One of the most celebrated weekends in running is upon us as the 122nd Boston Marathon approaches on Monday, April 16, 2018. Two Rose City Track Club members, Alejandro Fallas, and Fionna Fallon, will brave the notorious Northeast weather for the Boston Marathon and B.A.A. 5K.
“I’ve always wanted to do the B.A.A. 5K,” Fallon said when discussing the upcoming race. “New England’s road race opportunities are endless, but the 5K and Marathon encapsulate the best features: fast runners, historic scenery, and excited, passionate crowds!”
“The environment surrounding the Boston Marathon is like no other race,” Fallas added. “From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, you can feel the excitement and the support from everyone around you.”
Often thought of as the ‘holy grail’ of marathons, runners seek to lineup for this historic race in unprecedented numbers. Fallas and Fallon are lucky enough to have run in Boston in years past, but both runners are back for the 2018 race.
“The first time I attempted Boston, in 2016, I was sick and fatigued early,” Fallon said. “At mile 18, after realizing it was quickly going downhill, I dropped out.”
In lieu of the DNF, Fallon planned to return to the 2018 Boston Marathon to finish the race, enjoy the experience, and not worry about time. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Due to injury, Fallon decided to register instead for the B.A.A. 5K on Saturday, April 14.
Not one to dwell on negativity, she noted: “It’s a blessing in disguise that I’m not able to run the marathon this year. They take a toll on the body and the extra time to focus on different types of training (like the 5K) allows me to rebuild aspects lost when marathon training.”
For Fallas, also, Boston is all about enjoying the experience with friends, and perhaps a bit of redemption, too.
“Last year I had a great time,” he said. “I enjoyed the race a lot and came back with a PR. This year, a few of my friends decided to go and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share the experience with them.……Plus, I have some unfinished business with Heartbreak hill!”
So how prepared is Fallas for Heartbreak Hill?
“I tried to include more miles at marathon pace during my hill workouts,” he said. “I did a lot of my runs up Terwilliger Blvd, in Forest Park, and around the Fairmont loop,” three hilly routes in the Portland area. “Overall, I feel like I had a good training cycle.”
As for training for the B.A.A. 5K, Fallon said she’s taking the comeback week by week. “Around 6 weeks ago, I realized my IT band was calming down and decided to see if I could get into the 5K instead of the marathon. It has been an uphill battle, but I’ve had no injury scares since then!”
Regardless of preparation, Fallas and Fallon eagerly await their weekend in Boston.
“Marathon weekend is so special,” said Fallas. “There’s a really nice vibe and the entire city seems to be waiting for the race; there’s a sense of euphoria and expectation. I love that feeling!”
“It’ll be incredible to watch [the marathon] live for the first time without running in the race,” exclaimed Fallon. So many friends, family, and fast people running – I can’t wait!”
Catch all the action over marathon weekend April 14-16, 2018. Fans can track Alejandro Fallas in the marathon (bib #611) and Fionna Fallon in the BAA 5K (bib #9734) via the Boston Marathon website or the B.A.A. Boston Marathon App.