108th Boston Marathon, April 19, 2004

Deborah Hamm


"The Boston Globe," Tuesday, April 20.  "More than 1,100 runners suffered dehydration, heart ailments, and

other medical problems at the Boston Marathon yesterday in near-record heat, more than twice as many injuries

as medical officials have seen in recent years."  "...at least one runner suffered a heart attack on the course and had

to be revived."  [No deaths however were reported, even with several cases of hyponatremia] "Hospital emergency

rooms also reported a flood of patients, with Newton-Wellesley Hospital summoning workers from across the

medical center to tend to more than 70 runners."  '"People look pretty miserable,"' said Dr. Peter Moyer, medical

director of Boston EMS, "'Makes you not want to be in a marathon."' 

Despite the withering heat, I had a fabulous time & I think Cindy did too. We ran together the entire course with

our names printed on our "Fred's Team" singlets. Her purple glitter hat, dark shades, and blonde hair made her a

phenomenal hit on the course.  She had an Italian guy, Aldo, chasing after her, and so many spectators shouting

"Go, Cindy, Go!!" as she huffed and puffed to personal victory. Her purple glitter hat was a sensation. She kept a

steady pace the entire course, and looked cool, calm, and collected up to the finish, regardless of how she must have

felt. Toward the end of the course I would run ahead and then start walking as I waited for Cindy to 'catch up.' 

After a while I learned I didn't have to turn around and look for her to wave at me, all I had to do was listen behind

me for the crowds shouting, "GO, CINDY, GO," as she got closer. Cindy was interviewed for a documentary for

Fred's team shortly after crossing the finish line, and I am personal witness to her saying something like, "I feel bad,

but it wasn't the heat that was getting me, it was the weight of these diamonds!" [yes, she wore diamond earrings

and necklace!!!] as she pulled out her lipstick and freshened up for the camera!!!!  I kid you not. The cameraman

got it on film!
On a more serious note:  On Sunday night, Grete Waitz advised everyone on Fred's team to adjust their goal

times because of the heat. Fast marathoners add less time than slower marathoners, and she advised a 5 hour

marathoner to add 30 minutes to goal time. With a finish/chip time of 5:34 (It took us forever to get to the start),

Cindy's marathon time could possibly have been @ 5 hours and 4 minutes without the heat factor. I believe her

chip time @ 9 years ago was @ 5:20?--Merms get younger all the time. We set a goal of 5:30 finish in order

to make the 6 hour deadline when the course is "closed," anticipating that it would take us a half hour to get to

the start, which it did. If we had added another 30 minutes to our goal time, we wouldn't have made the 6 hour-

deadline. It was such a great feeling to see that 5:57 above when crossing the finish line, knowing we had

3 minutes to "spare," and we did it in spite of the heat.  We learned later they extended the deadline by

20 minutes!!
This heat caused way too many medical problems, drop outs, and DNF's but not our 64 year old veteran

Cindy, who not only finished, but ran and finished in style.  I'm inspired, and despite the heat, I had more fun

than I probably will ever have again in any marathon.  It was a blast!!
As for me.  I accomplished my goal.  I finished without injury; my poor knee and hip do not feel any worse

than they EVER do. I learned the Boston course in case I ever qualify in the future, and supported a good cause.