Countdown to Boston 2004

At 12:00 PM on Monday, April 19, 2004, the wait will be over for 20,000 runners gathered in Hopkinton, MA. After months of training and untold hours of preparation, they will take that first step toward the finish line of the world’s oldest annual marathon ­ Boston.

A healthy contingent of Oregonians (181 by last count) will be there for the 108th running of this hallowed event.  Several TRL runners we know will be taking part:

Brian Baker
Brad Cota
Corey Folske
Win Goodbody
Rick Lovett
Marcia Norgard
Julie Thomas

For most of them, this trip will be a first time pilgrimage to marathon Mecca in Massachusetts.  Marcia Norgard and Julie Thomas are the only two in the crew who have run the fabled race before.

But if others are new to Boston, they are not new to the marathon distance. 
In fact, collectively these seven reptiles already have an astonishing 97 marathons under their belts ­ that’s over 2500 miles of running! And one of them plans to run one MORE marathon between now and Boston!

It must be said that two lizards in particular seem to have a serious marathon addiction and have contributed way beyond their fair share to this group count (you will see what I mean below).

We caught up with our TRL runners to find out what makes this race so special and what they hope to get out of the experience.


Introducing, all the way from Utah, the original desert endurance runner ­ Marcia Norgard!

Team Red Lizard: How many times have you run Boston before?

Marcia Norgard: Three times.

TRL: When was the first time you ran it?

MN: 1996, the 100th anniversary.

TRL: Was the first time there what you expected? If not, how was it?

MN: Nothing like I expected. It was wild - rumored to have 100,000 plus all the bandits.  The incredible thing about that year was it rained hard the 3 days before the race.  We were so worried about sitting in an open field in the pouring rain for hours before the start of the actual marathon.

But, that morning, the rain ceased and it stayed dry up until 7:00 p.m. that night - and then it proceeded to rain for the next 2 days straight.

The story going around was that the marathon race director pulled some strings at the last minute and secured race entrance for a prominent local Roman Catholic bishop, thus the cooperation from above with the weather.

TRL: What is your most memorable Boston-related story?

MN: 1996 - Getting off the bus, turning a corner and seeing at least 50 guys peeing against the side of a big building - that's something you don't see every day. [Ed. ­ I will resist several obvious rejoinders here.]

1998 - Forgetting my chip only to realize it with 14 minutes left before the start - sprinting to the tent in Hopkinton just in time to get it replaced.

2000 - Taking a cup of water at a mile-16 aid station from Doug Flutie (major crush on Doug Flutie).

TRL: What other fun things have you done in Boston while there for the marathon?

MN: Red Sox vs. Yankees at Fenway Park in 2000.  The Sox hit a home run to win the game in the bottom of the 9th. It doesn't get any better than that.

TRL: What are you most looking forward to about this trip to Boston?

MN: Going with my new Lizard friends who love beer - just like me! [Ed. ­ Reference to Brad Cota]

TRL: What's the last marathon you ran?

MN: Rock n' Roll, Arizona in January of this year.

TRL: How many total marathons have you run?

MN: I have run 34. Boston will be my 35th. [Ed. ­ Give it up people!! I CAN’T HEAR YOOOUUUUUUU!]

TRL: Why are you running Boston again?

MN: Why? Because it's BOSTON - it's the epitome of all marathons.  There's nothing like it.

TRL: Do you have any specific time goal for Boston?

MN: I'm probably in about 3:30 shape.  I'm just going to take it easy and enjoy the crowd.

TRL: What do you plan to eat after the marathon?

MN: What else do you eat when you're on the East Coast?  Lobster!  Oh, and beer...

[Ed. ­ Marcia, see me about importance of eating lots of potatoes post-race.]


This just in from Brian Baker in Boise, ID:

“Hi, sounds cool... I used the easy questions from below... I have never been to Boston so some don't apply... I think the fact that it is soooo old and has a qualifing time makes it so special, that and the amazing crowd! I am sooooooooo pumped.  My friend mark and I are running as super heroes. 
He's "Captain Cramp" and I am "Bonk Boy". [Ed. ­ I like it!] It's pretty weird but what the heck, I never said I was normal.” [Ed. ­ Sounds like a lizard alright.]

TRL: What are you most looking forward to about the trip to Boston?

BB: The Women’s college, heart break hill and all the fanfare.

TRL: What's the last marathon you ran?

BB: City of Trees 2003 in Boise, although I am doing Yakima 2 weeks before Boston on April 4. [Ed. ­ Hello?? Do I sense a wing nut here or what people??] I am then running 3 more in the following 6 weeks. [Ed. ­ Brian, please call 1-800-GET-HELP] Don't freak I am not racing any of them. I am using them as long slow distance training runs for Ironman CDA on June 27th.

TRL: How many total marathons have you run?

BB:  I have run 25. [Ed. ­ What is it with these people!!] Boston will be my 27th.

TRL: Why are you running Boston?

BB: Because it's the oldest and most prestigious and since I ran my first marathon in 1996, Boston has always been the carrot.

TRL: Do you have any specific time goal for Boston?

BB: 3:30, running to enjoy the crowd, drink beer and have a great time.

TRL: What do you plan to eat after the marathon?

BB: Beer, beer, and beer. [Ed. ­ Do not forget ice cream please.]

TRL: Go “Bonk Boy”! Go!


Rick Lovett offered this response to our plea for information:

“Are you really writing such a thing?  If so, this'll be my 14th marathon, and probably last. I did 12 from 1981 through 1984, back when it took a 2:50 to get into Boston for under age 40 (men) and a 3:10 for masters men.

The 2:50 was out of reach, and I'd retired from running before I got a shot at the 3:10, which I probably could have hit. When I got back into running in 1999, I kept telling all the Lizards that I had no interest in another marathon unless I could qualify for Boston [Ed. ­ Classic lizard bravado ­ don’t believe it]...and then Boston lowered the bar another notch just as I was about to jump an age group.

So I ran with Brad in Rock 'N Roll (San Diego). I'm practicing "slow." I have nothing to prove in Boston [Ed. - Translation = gunning for new age group PR] --the goal was to get there and semi-enjoy doing it. If I have enough fun, I don't really care if it's an hour slower than my qualifying time.”

[Ed. ­ Rick please note you failed to respond to my question about what you plan to eat after the race.  We’ll assume ice cream is on the list.]


And from Minnesota via North Dakota...

Team Red Lizard: How many marathons have you run?

Brad Cota: 6, Boston will be my 7th.

TRL: What was the last marathon you ran?

BC: Portland 2003.

TRL: Why do you want to run Boston?

BC: It just needs to be done. [Ed. ­ Very direct, these Midwesterners.]

TRL: What are you looking forward to the most about Boston?

BC: Just having a great day...the energy that comes with race day is what I look forward to the most I guess.

TRL: What is your favorite Boston marathon story?

BC: Don't have one yet.

TRL: How has your training gone so far for Boston?

BC: So, so.  I have had great runs and I have had some terrible ones too. 
It all comes down to the last 6 miles.

TRL: Who has had the biggest influence on your running?

BC: The entire RL running club...everybody's energy has been contagious.

TRL: What would you say to anyone who is thinking of running a marathon?

BC: You won't be able to run JUST one....also, don't forget your vaseline. [Ed. ­ Nice touch!]

TRL: After Boston what are your running plans for 2004?

BC: The double [Ed. - Newport/Gorge double marathon weekend], HTC, Ironman FL, maybe Portland.

TRL: Food after the race?

BC: Some ice cream will be in order. [Ed. “Some”??  Try a bucket!]


Normally a reticent Northern Plains pioneer type, Corey Folske gave us a great write up on his hopes and dreams for Boston:

“This will be my 4th and most important Marathon.  Boston is the Holy Grail of Marathons, and it's very important to me that I do well. I actually had a bad dream about the race this morning, I dreamt that I was running late for the start, like Beardsley did in 1982, and got stuck on the wrong side of a draw bridge shortly after the start and then fell asleep waiting for the bridge to come back and ended up pretty much doing all this work for nothing.  I woke up quite depressed. [Ed. ­ Corey, please do NOT try to emulate Beardsley’s pre race organizational chaos.  However, please DO emulate his race performance!]

California International (Dec. 2002) was a great marathon for me because I was running it with my twin brother Grant. We both decided to run an aggressive race because we felt so good at the beginning of the race. I went out at sub 6:00's and he went out at 5:30's, just booking it. He bonked a little bit around 18-22 and I caught up to him around 20 and we were on pace to finish in 2:36.  I proceeded to bonk hard [Ed. ­ Please talk to “bonk boy” from Boise about this syndrome] around 22 and finished with a series of 7:00, 7:15, 8:20 and 10:00 for my last three miles. [Ed. ­ Gotta love it when you can clock a 10:00 minute mile and still come away with a 2:43 marathon!]  It was a good experience because I was actually happy with my race and final time, but to run a few miles with Grant was great.

My most anticipated part of Boston is probably going to be the Wellesley College area around mile 13.  Hundreds of hot young college chicks that are sex-starved and screaming their heads off at you....  Oh man, it's always been a dream of mine. [Ed. ­ Corey, college in Boston is different from North Dakota. In Boston the students actually have sex.]

It'll be so surreal to run the course that so many amazing athletes have run in the past…

My training has gone so well for this marathon, I have never felt better
and more prepared for any other race in my life. It has really helped
to have such good training partners in Win Goodbody and Brad Cota. They have definitely made it easy to get out there and run our long training runs out at Sauvie Island.

I truly believe the stars are aligned for this one, no injuries, great training partners, I'm keeping to my schedule, and the weather we have had has just been amazing.  Everything is working for this race.

I would definitely say that no one person has had a big influence on my running, but rather a group of people, I draw from the athletes that I see out there on the road every day, everyone in the running club inspires me in their own way. I also draw significant strength from my siblings who over the last few years have created this non-spoken competition between the four of us. It really keeps me going and going harder and faster.  I find motivation in everyone.

I'm looking forward to the race, but afterwards I think I'll be a little
bummed out that it's over. Luckily I have a busy summer of great races and events to look forward to that will keep me in good shape and keep my mind off of post-Boston...

I think that Marathon running is healthy for almost any individual.  If
you get the idea planted in your head that "I want to run a Marathon" you need to follow through with it. Your first Marathon will always be special.  Just go for it...

Next big milestone of 2004 will be Hood To Coast.  I'm excited for the
event because it's so involved and busy. You'll never see 12,000 people in one spot that are so excited to be running than this event.

Lastly, I'm looking forward to a big pizza and a big cold beer that
Monday night after the Race.

[Ed. ­ We won’t give too much away, but Corey is in great shape for a super day. Look for him in the top 50!]


Julie Thomas let us know she has run Boston once before ­ in 1996.

“I was lucky to run it, I missed 2 months of training due to hip injury, therefore I'd been cross training all winter, healed up enough to start running 3 weeks before the race, ran 3:35 including an 8 minute porta potty stop.

Don't remember what I ate after [Ed. - ??!!], was very sore and couldn't walk very well for a couple of days.  This is all I can think of now. Gotta go to work.”


And finally, from that running powerhouse, the Garden State of New Jersey…

Team Red Lizard: How many marathons have you run?

Win Goodbody:  Pancakes, potatoes ­ maybe even a burrito and milk shake.
And chocolate.

TRL: We didn’t get to the food question yet.

WG:  Whoops ­ skipped ahead there. I have run five marathons so far.

Team Red Lizard: Why are you running Boston this year?

WG:  Pretty much what everyone else has said.  Because it’s a tradition, it’s a large marathon ­ the big one. It’s in a town I know well and where I have family. For the fun of the trip with fellow lizards mainly.  And to go for it.

TRL: How has it been training over the winter for a spring marathon?

WG:  It has been great, mainly because of the amazing TRL partners to challenge me and the solid routine we have established together.  The snow storm in January threw a wrench in the works, but otherwise the weather has been pretty good. I feel ready.  I have trained a lot more for this one than any other marathon I have done.  Running on the track has been new for me.

TRL: What’s your favorite marathon experience so far?

WG:  One would definitely be getting passed by Dick Beardsley with ½ mile to go at the Royal Victoria Marathon last year. He put almost 2 minutes on me by the end of the race!  What a champion.  That incident will always inspire me. It shows the power of a positive attitude and also how much fun someone can have out there even when the suffering is intense. He looked so good as he went by me!

TRL: What do you like about running?

WG:  I like the social world it takes place in ­ especially here in Oregon with our huge network.  You have an automatic bond with people of all abilities ­ even if you have just met them.  You can only be so good by yourself, but running with a group takes it to another level.

Running is a very emotional thing for me and I can’t put my finger on why.
But there is nothing like getting that “whoosh” on the road, when barriers fall away and you feel absolutely calm and still ­ like you could go forever. Major Zen moment. [Ed. ­ This is ground control to Major Tom ­ do you read?]

TRL: What else are you looking forward to on the running calendar this year?

WG:  The Newport/Gorge double, Hood to Coast, Mt. Ashland, Victoria. It is going to be an amazing summer!

TRL: OK ­ any food plans after the race?

WG:  Anything and everything.  For weeks on end.


To all our TRL runners, and everyone else going to Boston ­ good luck! And when times get tough, just remember: “The lizard loves you!”