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Vision Quest Boston

Posted By: Bradley Cordts on 08/31/2011

Welcome Pilgrims to my big Canadian adventure for my last chance to qualify for Boston.  My 16 year consecutive streak is in jeopardy. After being stuck in Japan for 39 days before the marathon in Mach and April this year and working crazy hours for the Navy after the earthquake, I missed the Boston 2012 qualifier for runners with ten consecutive years of finishes by 37 seconds. I didn't realize while I was running that they grandfathered in the 59 second grace period for 2012 only.  I keep telling myself that if I had only known!  It was a perfect day at Boston with a world best time, and I needed it. 

I tried to reload at the Vermont Marathon at the end of May. I got through 16 on pace, but the rapid increase in temperature and my subpar shape took its toll and I dropped.  I reloaded for a July 4th marathon in Portland, Oregon. Once again, it was cool in the morning but the open road and bright sun on their hottest day did me in.  I made it to 20 before I caved this time. But it was ugly as I limped in at 3:39. The only joy was seeing wife Christine and brother Bob on the course offering encouragement.  My nephew Sammy ran the last 400 meters with me and we finished together. It is one of my favorite finisher photos despite the obvious agony.
I decided to head for Canada to run Edmonton on August 21. Of course, the weather is predicted to prefect until race day. It has not been above 70 degrees all week, and on Sunday it is supposed to be 83!  We start at 7:30 a.m. which is 8:30 a.m. CST. It should be mid 50sat the start.  My trip here has already been eventful. Out of hundreds of folks on the plane, I was one of two whose bags went to the wrong city. It was the bad attitude lady at the United Continental desk in Memphis who I am sure messed my bag up. She was a very annoying lady with a bad attitude.  Christine is coming from Atlanta and has a back up pair of shoes for me.  I am off to Running Room Edmonton to see if I can find a pair like the ones I planned on doing the marathon in. I also will be doing a Timmy as I will have to likely wear glasses instead of contacts, but I usually wear sunglasses so I am sure I will get by. 
The race is measured in kilometers so I need to average 5:00.00 per K for 3:30:59.  I have plotted a goal of 4:53 for the first 30K with a 5:13 last 12K fade.  I want to try to hit half in 1:42:45 which is much slower than I have been going out. The last two I started in 1:38.  I have to dial it back and push at the middle and the end. <br></br>

As one of fewer than 500 runners with a current streak of ten years or more, I get to special register if I qualify using the minimum time. Others have to run 20 minutes better than base qualifying time, which this year is 3:30:59 so they have to run 3:10.  Next year, there is no 59 second grace period, and they move the time up by five minutes, so my time would have to be 3:25 flat and the early non-ten year time will be 3:05 flat. It hurts even thinking about it.  I received a special communique this week from the BAA that told me that on Monday, August 22, 2011, I will receive a secret code that will allow me, assuming I qualify, to register first with the 500 brothers and sisters of the Ten Years Straight Club. This special registration will begin on 29 August. <br></br>

I started chasing Boston in the fall of 1995 at Twin Cities. I easily beat three hours on my first try back in my young days.  I have always taken the qualifier for granted, even post ablation heart surgery in 2008.  Now the challenge is on.  I kind of like the back to wall, time running out with one shot left to make the playoffs, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid against the entire Bolivian Army pressure.  You either win or go down in a hail of bullets....

more to come <i>Bradley Cordts, a.k.a. Boston B.

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