Boston and Toronto Marathons 2013

72865_10152744845070548_345528942_nThe events of Boston made my usual Race Reporting become less appealing to me, and I imagine others, as the importance of the events surrounding the Boston Bombings seemed far more relevant.Between the multitude of interviews I did about what transpired there, and how it affected me and the ones I was with, left me not wanting to write a blog post about it. At least not at the time. I was just so talked out about the whole ordeal. I ended up doing 1 national (CBC) radio interview, 3 National TV interviews (2 for the National, only one of which aired, and CBC Montreal), 3 print and online  interviews (National Post, Huffington Post, CBC online, Beach Metro News, and Globe and Mail) + I submitted my story to “The Shoes We Wore“. So I have said all I need to say about it. The Shoes we wore piece probably sums it up best.

So, yes, what a crazy year it has been thus far. I set out aiming to knock off a few Personal Bests and have managed to do so. My main goal was a sub 3:10 marathon and Boston was the venue of choice where I was to run marathon #33. 2013 has definitely been my toughest training cycle yet and I was hoping for the payoff. I would need a 6+ minute PB in Boston to reach my goal.

Boston came and I felt ready, pumped for a big day. We travelled in a group of almost 30 including non-runners and the weekend was once again electric. The lead up, the Expo, the restaurants and just generally roaming around the city were all as exciting as ever.

Race day came and I felt great. I have never looked so forward to a race and hit the start line fired up. Then the gun went off and things changed. I knew by one mile it was not going to be a perfect day. Running felt laboured and as I attempted to hit my goal pace, my heart rate soared. I tried to hold back enough to run comfortably and not fall to far off pace.

By 10k, I was about a minute behind where I needed to be, and about 2 minutes behind where I hoped to be. I got on pace by half way and held on until the hills of Newton. here I lost time again and crested Heartbreak Hill 2 minutes behind 3:10 pace. Try as I might, I was only able to make up 1 minute in the final 10k and ended up with 3:11:05. Some might say this is great and I know it was a5 minute PB but I really hoped for not just a sub 3:10, but a 3:06 or so. Plus I hoped to do it more comfortably. Still I walked away feeling ok with the result but knowing deep inside I had a better race in me. And 3 weeks later, I’d find myself toeing the start of marathon #34 with most of my running peers wondering what I was thinking. More motivation to get that sub 3:10 I must admit!

To prepare for Goodlife (Toronto Marathon), I rested a few days after Boston, then ran short and easy for a week, built up to a hard middle week and did some more resting the final week. I headed into this race knowing very well I might find myself at mile 20 wanted to bail, but I also knew I had it in me to fight through the fatigue. 5 minutes into the race I was already feeling better than Boston and the whole way, I felt good. When I hit some dark spots, I just kept diffing deep knowing that goals don’t come easy else they would not be worth shooting for. With the help of a few friends on course and daughter Sarah running the last 1/4 with me, I strolled in, smiling I must add, with another PB of 3:08:33. Boom.

Now, time to continue the quest for sub 3:00. This Autumn maybe? Perhaps. Stay tuned


P.S. – Here is my article – “The Shoes We Wore”


Dave Emilio, 45

Toronto, ON – Canada

“Boston” is the sole word we use to refer to the Boston Marathon, the training, the whole weekend in general. It is, always has been and always will be what us runners aspire to be apart of to feel above average, or even elite, if only for just one weekend a year.

Well, Boston now has a new meaning to me. It means lives lost, loved ones lost, and people who have had their lives altered with debilitating injuries all because of, well, I still don’t even know the real reasons why, but it’s due to a senseless act of terrorism by what appears to be two cowards.

I am stronger inside because of Boston. When the explosions went off, I was a block away with my wife and 12-year-old son, whom were spectating, thankfully not on Boyslton Street. We were hanging out with the best of friends, celebrating Boston, waiting for the last of our runners to join us at our meet up spot. It was a relief when we were able to track all of our group, nearly 20 marathoners plus their spouses, all checked in and accounted for. That part of the fear was over.

What happened after has as much effect on me as the initial blasts. Seeing all of the images on TV, and learning of the devastation, injuries, and disruption of the lives of all of the people affected. Initially, we thought of staying away from big city marathons but by the end of the day, we knew we now have a new reason to come back. To run for Boston, for the people, the city, the race itself and for us, to know we are all a part of this and will never forget what happened that day.

Boston, we will be back again, and we will be stronger than ever.


Beaches RunnerAbout Beaches Runner
Crazy mad runner, wanting to be fitter and faster but too busy to do it right. Still, I keep trying.

  • Paul Radcliffe

    Thank you for sharing this Dave.