Saturday, March 31, 2007

Japanese star to pitch at Fenway

Former long-distance runner Toshihiko Seko will throw out the first pitch on Sunday, April 15 at Fenway Park.

Toshihiko Seko captured two Boston Marathon titles – 1981, 1987. He returns to Boston this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the latter, when he pulled away from former world-record holder Steve Jones in the final miles.

Source: B.A.A.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Clowning around before the Marathon

The Big Apple Circus will return to the Boston Marathon Pre-Race Dinner holding mini performances under the Big Top tent. The pasta dinner - hosted by the Boston Athletic Association and the City of Boston is free to all Boston Marathon participants. More than 10,000 runners are expected to join Mayor Tom Menino at City Hall Plaza on Sunday, April 15th from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Big Apple Circus is in town from March 31st through May 6th, performing at the City Hall Plaza. For more information, please visit


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Highlights from the Deena Kastor Boston Marathon teleconference

John Powers (Boston Globe): Hi, Deena. I wonder if -- this is the Boston debut for you. What induced you to run the race this year and what role, if any, does the World Marathon majors play now in how you select your races?

Deena Kastor: Yes. I guess every time I have a goal of running a marathon, the goal itself seems to dictate which races I run. I, for so long, wanted to break the 2:20 barrier and other spring marathons, the London Marathon being the other World Marathon major held in the springtime seemed a better choice to be able to give myself the opportunity to break the 2:20 barrier.But Boston has always been in the heart and soul of probably every marathoner out there. It seems that it's the icon in this sport, the race that everybody strives to get qualifiers for, to be a part of. So it's always been in the back of my mind. And this year after -- after last year breaking the 2:20 barrier it seemed very easy to choose -- to choose Boston this year and in hopes of trying to win that.

Larry Eder (Running Network): A quick question for you. The downhill at Boston, did you have to add certain workouts, did Terence (Deena's coach) and you discuss certain workouts just to give you a good feel for that?

Deena Kastor: We have been training -- I mean we live in the mountains in Mammoth Lakes, California, and it's -- our whole team is able to prepare, no matter what their races are coming up, be able to prepare for specifics of uphills and downhills and getting in the pounding of a downhill when your legs are tired in the middle of a long run. So we've definitely incorporated that into our training.

Larry Eder: Okay, and can I just ask you another quick question? You were talking about kind of your basic training schedule, where you have a couple long runs each week and then is it one hill and one speed workout a week?

Deena Kastor: We incorporate hills into tempo runs -- into our tempo runs as well as our long runs, and then the rest of the week we have short interval sessions and then longer interval sessions on another day. So we get a whole buffet of workouts.

Operator: Our next question comes from Jim Gerweck from Running Times.

Jim Gerweck: Hey, Deena, just wondering how much -- this is sort of following up on Larry's question -- how much specificity of training you've done for the Boston course and how much study of the hills, the ups and downs and where they come and how that's played into your training and your strategy for the race?

Deena Kastor: Yeah. I will emphasize that we did train specifically with this course in mind and not just in hopes to run fast and persevere over this course, but to also recover well afterwards from it. We've done 21-mile runs that -- that maybe six of those miles were uphill and followed by a few miles of downhill running. We've been trying to get in downhill pavement running to pound -- pounding the legs a little bit.

So the fact that we've been doing these -- these runs, also and tempo runs, 12-mile tempo runs with two miles uphill and the last two miles downhill. So all-in-all I've recovered exceptionally well from all of these workouts and being able to come back a couple days later to be able to do another hard workout.So we have gave gotten in the hill work. I feel very confident. I've always felt confident on hills, but more so now that we've run them on pavement with this specific course in mind. Trying to put them in, put the hills in the workouts at points where I'm already feeling a bit fatigued and trying to run strong over them. So I feel good, I've definitely done some visualizing out there when we're out on our Green Church Road, doing tempo runs, but visualizing myself on the Boston course itself.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hoyts to miss Boston Marathon

One of the most familiar and beloved sights of the Boston Marathon will be missing this year.

Dick and Rick Hoyt, the father and son team, will not be making the trek from Hopkinton to Boston.

The younger Rick, who was born with cerebral palsy, was recently diagnosed with cellulitis, a skin infection that can be very dangerous if not treated promptly. He will have surgery today and because of the recovery time, he won't be ready to race on April 16.

The Hoyts have missed just one other Boston Marathon since 1981 and also compete in about 30 other races every year.

They hope to resume racing later this summer and plan to be back for next year's marathon.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bid now!

Ever wonder what Boston Marathon items are up for auction on ebay?Stop wondering, start shopping! You can own a Boston Marathon cow bell, posters, a puzzle, Marathon Monday Red Sox tix and more. Good luck!

Monday, March 26, 2007


Going "cold turkey" was the only way Francisco Rodriguez could quit smoking when he abandoned his habit of two packs of cigarettes a day. Reflecting a change in lifestyle, he started running and has barely stopped since.

The 56-year-old Vice President of the Bank of New York completes 10 to 12 marathons a year and will run his 150th marathon this year at Boston. The Madrid-born Rodriguez has finished marathons in every state and is looking to enter his ninth consecutive Boston Marathon. The route from Hopkinton to Boston has always been one of his favorites, and for his big anniversary run it had to be a special marathon.

Source: B.A.A.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Outta this World

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams will be running the Boston Marathon in space.

The Needham-native will be running the race on a treadmill on board the International Space Station (ISS) while her sister Dina Pandya runs the actual course on earth. Williams qualified for Boston at last year's Houston Marathon clocking a time of 3:29:57.

The B.A.A is sending her a bib number and runner's medal via a NASA shuttle up to the space station.

Source: B.A.A.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Attention Cape Ann residents

If you're running the 111th Boston Marathon on April 16, The Gloucester Times wants to hear from you.

The Gloucester Times is looking to speak with Cape Ann residents who will compete in the race. The paper wants to hear your stories about why you're running, whether or not you have a time goal, what you're doing to prepare for the race, and how the overall experience will be for you.

Please e-mail Sports Editor Steve Maniaci at, or staff writer Dan Guttenplan at with your name and contact information.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Smaht. Wicked Smaht.

Harvard University professor of Anthropology Daniel E. Lieberman will hold a free lecture titled "Why Humans Run: the Biology and Evolution of Marathon Running: on April 12th at 6 p.m. at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge.

"This April, over 20,000 runners will participate in Boston Marathon, a remarkable showcase of the best endurance athletes in the world. Humans are "born to run," but why are we so unique among mammals in this ability. Lieberman explores the idea that evolution helped shape the human body, in part to perform well in long-distance running. Such athleticism may have been an integral part of early human hunting or scavenging behaviors, and although no longer necessary for our survival, still persists as a legacy of our evolutionary history," the HMNH website states.


Harvard Museum of Natural History


Source: BAA


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Grand Marshal

No name is more synonymous with the Boston Marathon than Johnny Kelley. John A. Kelley, the elder, won the race in 1935 and 1945, and competed on 61 occasions. John J. Kelley (no relation), the younger, finished second five times, winning his lone Boston Marathon title 50 years ago, on April 20, 1957. The younger Kelley also linked several generations of Boston legends. After being mentored by John A. Kelley, he guided Amby Burfoot to the 1968 Boston crown; Burfoot, in turn, inspired his college roommate, Bill Rodgers, who went on to win four Boston Marathons. John J. Kelley returns this year in the role of Grand Marshal, and will ride the course in a convertible. Kelley will then run the final stretch of Boylston Street, through a ceremonial break-tape at the finish line.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Boston Marathon Banners

Today Bill Rodgers, four-time winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons, climbed aboard a cherry picker to unveil the 111th Boston Marathon banners. The event, which traditionally welcomes spring and unofficially kicks off marathon activities, took place at the Boston Marathon finish line in Copley Square.

The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the most prestigious road racing events in the world. John Hancock Financial Services is celebrating the 21st year of its sponsorship of the race, which takes place on Monday, April 16, 2007.

"It's always an honor to raise the John Hancock banners," Bill Rodgers said. "When people see the banners in March, there is a buzz that moves through the city since everyone knows the Marathon is right around the corner. I believe a lot of Bostonians and die-hard running fans are counting down the days until Marathon Monday."

John Hancock provides hundreds of banners, which will be hung throughout the city in the coming days to celebrate the race and the achievements of the athletes. The colorfully designed banners will add a welcomed sign of spring to the streets of Boston.

"This is always an exciting time of year," Guy Morse, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association, said. "The hanging of the Boston Marathon banners is a harbinger of spring as everyone's attention turns toward race day."

A Massachusetts local, Rodgers has raced competitively in the top echelon of his sport for more than a quarter century. The two American records he set at Boston in 1975 (2:09:55) and 1979 (2:09:27) remain among the fastest times ever run. In the history of the race only Rodgers and two other men, Clarence DeMar and Gerard Cote, have been crowned champion four or more times. Ranked the number one marathon runner in the world by Track & Field News three times during his career, Rodgers won Boston in 1975 and then was a three-peat winner from 1978-80.

In 1999, Runners World ranked him the number 10 world marathoner of the century, and he was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame and the National Distance Running Hall of Fame. In 1998 and 2000, USA Track and Field ranked him the number one runner in his age division (50-54). In 2001, he finished first in the 50-59 division at the B.A.A. Half Marathon. Rodgers has set 13 masters road records since he turned 40 and continues to run about 25 races a year with impressive results.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Think about Utah

Despite suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, a Utah man plans to run in next month's Boston Marathon.

Bob Marshall learned last fall that the muscle spasms in his upper chest were linked to the disease known as ALS. It's a degenerative condition of the nervous system with no cure. But despite the disease, Marshall plans to be at the starting line of the 26 mile race. His wife also has her own story. So far, she's survived non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, despite being told she had hours or days to live when it was diagnosed in early 1990. She has had 64 chemotherapy treatments.The couple's 5 children good naturedly nicknamed their parents "Team Terminal."

Source: The Associated Press.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Attention all cars! Attention all cars!

This just in from the Ashland Police department...

Boston Marathon
Monday, April 16

Local roads will close earlier and reopen earlier than years past:

Hopkinton 7:30am (close) - 11:30am (open)
Ashland 7:30am (close) - 1:00pm (open)
Framingham 8:45am (close) - 1:30pm (open)
Natick 8:45am (close) - 2:00pm (open)
Wellesley 8:45am (close) - 2:30pm (open)
Newton 9:00am (close) - 3:30pm (open)
Brookline 9:30am (close) - 4:30pm (open)
Boston Variable (close) - 6:00pm (open)

All road closure and reopening times are estimates. Police and Public Safety Officers will make the final determination


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Boston Marathon Quiz

The first Boston Marathon started in _____________.

a) Boston
b) Ashland
c) Framingham
d) Concord

Check the comments section for answer.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Aerial Tour of the Boston Marathon

Friday, March 16, 2007

Welcome to the AORTA SNOB MONTH

Aorta snob month? My favorite anagram of "Boston Marathon."

MA NOON TROT BASH is truly the best one and it worked for a good hundred years 'til the BAA had to go and change the start time from noon to ten. honestly, thank you baa.

Try the anagram generator:

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Quote of the day

“Get going. Get up and walk if you have to, but finish the damned race.”
- Ron Hill to Jerome Drayton during the 1970 Boston Marathon


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Elite Field Announced for Boston Marathon

In its 22nd year as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock announced its elite team of 25 marathon runners from eight countries today, including American Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor, defending champions Rita Jeptoo and Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya and past champion Hailu Negussie of Ethiopia.

Defending champion Cheruiyot broke the course record last year and is ready for a rematch with 2006 runner-up Benjamin Maiyo and 2005 champion Negussie. Cheruiyot is also the points leader in the World Marathon Majors Series and won the Chicago Marathon this past fall, earning the distinction as the only man to have ever won both marathons in the same year. Negussie returns as only the second Ethiopian man to win in Boston, and he is highly motivated to gain back the title.

Maiyo has finished runner-up in three big races: Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, and is ready to stand atop the podium.Chasing the trio is a talented pack led by 2:06 marathoner Robert Cheboror, the 2004 Boston runner-up; Philip Manyim, the 2005 Berlin Marathon champion and Stephen Kiogora, the 2006 New York City runner-up.

Also challenging for the title are four men with key marathon wins in 2006: James Kwambai, the Beijing and Brescia champion; Ruggero Pertile, the Padova winner; Teferi Wodajo, the Cologne champion and Hosea Rotich, the Nairobi winner and course record holder. Added to the mix are 2005 Zurich winner Stanley Leleito, the 2005 Marathon of Italy champion Stephen Biwott, Moroccan stand-out Mohammed El Hattab, and rising talent Tekeste Kebede of Ethiopia. Making his debut is Samuel Ndereba, the 2006 BAA Boston Half Marathon champion and brother of four-time women’s winner Catherine Ndereba.

On the women’s side, the top three ranked women in the world are part of the John Hancock Elite Team and will compete for the win. Olympian and American Record Holder Deena Kastor will face defending champion Rita Jeptoo and last year’s runner-up Jelena Prokopcuka. The talent of the women’s field is undisputed as seven of the top ten women set their personal best times in 2006 and are in peak form.

Kastor leads the charge and comes into the race having run the fastest marathon in the world last year. She earned the #1 ranking by Track & Field News for her unstoppable 2:19:36 win in London, where she also improved her existing American record. Best known for her inspirational bronze medal performance in the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon, Kastor is also a multiple American record holder on the roads and track. With roots in the Boston area, Kastor should prove to be a crowd favorite.

The #2 ranked woman in the world, Olympian Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia, brings strong credentials as the points leader in the World Marathon Majors Series and as the winner of the New York City Marathon the past two years.

Rita Jeptoo, ranked #3, is the defending Boston Marathon champion and will not give up her title easily. After her win last year, Jeptoo ran the fourth fastest 20K of all time and then went on to finish a strong fourth in New York City.



Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Hope you enjoy the following Boston Marathon podcasts compliments of our friends at Runner's World. You'll find tips, stories and more from Amby Burfoot, Boston winner in 1968, Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray, and Jack Fultz, winner of the 1976 Boston Marathon.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Boston Marathon Forecast - Believe It or Not!

It's time for The Old Farmer's Almanac weather forecast!

Based in Dublin, New Hampshire, "The Old Farmer's Almanac has published useful information for people in all walks of life: tide tables for those who live near the ocean; sunrise tables and planting charts for those who live on the farm; recipes for those who live in the kitchen; and forecasts for those who don't like the question of weather left up in the air."

So here's the super-extended forecast for the third week in April.
The Boston Marathon is Monday, April 16.

April 2007

Avg. Temperature: 53° (1° above avg.)
Precipitation: 3" (0.5" below avg.)

Apr. 1-7: T-storms; warm, then cool
Apr. 8-14: Cool, showers
Apr. 15-22: Sunny, very warm
Apr. 23-25: T-storms; cool north, warm south
Apr. 26-30: Sunny, warm

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Final Word on Bandits

Boston is different. The bandit is a special part of Boston Marathon history. Roberta Gibb, the first woman to run Boston, was a bandit. I believe current race director Dave McGillivray ran as a bandit when he was about 16. There’s a history of thousands who ran the course when it was a tiny little race, before it became THE BOSTON MARATHON. When the marathon was on life support and not too many people cared about it, the bandits were there. And yeah, they helped it become THE BOSTON MARATHON.

Bandits in Boston are OK with me. Come one, come all and experience the best marathon in the world.

Hal Higdon writes in Boston: A Century of Running: “Furthest back are the “bandits,” the unnumbered runners who lack official qualifying status. This lumpenproleteriat is tolerated by the BAA even though they have not contributed an entry fee. The lot of the bandits is not easy, since they will have been granted neither transportation nor access to the gym. Bandits rarely existed back in the 1960s when anyone could enter for a $1 fee, raised only reluctantly at the end of the decade to $2. Nevertheless, bandits have become an integral part of what makes the BAA Marathon a great race. “ Spectators lining the course do not discriminate between numbered and unnumbered runners in offering their applause,” concedes race director Guy Morse (Morse is now the executive director of the Boston Marathon.)


Saturday, March 10, 2007

El bandito, Part 2

There are two sides ( maybe more) to every story. Here's a letter AGAINST bandits. What do you think? I'll chime in tomorrow.

Have a great long run tomorrow. Only a few more weeks before Marathon Monday.

Barry Klein's letter ("Bandits good for Marathon," April 24, pg. 6) justifies the intrusion of illegal, non-fee-paying runners in the Boston Marathon (hence the term, "bandit") by pointing out that while volunteering is great, there is no better feeling than when you cross the marathon finish line. I agree that this must be a great feeling, but I have to object to the disrespectful manner in which Klein challenges an earlier letter by Kate Ramey ("Bandits bad for marathon," April 22, pg. 16), who correctly points out the harm that bandits cause to qualified runners in the marathon.

Klein essentially ignores the entire point of Ramey's letter by assuming without justification that the Boston Marathon officially allows bandits to run. If Klein had checked the Boston Athletic Association's Frequently Asked Questions website before writing his letter, he would have realized that bandits are in fact prohibited from running. The site reads, "I will never be able to qualify. Can I run the race as an unofficial or 'bandit' runner, or is there any other way I could officially enter?" The answer? "No, please do not run if you have not officially entered in the race.

Race amenities along the course and at the finish, such as fluids, medical care and traffic safety, are provided based on the number of official entrants. Any addition to this by way of unofficial participants adversely affects the ability to ensure a safe race for everyone. The BAA makes a limited number of non-qualified entries available to local charities for fundraising purposes. If you have not qualified and want to participate, this may be an option for you. See our list of official 2004 Boston Marathon charities." This is exactly the assertion that Ramey makes in her letter, and Klein should have done his homework before contradicting her on such a basic point.

As far as Klein's "advertising" theory goes, race resources are finite and the more bandits who take Gatorade, Powerbars and space blankets, the fewer resources are available for the qualified runners who paid for those resources. When my friend ran the Boston Half-Marathon, by the time she reached the Franklin Park Zoo, there was no Gatorade left, whether or not Gatorade wanted more "advertising" for the runners. While this was probably a mistake on the BAA's part, not the fault of bandits, the fact remains that when Gatorade runs out, there is none left for legitimate race participants. Qualified runners paid for these resources through their race fees, and it is wrong for bandits to take their resources without paying for them.

Klein concludes by asking what is holding Ramey back from running as a bandit in the Boston Marathon. Clearly it is the fact that she is a person of good conscience who has respect for the runners that qualify for and pay to participate in the Boston Marathon.

Timothy J. Manion

Friday, March 09, 2007

El bandito, Part 1

Here are two letters I found online in response to a piece written about Boston Marathon bandits. The original article ("Bandits bad for marathon") appeared in The Daily Free Press, The Independent Newspaper at Boston University.

I'll post the letter FOR bandits today and AGAINST bandits tomorrow. Love to hear your thoughts--leave a message in the comments section below.

After reading the letter "Bandits bad for marathon," (April 22, pg. 16) I have to disagree. I've run two New York City marathons and the experience has been great. The New York Marathon does not allow bandits.

The only way for non-competitive runners to compete is through a lottery. Volunteering is great, but it doesn't compare to the feeling of personal satisfaction you gain when you step across the finish line. There's nothing like the feeling of knowing that you ran more on marathon day than most people drove.

The author of "Bandits bad for marathon," Kate Ramey, mentions that she has been a longtime runner and has dreamed about running the Boston Marathon. I say go for it! What's holding you back? I think it's great that Boston allows bandits to join in the fun of running a marathon. It allows recreational runners (like the author) who have long dreamed of running a big city marathon to do so without having to worry about qualifying or winning a lottery.

As for your argument that bandits take resources away from other runners, it just doesn't make sense. Gatorade, PowerBar and other sponsors are there to raise awareness and promote their products. Many of their customers are recreational runners. Therefore, the more runners, the more advertising.

In addition, bandits don't affect the qualified entrants. Start areas are designed to separate the competitive runners from the rest of the field. In your conclusion, you mention, "I just wanted to let students know that there are at least a few reasons to cheer participants from the course sidelines rather than actually run the marathon."

There are reasons to cheer from the sidelines (inadequate training, fear of injury, desire to energize struggling runners, etc.), but they have nothing to do with shortages of Gatorade or space blankets. I suggest the author of this letter spend less time harping on the downsides of bandit running and join in the fun.

Barry Klein

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A few laughs from the 2006 Boston Marathon

Comedian Niecy Nash gives encouraging words -- and some champagne -- to Boston Marathon Runners.

P.S. - Be patient. Could take a long time to load. It's video from The Tonight Show.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Quote of the Day

To the spectators, it's a freak show with legs; to the legitimate runners, it's a test of speed and endurance; and to the exhibitionists, it's a chance to be a screwball before a ready-made gallery.
-- Will Cloney


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Find your pace for the Boston Marathon

A posting from the Runner's World Forum:

Boston Marathon pacing spreadsheet

Note: may take some time to load

The elevation profile page includes all the pacing information for every mile on the elevation chart (pace, total elapsed time, time of day), plus it shows your 5K and half marathon splits. If needed, this page can now be used as a spectator guide. Be sure to fully expand the page when you open it in order to see the required tabs at the bottom of the page.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Shop Til You Drop

NEW Boston Marathon merchandise from Adidas. Click here

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Who is Henry Wilson?

Today I ran the marathon course from Hopkinton to Boston College (mile 22). On the side of the course in Natick, a small wooden structure about the size of a shed, caught my eye. It was on the left hand side of the road and I could only make out a few words on the front of the cottage – Henry Wilson and Vice President. I had to know more…

Henry Wilson (February 16, 1812November 22, 1875) was a Senator from Massachusetts and the eighteenth Vice President of the United States under Ulysses S. Grant. Wilson was born Jeremiah Jones Colbath in Farmington, New Hampshire.

In 1833 he had his name legally changed by the legislature to Henry Wilson. He was adopted by a man with the last name Wilson when the Colbath family of twelve could not support itself. Henry Wilson moved to Natick, Massachusetts in 1833 and became a shoemaker.

And what about the shed? It was The Henry Wilson Shoe Shop, located on the corner of West Central and Mill Streets.

The structure is an example of what is called a “ten-footer.” Many homes had these small shops or ells where piecework on shoes was done.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Boston Marthon Training Video

He's going the distance, he's going for speed...


Friday, March 02, 2007

Did you know...

Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray created the Walpole State Prison Yard Runners Club, the first USA Track & Field sanctioned running club inside a maximum security institution.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Boston Marathon Tips from Motor City

Today I'll let one of the pros show you how to get from Hopkinton to Boston.
Doug Kurtis won the Master's Division in '94 so read on...

A survivor's guide for the Boston marathon
February 28, 2007

Once a month, Windsor's Running Factory has a social run. It's an opportunity to run as a group and drink a few Canadian beers afterward. On last week's run, a number of runners who were preparing for the Boston Marathon asked for advice on how to prepare for the oldest marathon in the world.

With just seven weeks before Patriot's Day, let me offer a few suggestions to improve your race for Boston or other hilly marathons.

• Find some hills and run what I call stepladders. Run a quarter of the way up and down, then halfway up and down and so on. Treat it the same as doing a speed workout. Three or four sets should work depending on the size of the hill.

• Mark Bauman, who owns a running store in Flint, has run Boston 37 times. He suggests bringing plenty of Bodyglide and sunscreen to the start. "When the race started at noon, sunburn was likely on just the right shoulder, as the course runs east most of the way. With this year's earlier start time, runners should be prepared for a more overall tan."

• Bring a wide-mouth Gatorade container into the start corrals for those who can't get to a portable toilet.

• Run a smart race by using your head, not your emotions. The runners and the crowds get your adrenaline going, but they can push you to run too fast. Ask yourself at each mile mark: Am I running relaxed?

• Often the elite athletes run their best times by running faster over the second half of the course -- what we call a negative split. The second half is the toughest part of the course, but by taking it easy in the first half, runners find they can better handle the Newton and Heartbreak hills. Running easier over the fastest part of the course will also reduce the burning sensation in your quadriceps as you run downhill over the last several miles.

• Three buses will carry runners to the start from downtown Boston. They have bathrooms on board and will stay near the starting area until you are ready to depart. To hook up with them, call Bauman's Running and Walking Shop Center: 810-238-5981.

Because of the way the course is laid out, no other marathon beat me up physically as much as Boston. But it's a fast course if you run it properly. I won the master's division in 1994, at age 42, with my best time in 11 tries -- 2:15:47.

Contact DOUG KURTIS at Detroit Free Press, 600 W. Fort St., Detroit 48226 or