Photos and Videos from the Trip!

Feelin’ Groovy

Things have been a whirlwind since I went to bed Sunday night after qualifying for Boston.  Woke up Monday morning, graded some papers while we drove the rest of the way home, went directly to school, skipped my afternoon classes to get home and work on an assignment until midnight, and woke up this morning and started preparing for a talk I have to give tomorrow, which will take me through the rest of the day.

[matt before race]I really haven’t had a chance to sit back and think about this accomplishment.  I have, on the other hand, been taking frequent breaks to read your wonderful comments on yesterday’s race recap.  I can’t tell you how touching it is to know that so many people were cheering for me and that people found so much inspiration in my achieving this goal that seemed so impossible after I ran my first marathon in 4:53:41, almost four minutes per mile slower than I ran on Sunday.  The privilege of motivating and inspiring people just by pursuing a personal goal is really an awesome gift, and I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity.  It’s especially neat to hear from all these first time commenters whom I didn’t even know were following my journey; I hope you find reason to leave me more comments the future!

Congratulations to Holly, Erica, Robin, Megan, Angharad, all of whom ran races this weekend and did some inspiring of their own, and to Pete, who ran his two weeks ago and whose training and actual race eerily mirrored my own.

Trip Recap

We left in the motorhome Thursday night and drove to Williamsport, Connecticut Pennsylvania (oops), where we stayed in a Wal Mart parking lot.  (Wal Mart is very RV-friendly.)  Williamsport is where the Little League World Series is held each year, so we got out for a quick photo op in front of the main field.

[williamsport photo]

From there, we headed up to Corning, NY, where we stayed at a campground.  Much nicer atmosphere than Wal Mart for the marathoner-in-waiting.

Since it’s hard to eat vegetarian and eat well on the road, especially when you’re trying to eat a lot to fuel up for the race, we made a lot of meals in advance.  Here we are chowing down on some carb-heavy orzo (ah, the sacrifices family made for me) on Friday night.

[eating orzo photo]

Contrast this with what we ate on our cross-country motorhome trip out to Arizona for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in 2006:

[eating meat photo]

Can you believe I still married her?  Please accept my sincere apologies, not for eating meat back then (what can I say, I was young and stupid), but for the UnderArmour turtleneck.  Now we know why it’s not called OverArmour.

Saturday we went to the expo, where I picked up my number.

[getting number photo]

There’s nothing like shopping to bond father and son.  Oh wait a minute, yes there is.  It’s called “anything besides shopping.”

[shopping with dad photo]

At least Margaret scored a nice top!

[margaret photo]

After the expo we went to a winery (an obligatory motorhome-trip pastime).  Erin has been telling me since we’ve met how beautiful upstate New York is in the fall, and I think I might finally be convinced.

[everyone photo]

Then we checked out the marathon course and the start line, which made me realize this thing was really happening tomorrow and I started to get a little nervous.

[matt start photo]

Using modern tools to build a campfire: one of the aforementioned many things better than shopping to bond father and son.


I got the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had before a marathon.  Here’s a little video of Erin helping me pin my number on, which she always does because I make it crooked every time.

And another, of me doing some of the weird-looking warmups that I do before I run.

Then before we knew it, it was race time.

[race photo]

A video after four miles:

And another at 19 miles, when things were just starting to hurt.  It was windy; sorry about the noise.

A few shots of my cheering section, who made lots of friends during the race when they drove by, cheering, in the motorhome.

[dad and dogs]

[margaret sign]

[erin sign]

And finally, the finish line.



I posted this photo yesterday, but I love it and it’s such a perfect ending. I’ve never in my life felt so bad and so good at the same time.  What an amazing day.

[matt in grass]

This post is part of 10-part series on qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  Check out the rest!



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  1. LOVED every single bit of this recap, and I loved all the videos Erin took (she seems awesome and I’ve officially decided y’all are going to be the coolest parents ever). :)Great job, again!
    .-= Lindsey @ Sound Eats´s last blog ..Pumpkin Pie =-.

  2. Damn this makes me so happy! I love the videos!! I also laughed at the outer armour comment. good call haha
    .-= Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn´s last blog ..Fall Heats the Streets of Brooklyn =-.

  3. Wow! You look SO much like your Dad!! I love the pics and will have to watch the vids later. Congrats Matt, what a great time and great run and great “time” also to get into Boston!! Go NMA!
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Goal #2–It’s Personal =-.

  4. Ian Potts says:

    I don’t get it. Why are you aplologizing for wearing an Under Armor shirt?

  5. Congrats on everything! Your cheering section is great.
    .-= Whitney @ Lettuce Love´s last blog ..5 Mile Run … Bring on the Macaroni =-.

  6. I laughing quite hard at the pic of you and your wife “chowing down” on that meat . . . and man, between yours and Holly’s recaps, it’s making me all emotional!
    .-= Morgan @ Life After Bagels´s last blog ..Should I Be The Real Deal: Self Hosting =-.

  7. thank you for your site– i find it very inspirational–

    PS Williamsport is in Pennsylvania : )

  8. Haha, thanks for the picture of you in UnderArmour eating meat. I don’t think I would’ve believed it if I didn’t see it and that made me laugh out loud
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..How To Ace An Exam =-.

  9. Sounds like you all had a great trip. I didn’t travel nearly as far, nor did I run. I was there for support but posted some of my own thoughts on the weekend on my blog at I took over 100 pictures over the weekend between two cameras so only a few on the actual blog but I am going to go back and see if I caught any of you.
    .-= Nicki´s last blog ..Anticipation – NANOWRIMO =-.

  10. Love the recap (made me teary!). I’m so happy for you that you reached your goal. Are you getting some much needed rest?

  11. Cool pictures and videos!
    Ummm LOVE the photo of you guys scarfing meat and you looking ever so fetching in that top. Brilliant!
    Thank you so much for the shout out! I’m glad so many of us had successful races this weekend. Hurray!
    .-= Angharad (Eating for England)´s last blog ..Medtronic TC Ten Mile Race Recap =-.

  12. That last photo…I know that feeling very well, I have a very similar looking picture after the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon.
    Congrats, again!
    .-= Angie´s last blog ..Lazy Days =-.

  13. Driving the campervan throughout the 26.2 miles and running next to NMA trying to get him to eat (that’s what parents do no matter what the offspring’s age) was fun. But listening to Erin and Margaret cheer so sincerely was really a blast. Erin has the loudest yet most harmonic “wooo hooo” I’ve ever heard! And she tried to give all of Matt’s food to anyone in need! It didn’t happen but I expected her sincere offer of the use of campervan’s bathroom to be taken. I was wondering if I had to actually stop the camper or just maintain the runner’s position while the bathroom was being used ;>)

  14. I am so happy for you!!! You are such an inspiration.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Green Monsters are back! =-.

  15. FLXRunner says:

    Nice RR and pics! I saw your crew’s van several times during the Wineglass and was encouraged by all of their cheering! Thanks to them for helping us all through the miles on Sunday.

  16. I just found your blog, but I love your marathon recap. Congratulations! I live in Boston and always go cheer the runners on – I’ll look for you 🙂

  17. Many congrats! As a local to Boston, I saw my first live race last year near about mile 4 and it was amazing and emotional for a spectator! Looking forward to cheering you on in person.

  18. that underarmour shirt is pretty funny 🙂

    congrats again!!!!
    .-= brandi´s last blog ..Flu in the News =-.

  19. awesome recap. seeing how far you have come makes me think that it might be possible for me to qualify for boston someday 🙂
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Totally Buzzin’ =-.

  20. Loved the videos! Nice job cheering Erin! You are astonishing!

  21. 4.53 for a very first marathon is not the end of the world – but to have gotten that down to 3.09, and to have qualified for the Boston Marathon is an achievement indeed – well done!

    Love how your photos of this race and of your dad and you etc, and wording, draw a viewer in and make them “feel” your experience more.
    .-= Terry and Tony´s last blog ..Surfers Marathon 2010, and surfers marathon photos =-.

    • Thanks Terry and Tony! No, 4:53 isn’t the end of the world. I was very happy to have completed a marathon. But I knew it was nowhere close to my potential, so I wasn’t really satisfied until a ran another one, about an hour faster. To get to 3:09 from there was a ton more work, but worth it (for me).

      Thanks for the compliment on the photos and my writing. It’s really nice to hear that once in a while. 🙂

  22. Hi there! I just wanted to thank you for the inspiration. I am you…minus 7 years. Last fall, I finished my very first (very injury prone) full marathon with a bittersweet time of 5:12:42. “Sweet” because, on race day, my injury made me skeptical of finishing at all. “Bitter” because I know I can do better. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your website.

    Some day, I WILL qualify for Boston. There, I said it. I guess I’d better get to work. Thanks again!

    • April, that totally is me. Exactly what I experienced when I ran my first marathon. Happy to finish, but knowing I could do so much better.

      If you want to get to Boston that badly and you can say that you’ll do it, then you’ll do it.

  23. Your family is awesome to support you so well. Your wife, she is just plain crazy. I bet you all have loads of fun. Keep up the good work.

  24. I’m running the Wineglass this fall and it’s my first marathon. I would greatly appreciate it if you could bring the cheering section and support RV! I loved reading through the blogs and am so happy and proud of you, your parents and Erin. Congrats NMA! 🙂


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