Sarah Moquin Post Race Recap

Our Marathon blogger Sarah Moquin gives us the post race recap from a HOT HOT HOT Marathon Monday.  She may have ended up in the hospital, but she raised some good money her charity, the American Liver Foundation!  Thanks Sarah!  Nice work!


Well, I think it’s safe to say that Monday April 16, 2012 is a day I won’t ever forget.  The weather had been dominating my thoughts the week prior to the race, and on Friday when it was apparent we’d be dealing with near record temps, I finally came to terms with it and started thinking about my new race plan.  A slower pace than I had originally hoped for, and of course extra hydration was going to be key.

When my race day alarm went off at 4:05 AM I jumped out of bed to get dressed and was at the Westin in Copley square by 5:00, ready to get taped up and meet my team for breakfast before the buses took us out to Hopkinton.  There is something magic about Marathon Monday, and there was an added buzz as we all tried to reassure each other that we’d be fine out there in the predicted 80+ degree heat.  We were fortunate enough to find a little corner of shade in athlete’s village, but we were still feeling the heat. After a few hours it was finally time to head to the start line and we were all a little nervous at how much we were already sweating, but after five months of training taking the deferment wasn’t even a thought.

I first started to realize something was wrong around mile 5 when I started to get dizzy going uphill. I immediately started walking and reminded myself that time was not a concern.  I lost track of the teammates I was running with, but I knew that taking a break to walk was more important.  By mile 10 Jameel, my training partner, and I were both struggling, so we settled on a walk/jog we knew would be sustainable. We ran under every garden hose, and took ice from every spectator offering it. It is true what they say about the fans at the Boston Marathon- best in the world!  At the 12 mile marker however, we both knew that something was wrong. I made it within about 20 yards of the water stop before I crumpled to the ground and started vomiting.

I had just made it to the halfway marker in Wellesley- 13.1 miles- when again I succumbed to the oppressive heat and  felt myself dropping to the ground.  This time it was taking me longer to recover, and I had also attracted the attention of race officials.  After a brief roadside battle, I begrudgingly got in the van to take me to the next medical aid tent. The paramedics tried to make me feel better by telling me that they had taken care of one of the elite women earlier, and giving me the current temperature- 88 degrees.  Before I quite realized what was happening, an ambulance had arrived and I was on my way to Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

To say that I am disappointed in the way the day played out would be an understatement. I really would have preferred a finisher’s medal to the hospital bracelet I ended up with.  However now that I’ve had some space, I realize that there was simply nothing I could have done to prepare myself for those temperatures.  I also look at the fact that I raised over $4,100 for liver research, which is why I set out to do this in the first place. I had an amazing training season with an incredibly supportive team, including Jameel, who not only stuck with me running, but he also sacrifice any shot he had at finishing by coming to the hospital with me and calling my family to tell them what I couldn’t.

In addition to a supportive team, I’ve had support from my incredible family, my friends, co-workers and the wonderful folks at Bayside Runner, who advised me on everything from sneakers to sports bras. I couldn’t have even made it to the start without all these people behind me, so THANK YOU!

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