From Bay Ridge to Boston
While most of us were nestled in our toasty beds this winter, Mike Mulhern, Joe Mulhern and Roger Krone were up before dawn, pounding up East Lake, Bay and River Drives. You know, running the loop. But not just one loop–but many loops. Plural. Big loops that sometimes extended to include the Naval Academy golf course.
They were driven by a common goal: training for the Boston Marathon. And it paid off.
This Monday, all three of our Bay Ridge residents successfully ran and completed the Boston Marathon. An accomplishment in the truest sense; and a noble nod to the city of Boston and those victimized by last year’s travesty.
To us non-marathoners, running 26.2 miles sounds herculean. Its a tremendous accomplishment that many of us may never lay claim to.
But what we don’t immediately comprehend is the utter determination and drive this type of mission requires. Transforming one’s body in preparation for a marathon requires countless hours of sweat, rigor and frequent pain. Training alone is a true journey fueled by seemingly endless amounts of physical, mental and emotional energy.
“We came to know Bay Ridge’s potholes well,” says Mike Mulhern of West Lake Drive, “We know the sound of the newspaper delivery man’s car, we know who has a security light that pops on as we run by, and we know that the high school students waiting in the dark for their bus have no interest in talking at that hour.”
Roger Krone, who lives on West Lake, was quick to deflect adulation and credit Bay Ridge. “We live in a great place to run. Our shorelines attracts dozens of athletes everyday. Running early and late in the winter means running in the dark, which can be dangerous. It’s great to live in a place where drivers yield to runners–we’re grateful for that.”
All runners shared their gratitude to the Stuseks for generously offering their “Water for Athletes” pit-stop on Sands. Runs are strategically planned around this critical junction not only for hydration but for it’s sportsmanly encouragement along the way.
“My lasting impression overall was the tremendous crowd and their expressions of both support and appreciation for all the competitors. The town and people of Boston really rose to the occasion and clearly were not going to let the despicable and cowardly acts of last year dictate their choice of how they choose to live and interact with others,” explained Joe Mulhern, Mike’s brother who also lives on West Lake. (Image: the brothers Mulhern the day before the race. Joe on the left and Mike the right. Click to enlarge.)
“The event itself was fantastic. The crowds were incredible. It was like 1st Ave in the NY marathon for 26 miles,” he continued.
All agreed that Boston is a tough race, but a scintillating one.
“This one was a bit of a zoo with ten thousand more runners than usual (36,000),” said Roger, after completing this third Boston marathon this week, “Memorable because of 2013 bombing. I have relatives who live in Boston and last year really hit the city hard. I really ran for them, kind a way for them to participate; they shot these images and created this collage.”
And… they did it!
What a profound accomplishment. What do three Bay Ridgers do after running 26.2 miles?
“The crowd was amazing…and not just for the leaders,” quotes Mike, “We finished, had a few pints of Guinness, showered, and tried to nap but the noise was too much as there were still people out cheering finishers. Boston Strong indeed!”
According to Roger: “Boston always has great crowds and this year was even better than normal. They carry you the last five miles, and after the hills in Newton you need it! I really enjoyed running this year as an American won the Men’s race. It was great to train with neighbors and trade encouraging text messages leading up to the race.”
Check out Roger being interviewed right after the race, below.
If you’re like me, you’re feeling inspired by our Bay Ridge celebrities. Congratulations, all three of you! Well done.
– Holly Moring