We drove from Milford on I-495 to the exit to Hopkinton. We didn’t make it past the first traffic light, though. My daughter had to drop  me off and turn around. She continued to Boston and I walked about a mile to the high school where the runners were gathering before the start. I got 2 power bars, compliment of PowerBar, and a Gatorade. I spread a blanket and observed other runners’ preparation rituals. I am too new marathoner to develop one yet. Everybody was calm in a conversation, napping, waiting in a line for potty, or stretching. I didn’t see any move of masses towards the start.

Shortly after 9 o’clock, I asked my neighbor when is it still save to get to the assigned corral. “Well, just project how long it will take you to get about 3/4 mile to the start,” he replied. What a difference from NYC marathon, I thought. There, they blocked off corrals 1 hour before the start. Those who missed the cut off time had to go to the following wave.

Around 20 min. to 10 o’clock, the masses started to move. I joined them and checked my bag in one of the official buses. I arrived in the assigned 5th corral and placed myself towards the front of the corral. I saw some runners having bands with paces written for each particular mile of the race. Some had 8 gel pouches. I had 2 and was planning to take anything the spectators would offer. The weather was excellent—47°, sunny and breezy. At 10 o’clock, the wave moved, but it took 2 minutes until I crossed the start line. I had about 5866 (my bib number) runners ahead of me on a relatively narrow road.