Why I’ve Decided to Miss My Baby’s Birth to Run Boston

This post was an April Fool’s joke.  Since it’s not April 1 anymore, I need to make that clear so nobody thinks it’s real and hates me.

If you were reading this blog last summer, following me on my quest to qualify for Boston, then I don’t need to tell you how much it meant to me.

It was everything.  For months leading up to it, the goal was all I could think about.  I had never worked so hard for something in my life, and still there was a huge chance I’d fail.

I have never felt the way I did as I lay in the grass, minutes after crossing the line at the Wineglass Marathon with exactly one minute to spare.  Exhausted.  Relieved.  Validated.

As soon as the results were official, I signed up for Boston, carefully and proudly penciling in my 3:09:59.  I was going to enjoy the hell out of that race.  It would be my reward for so much dedication and sacrifice.  I wasn’t going to try to PR there—my only goal would be to drink in every last bit of the atmosphere, the partying, the cheering, the Wellesley girls on the sidelines.  I’d let my adrenaline determine how fast I’d go.  I might even drink a beer during it like people in the stories I’ve heard.

And then we found out.  It was a blessing and a curse all at once.

Erin was pregnant.  The due date: April 19, 2010.  The day of my first Boston Marathon.

I did the thing that expectant fathers are supposed to do.  I told Erin the baby was the most important thing in my life, that Boston didn’t come close.  There’s always next year anyway.

But inside, it was killing me.  When the Boston Marathon filled up two months early, it only made it worse.  So many hopefuls could no longer get in.  Yet I held a golden ticket.  A race number.

And here, I couldn’t go.  The number, the hotel booking, everything would go to waste.  Sure, I’d get my hotel money back.  No refunds for the race though.  They’d send me a t-shirt and every time I’d look at it, I would only feel worse that I missed my chance.

All because of the baby.  The supposed “miracle.”

This week, I made a decision.  I’ve never felt so conflicted, but I’m standing by it.  I’m going to be in Boston on April 19th.  If the baby comes before that, great.  If not, so be it.  Erin will be fine, and I can’t imagine a better “congratulations on Boston” than coming home to a brand new bundle of joy.

On this first day of April, I’m announcing that decision to the world.  I can’t say I’m proud of it, but it’s something I have to do.

They say you should run Boston as soon as you qualify.  I’ve heard stories of people who postponed it, saying they’d be there next year, or that they could always qualify again.  Then they never make it back, and they regret it their entire life.

If I were to make a mistake like that, I couldn’t live with myself.

If I were to pass up this opportunity, then every time I’d stare into my little April‘s eyes, I’d feel like a complete fool.



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  1. Heh, nice one! Got a good laugh out of it.
    .-= Blaine Moore´s last blog ..How To Race Faster by Running Tangents On Circular Courses =-.

  2. You had me for the whole thing. Till I saw the ‘tags’ that reminded me it was April Fool’s Day.
    .-= Mario´s last blog ..Doctor Visit =-.

  3. Totally got me!!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Shed Kitchen: Earth Muffins =-.

  4. i call april fools 🙂

  5. Consider this the second time I’ve been fooled today. You’d think that I’d learn!
    .-= Maddie´s last blog ..wok this way =-.

  6. LMAO!
    .-= Nicki´s last blog ..Palm Sunday =-.

  7. Oh, Thank God you were kidding. My mouth was on the floor from the moment I saw the title. Good one.

  8. Kathleen says:

    I will refer to Erin, as St. Erin as she has WELL earned it.

  9. Best one I have seen so far!
    .-= Mellissa´s last blog ..Oatmeal Fail x 2 =-.

  10. You had me until: The supposed “miracle.”

  11. sarah w says:

    that was a good one!

  12. Oh, thank goodness this is a joke! I was seething as I read this and thinking about your poor wife who was going to be birthing her baby without her husband.

  13. Oh my lord. Well played.

    Aren’t we all going to feel awkward if you WEREN’T joking!!
    .-= Allie Katie´s last blog ..Vegans, beware!! =-.

  14. Haha good one!

  15. Omg, you seriously got me! I seriously thought that was for real!!! “The supposed ‘miracle.'” Lmao

  16. you had me going for a minute – 😉

  17. LOL…this is the only thing I have fallen for all day – just didn’t expect it from NMA for some reason! I was about 2/3 of the way through the post before I realized it was a joke (and my heart was sinking/blood was boiling for your wife!). Good one! 😉

  18. This is sort of unrelated, but Boston just released new qualifying standards for 2011: http://mybaa.org/BostonMarathon/2011.html


  19. Brilliant!

  20. I didn’t realize you were kidding until I started reading other people’s comments. As I about to swear off your blog! Good one:)

  21. So you are going to name the baby Boston, right? Ha ha. I totally believed it too.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Starbucks run =-.

  22. ahh! the boston qualifying standards have NOT changed. that link is an April Fool’s joke.
    .-= Megan (The Runner’s Kitchen)´s last blog ..iherb give-away =-.

  23. Got me! That was a good one…
    .-= Hallie´s last blog ..100% Homemade Chicken Soup via Crock Pot =-.

  24. You totally had me going on that one too! For a split second I even thought you must be naming your baby April! Talk about feeling like a big fool!! Yep, that’s me — gullible with a capital G.
    .-= Shari B.´s last blog ..Now That Was Better =-.

  25. Ha ha..I knew it was an April Fool’s post as soon as I read the title.
    .-= Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)´s last blog ..Humpastry Day – Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Muffins =-.

  26. hahaha, this is actually a REALLY good April Fools post!

  27. OK… There’s NO WAY that this is true. Erin is probably the most flexible wife I know… and yet this would NOT fly. Nice try though, Matt! 🙂

  28. haha I was about to delete you from the bookmark!

  29. I was reading this thinking, wow, I would probably tell my husband to go do the run. haha And I’m a mom to three

    On a serious note, what are your true plans? Will baby be here before the marathon?

  30. Ha-ha wow that was good! I picked my jaw up off the floor when I realized you were joking around.

    Seriously the best blog post prank I’ve seen today. Thank you for not doing a “hey I’m a vegetarian and i ate meat today” prank because I’ve read about a half dozen of them today! LOL
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Two days = Three stellar workouts! =-.

  31. ahhh whenever you said, “your wife will be fine” I was thinking … either she is a total saint or she is going to have divorce papers waiting for you upon your return!!!!!

  32. you got me 🙂
    .-= Liz @ lizrunsdc´s last blog ..Greens =-.

  33. You got me! Good one!

  34. Is this a subtle way of revealing the gender of your baby or is that just part of the joke as well? 😮
    .-= Daniel´s last blog ..Jacketless =-.

  35. haha, nice try 😉
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Newton Running Week 1 =-.

  36. My husband is quite clever:) Baby Fraz and I will have the pleasure of watching Matt run Boston in 2011 on or around his/her first birthday next year!!

  37. I’m pretty slow on all this April fools stuff and was starting to think what I could write to tell you it won’t compare! so did you defer?
    .-= N.D.´s last blog ..Broccoli Pancakes and Nick drinking milk =-.

  38. I was ready to go punch you! Babies trump Boston Always!
    .-= Rebeca´s last blog ..CSA Wednesday: Finding the Right CSA for You =-.

  39. Haha you completely had me right up until now! The ONLY one that fooled me today 😀

  40. Got me!!

    And I even believed that April would be the baby’s name until I saw FOOL written all over my face! That was by far the best April Fool’s post I’ve read all day!!

  41. wow… you got me there. I was going to tell you this was NOT a good decision and I ‘get’ the whole Boston thing. I will be running it for the first time on April 19 after working for 5 years to finally get a qualifier.

    I was also ‘FOOLED’ by the new BQ times that BAA posted and was feeling bad for you because you wouldn’t be able to run 2011 without breaking 3 hours. Thank goodness that was just a joke.

    Enjoy the birth of your little miracle, and look forward to Boston all year long. I am looking forward to running a marathon without worrying about time. Smiling the whole way!!
    .-= Barb Cymanski´s last blog ..New Foods I have gotten to know… =-.

  42. hahahahahaha, definitely the best one I’ve seen yet.

    Love your disclaimer now. I giggled.

  43. Haha! That was funny! You got me. Happy April’s fool!
    .-= Sand Sock Girl´s last blog ..“LADIES, LET’S GO FISHING!” – Fishing Seminar April 23-25 =-.

  44. I know I’m late to comment on this but just HAVE to tell you — I read through this real quick on April 1 and almost died thinking about your poor wife…and your questionable mental state. You totally got me until the end. Best April Fool’s joke of the year BY FAR! (also…totally relieved you WERE joking… :))
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Whole Wheat Flax Blueberry Pancakes =-.

  45. Heather says:

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a little while but I’ve seen a couple of references to this one so I just had to check it out. This is hilarious genius! Great job on the trickery. I loved it so much I had to forward it on to some of my friends.

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