Henry runs for Runwell, whose mission is "To provide addiction recovery solutions through funding existing treatment scholarship programs along the continuum of care. By engaging individuals in sporting events worldwide we foster a healthy lifestyle and begin to break down perceptions of those struggling with the disease." To help support Henry in his venture, please go to: https://runwell.donorpages.com/4DesertsPatagonia/HenryWard3/
My goal yesterday was to run roughly a marathon with Henry starting and ending in Wellesley (to Hopkinton and back). When Henry first scheduled this event for April Fools Day, I was a little worried at what the joke might be. As luck (or who ever is in charge of the April fools jokes) would have it, we ended up with 35 degree pouring rain starting mid Friday and going straight through Saturday.
After a quick cup of coffee / breakfast sandwich during my drive, I found myself parked near the intersection of 16 and 135 in Wellesley at 4am. Henry started at 2am in Boston with a couple other runners and all of them were in great spirits when I found them. With basically no traffic at this time of day we ran down the middle of road; first into Natick (where we picked up Brian), and then into Framingham. It didn't take long until I was completely water logged.
The first 5 miles went well, but shortly after I started to get a chill and it only got worse. The conditions were nuts. There was so much water on the road it was impossible to go around anything. We were ankle deep at times. Just before we left Framingham, I had to stop to tie my shoe. Getting my soaking wet mitten back on was painful and it was only the beginning.
We (Brian and I) arrived at the start line in Hopkinton and met up with a few others. Henry arrived a few minutes later. After a token picture, we headed back out.
|Pic Compliments of Rich Morrissey|
At this point I was shivering uncontrollably. In a feeble attempt to gain some warmth, I took off down the road at a pace no person running a hundred miles would ever run. The shivering never got better, so I told the others that I had to keep going. About three miles later, I told Brian I was going to need him to drive me back to my car and lucky for me he obliged.
At mile 21.5 (for me), we got back to Brian's car, jumped in, and jacked the heat to full blast. I literally cannot remember the last time that I was that cold. About 20 minutes later I was back in my car and a half hour after that in a steaming hot shower which finally got my core temperature back under control.
To say I botched my clothing is probably an understatement. For future reference, below is what I wore and probably should have worn.
- Breathable Running Mittens
- Compression Shirt
- Running Jacket
- Racing Compression Tights
- Hat (Baseball cap style)
Should have Worn:
- Goretex Mittens
- Compression Shirt and dry fit long sleeve over it
- Rain jacket
- Thick Running Tights
- Hat (Baseball cap style)
Shortly after I left, the others synced back up with Henry and kept him company until the Newton Firehouse (mile 43ish for Henry) where his next posse arrived. Henry went on to run 3 full Boston Marathons (Boston - Hopkinton - Boston- Hopkinton) before mother nature got the best of him. At this point he was 21 hours in and his foot was completely swollen (probably from running in slush all day).
I don't say this lightly as I know a lot of tough runners, but after this weekend's event I believe that Henry is the toughest runner I know. I don't know anyone that can endure like that. He is truly an inspiration.
For me, Boston in Marathon in 2 weeks. For Henry, eager to see what he takes on next.
Special thanks to Mike, Brad, Brian, Steve, Lisa, Rich, and of course Henry for a crazy day.