Boston Marathon: Running To Show it Matters

running-advice-bugIf you had asked me two weeks ago why I was running the 2014 Boston Marathon, I probably would have stuttered through an answer that included a lot of ‘ummms’ and ‘hmmms’. A couple of days ago it hit me like a run-away freight-train: I’m running — we’re all running — because it matters that we are there.

I admit it openly: I’m horribly out of shape at the moment, having been broad-sided by four months of jet lag and international travel that disrupted my training. I’m not in shape to race, but like many I had signed up to run this year’s Boston Marathon because it felt important to do so. I have run Boston before and I didn’t particularly need to go back. I was urged on to qualify and register by some higher duty.

I was shocked and outraged that terrorists had detonated bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon. We runners were even more hurt than most communities, because it touched so close to home. (Although the City of Boston was hurt immeasurably more and we should never forget that.) Running events are peaceful, non-political, and above-all supposed to be fun both for competitors and spectators.

It was a substantial weight that settled on my shoulders in the days after Boston 2013 that many people who had nothing to do with sport — people who had just come out to cheer and support the runners — had become the targets of terrorists. People had died simply for trying to wish our community well. I hurt for them. I still hurt for them when I think about it.

Over the course of the last year, I have thanked many, many spectators along race routes. I have always thanked course volunteers and police, but this year I added “thanks for being here” to the many people lining the roads where I raced. It became even more important for me to acknowledge their support, because they represented that risk that I now sensed in a post-Boston world. Perhaps they didn’t make the connection, but I did.

The weight that I felt also included a sense of mourning for those who lost family while cheering them on. I tried to picture myself learning of the death of a loved-one after finishing a race who had been their watching me. It made my racing feel horribly small. I couldn’t stand the thought that someone would trade-off their life to support me in my hobby, even if they hadn’t done it knowingly.

As the months passed, we felt some healing of these wounds. It was in this time that I think I forgot what Boston 2014 should be all about. I fell into my pattern of thinking about my own performance and my own goals. As a competitor that’s what I’m trained to do. But the big picture emerged like the sunrise last week. This one is about saying thank you. It’s about telling the world that we understand the risk that they take on to cheer us on. Boston 2014 is about running to show that it matters.

When I toe the starting line on Monday I will have left my watch at home. My mission will be simple: show up, thank as many people as possible and show the world that we see them there. I’m not going to give another thought to my own time or performance, because that doesn’t matter this year. Boston 2014 is our way of together acknowledging that we understand what happened and that see that what we do is not made smaller by the acts of terrorists. This one is about family, community and world. This one is for the people that didn’t come home, or were injured, after simply cheering us on.

And with that I will say my first thank you. THANK YOU.

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon, USA
Running Advice and News


Live Coverage: Boston Marathon 2014 Television Coverage

running-advice-bugThe 118th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday April 21st, 2014. This 118th running will be one of the most widely followed because of the events last year and its increased size. Universal Sports Network will carry the race live and will also feature a finish-line camera of all participants in the race.

Here are the details for watching the live coverage and the pre-race show.

04/19 2014 Boston Marathon Preview Show (LIVE) TV: 4:00pm ET
04/21 2014 Boston Marathon Pre-race Show (LIVE) TV: 8:30am ET
04/21 2014 Boston Marathon (LIVE) TV: 9:25am ET Online: 8:30am ET
04/21 2014 Boston Marathon Finish Line Stream (LIVE/VOD) Online: 10:30am ET
04/21 2014 Boston Marathon Post-race (LIVE) TV: 12:30pm ET
04/21 2014 Boston Marathon Wrap-Up Show (LIVE) TV: 4:00pm ET
04/21 2014 Boston Marathon (encore presentation) TV: 8:00pm ET

The web-site for the Boston Marathon coverage at Universal Sports is:

The official marathon web-site is located here:

Check back for our write-up after the race.


Join Me at the Boston Marathon in 2014

running-advice-bugI feel so strongly about the events of this past week at the Boston Marathon 2013 and our need to keep moving “Forever Forward” that I’ve decided to personally run the 2014 Boston Marathon. It has been five years since my last trip to Boston and I think next year is going to be the most important year in the history of the race for us experienced marathon runners to show the world that we will not be deterred.

In that spirit, I am announcing a very special group training program for those that qualify and would like to train as part of a group for the 2014 Boston Marathon: I will coach you for free. Yep, you heard it right, but there are some restrictions and important details, so please keep reading if you’d like to join my team.

What you have to do:
– You have to qualify for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
– You have to register and be accepted for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
– You will have to pay all of your own travel expenses to the race, including the race registration fee.
– You will need to join the group before the start of the season (to avoid having to adjust training schedules for late starting participants).

What I will do for you:
– I will provide a group training schedule appropriate to Boston Marathon caliber runners.
– The training schedule will be provided by my on-line coaching tool and administered over e-mail as is typical for our on-line coaching programs.
– I will provide a weekly status and inspiration e-mail to help keep you on-track during the training season.
– The training season will last five months (20 weeks), commencing approximately mid-December 2013.
– I will meet with the group on-site and we will go to the starting line together.
– We’ll have a party after the race together.
– There will be no coaching fees charged to join the group.

If you need coaching support for your Boston Qualification visit the following page on our web-site for more information:

If you want to join our movement to go back to Boston in 2014, you can join me and I will help you with your training. Further details on how to sign up for the program will be posted in October 2014 on our web-site.

So get your qualifying time and sign-up for the race. Then let’s go to Boston together in 2014.

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon, USA
Running Advice and News