SCOTSBURN – For eight years Dave MacLennan knew, or hoped, that he would be running the 118th Boston Marathon.
It wasn’t from a lack of qualifying that he didn’t attend since his fifth Boston Marathon in 2006 – he just was waiting until he turned 50-years-old to participate again. Now that time has come.
Next Monday MacLennan will be on the start-line of one of the most famous marathons in the world. He said he’s excited to participate in his sixth Boston Marathon, noting that it’s unlike any other event he has ever attended.
“It’s just a totally different experience,” he said. “For one thing it’s the Boston Marathon. Both runners and non-runners know what it is. It’s such a huge event and compared to events around here where you go to a marathon and see 20 to 30 people on the side of the road, there is wall-to-wall people from the start to the finish. You’re also running with 36,000 runners.”
Last year was a Boston Marathon that runners and people around the world will remember for years to come after multiple bombings near the finish line killed three people and injured over 250 others. That is something that MacLennan has thought about, but said that it doesn’t bother him and didn’t deter him from continuing with his plan of attending this year.
“The biggest thing this year is security and they have it all planned out for the runners,” he said. “You’re only allowed to take (to the start line) what you have on you and anything you take off you leave there for charity. We’ll all have to take several different things with us in case of the weather, but that’s understandable.
“You can tell security is a big focus for them this year, but it doesn’t bother me. It is what it is.”
MacLennan said training has been difficult with a long and rough winter in Pictou County. He has been focused on training inside, having to use the treadmill a little more than he would’ve liked, but in recent weeks he’s been back outdoors more.
“I’m glad to be getting outside now and that we’ve finally had some nice weather again,” he said. “I’ve started to incorporate hills into my training, now that I’ve been outside more, to prepare for that in Boston.”
He said the treadmill has been good for his pace, but that it doesn’t have the terrain variety that he gets outdoors.
“Boston is such a tough course because you’re going downhill quite a bit,” he said.
“It just pounds your quads going downhill like that. Boston has a really quick start and if you get caught up in it, it can ruin your run.”
With his plan of attending this year’s event being put in place years in advance, MacLennan knew multiple variables could’ve prevented him from being able to participate. He said he’s feeling healthy right now and said so long as he can stay away from getting a cold he will be ready for next week’s race.
When asked about his race day goal he said it was something he didn’t want to divulge, but said he definitely has a benchmark in mind.
He added that he hopes the weather is relatively cool, as acclimatizing to warmer weather on race day would make things tougher.
“I really just don’t want a windy day,” said MacLennan. “A cool day I have no problem with, but if you get one of those warm days it could be a little tougher because we haven’t acclimatized to that weather here yet. A cool day is much better after training all winter.”
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