Easier than hunting game in Zimbabwe…

I would consider myself a rookie compared to many other guys and gals on this site, but I’ll tell my story as well. Boston was only my second marathon. I had qualified with my first 26.2 mile race, even though barely making it in after running a 3:09:50! But for Boston, I had set a goal of a sub-three hour race and had been training hard in order to achieve that target.

At that time, my future wife and I were engaged to be married a couple of weeks later, and we were meeting an old college roommate now living in the Boston area. I was still in school at the time, but was able to take a couple days off to make the trip. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to miss this race for anything!

We met up out in Medford (as poor college students, we couldn’t afford to stay in town), and my friend showed up with his co-worker, a veteran marathoner from Zimbabwe! It was so cool to meet him. He told me how back in Africa, he would eat a big dinner and then join other hunters who would basically go out and run all night after their following day’s supper (antelope, deer, etc.). They would race until the animal gave out, and they could butcher it. He said they would run close to 30 miles in a night without eating, and might bring only a small amount of water on the hunt. When I asked him if the Boston Marathon would be hard, he said it would be nothing compared to the hunting he had done in Zimbabwe!

Aaron Ford 8We were so pumped up when we headed out on race day.

Heeding some good advice, I brought along a plastic blowup pool float to lay on in Hopkinton as I waited for the race to begin. I then threw it away as I proceeded to the start. I started the first ten miles or so just rolling down the hills, while keeping my heart rate low. My friend and I had planned to pace each other, but he had some stomach issues and ended up dropping back around the halfway mark.

Around mile 15 we passed Team Hoyt! What an inspiration!

I took some advice from a few Boston veterans who told me there were three climbs in a row, but after that the course was downhill to the finish. I arrived at the hills feeling strong due to the mostly downhill course. I basically hammered up the hills, enjoying the effort.
Aaron Ford finishing
After that, I was able to negative split the last 5K, and reached Boylston Street on pure adrenaline! I eventually passed my new friend from Zimbabwe in the last half mile. At that point I felt like I could have chased down an antelope! I was able to finish my Boston Marathon in 2:58.

Even completing a full Ironman could not compare with this race! It was so awesome. I hope to go back again someday and experience it again (that is, all except for going down stairs backward for the next two days). I was grateful to be able to find my fiancee after a while and cannot imagine what runners in 2013 had to go through…

Aaron Ford finger

Aaron Ford
Booneville, Mississippi
April 19, 2010
Age – 27
Bib # 5382