~27 miles to Waltham, Massachusetts. The following day would be an ‘easy’ ~15 miles along the Charles River and through downtown Boston before finally arriving at Castle Island in South Boston, the best/closest beach to Boston I could find. Easier said than done. After about 10 miles, I realized how frustrating it would feel to stop short in mid afternoon so close to my goal. Running 40+ miles was something I had done numerous times on my journey and stopping at 27 miles just seemed wrong and a bit silly. The weather was also perfect.
|Saturday’s planned 15m run –
too tempting not to do on a nice Friday.
I took a break and a breath and called relatives and friends who were expecting me to finish the next morning. No one had any issue with me ‘going for it’ and most actually had been betting that I would. I posted a short note on my blog and in a few other places and then was off running on some of the more scary roads of my trip. The roads had originally been built along cow paths. The road side vegetation was over grown and I found myself running through a green tunnel with no shoulders and blind corners. And as my cousin Harold explained – the belt-lines around the city dumped more traffic on the old roads than they could really handle. The miles were limited though and slowly more and more sidewalks appeared. Near Maynard a police officer asked me if my name was Seth and then said my cousin was about a half mile away. A few bends later and I met my cousin Patience for the first time ever. Some local kids were there as well as a reporter from the local paper. We chatted for a few, did a fun jump, and then I was off running with some home made cookies and fresh strawberries. A few miles later and I met my cousin Thad, Patience’s husband, for possibly the first time ever. This run has definitely reconnected me with relatives!
When I reached my originally stopping point of Waltham, I was more than happy to join the Charles River bike path. And a few miles later my cousin Harold and sister Robin, came into view on bicycles as they pedaled west in search of me. Company! Family!
|On the Charles near the BU bridge|
And that is how we finished. The run along the Charles river was very scenic, some parts I had run a couple years ago when I visited Boston for work, it was neat to recognize some of the sites. We hit downtown and the Boston Commons.
|Last stretch along the Charles|
There were so many people we had to walk, but soon enough we were moving again. The last mile was pretty urban with rough bike lanes and busy traffic. I’d like to say I was overcome with emotion, but really I was focused on the traffic patterns and making sure we were taking the right streets. After a few more turns, we were suddenly there. A few friends were at the ‘finish’ cheering me on, a few hugs later and I was running into the water. There was something bitter sweet about diving under the surface. But mostly sweet.
|Erin, Robin, Amy and her son.|
It was a great journey. A big thanks to everyone who helped me out along the way, both from a distance and while I was on the road. It made the journey not only more possible, but a lot more enjoyable. I’ve been working on updating the “Thanks” page. The Dana Farber goal was exceeded, I managed to raise $2,070. The Sherpa Schooling Fund is at $1,360. I’ll leave the schooling fund donation link active for a little while longer. I wish I had invested a little more time in the fundraising aspect. Maybe next time.
Which brings up the question I keep getting asked. What’s next? I don’t really know but I am open to ideas. For now, I’m busy packing for a long trail run in the Cascades. The start is tomorrow at 6:30am. Wish me luck.