Race4Chase and the Boston Midnight Bike
While the Race4Chase Boston Marathon Team was tucked warm in the beds awaiting the alarm clock summons to the Hopkinton start line, some Race4Chase supporters strapped on their helmets, flashlights and donned their reflector vests and took part in the Boston Marathon Midnight Bike Ride. Rebecca Kowalski (see insert below), Nicholas and Jonathan Pleva and Kevin Grimes made their way from Hopkinton to the finish line at Boylston along the runners course. They joined over 1000 other cyclists, some with very creative costumes and custom bikes, on an adventure over dimly lit roads and chilly but deserted streets. It was an enthusiastic group who congregated on Boylston at 3 am to get their photos in front of the finish line sign.
“Last year Paul Wahlberg told me about the Boston Marathon Bike Ride and how you road the same marathon route that the runner do. I was totally up for the bike ride…of course….assuming it would be on Tuesday after the marathon, during the day. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong! The unsanctioned bike ride was at midnight the day of the marathon. I was apprehensive at best but interested! As time got closer and it was becoming more real, I jumped in with both pedals, but not clipped in and ready to rock and roll yet. As we had our brunch at Alma’s, my nerves were starting to get the best of me, and I stated as much…”Holy Cow, I’m nervous. We had a little rest after dinner with the Jacob family and then the Pleva’s and I headed out to meet up with Kevin. He had started at the finish line and pedaled to the start line to meet up with myself, Jon and his 12 year old son Nicholas to start our 26.2 mile journey. The journey was nerve racking at first, but, as I pedaled the first few miles, I grew more and more confident. So much so, I was speeding down hills and cranking up Heartbreak Hill with little to not much effort, thanks to my tri training coach Tom from Thrive. As we got into the city streets of Boston, I caught up with another cyclist who had a lighted disco ball glistening on the streets and blasting my favorite disco music through the very quiet city streets of Boston. As I took the turn onto Hereford Street, I recognized the spot where our tent would be that day and smiled because I could finally appreciate the distance our runners had done last year and what our new runners were about to take on. With just the last few meters to go, I have to say I was so proud of what I had just accomplished. A little disappointed because we were not able to actually cross the finish line but the experience is one I will never forget and hope to be able to experience it again and again. What I knew in my heart was that Chase was with us the whole 26.2, just like he would be with our runners in a few more hours. Chase kept us safe from pothole monsters and, later, it was confirmed when I found out this first ride of mine was done on the 8th anniversary of this event. See even when you’re not looking for the signs but feel their presence, you can still get validation when you least expect it.