Coping-mechanisms as we walked and cramped our way through the last few miles

As I slowly did my walk-run combo, with severe cramps in my calves and quads being so bad they would occasionally jolt me to an uncomfortable, albeit brief, stop altogether, I made my peace with my inevitably slow finish by soaking in my surroundings and talking with other runners clearly in the same boat.

Throughout the last mile, I was cramping hard and just hoping I wouldn’t be one of the handful of people in the last mile I watched get carted off on a stretcher. It’s hard to know how close you are to total body breakdown in situations like this, but I think I was pretty close. With the crowds screaming all around me though, I had no choice but to struggle on.

Ben Handrich
Salem, Oregon
April 16, 2019
Age – 32
Bib # 1500

Ben Handrich is a year-round recreational athlete whose activities primarily involve bicycles. However, he occasionally makes serious forays into long distance running, as this story of his at first stressful, then painful, 2019 Boston Marathon found on his website “Pedals, Packs, and Pinots” attests.