Even though the University has scheduled classes for Patriots Day today, many Harvard runners will choose to skip class and test their endurance at the Boston Marathon.
From casual joggers determined to finish the marathon to experienced veterans looking to set personal bests, dozens of Harvard students will join nearly 20,000 others in the race.
In the weeks and days leading up to the marathon, Harvard runners have attempted to monitor their eating and sleeping habits, log hours running around Cambridge and Boston, and deal with nerves in anticipation of the marathon.
Emily A. Bates, a tutor in Quincy House, is one of the top U.S. female runners competing in today’s marathon and expects to keep pace with the top female runners.
“This year is the first year that I have run with the elite women,” Bates said.
Bates said she is the highest-ranked female U.S. runner and the 25th seed overall, competing against strong competition from Japan and Kenya.
Bates said she will draw upon the support of fans.
“Cheering helps me a lot so I hope I’ll see people I know along the course,” Bates said.
Blockmates Christopher A. Lamie ’04 and Sarah M. Mercer ’04 will both be at the starting line today.
“It’s going to be an awesome experience,” said Mercer, a Boston Marathon veteran. “We’ve been running together and we have trained on the course a lot which should give us an advantage.”
While Mercer has focused on a specific running schedule and has monitored her food intake, Lamie said he just wants to make it through the race without any problems.
“I’m not going to get into watching what I eat, I wouldn’t really know what to do,” Lamie said. “I’m just trying not to hurt myself.”
“I’ve never really ran formally so training has been interesting,” he added. “Every time I go on a long run, it’s been the longest run I’ve ever done and it’s been extremely painful.”
Though Bates, Lamie, and Mercer have been training in the cold Cambridge weather for the past few months, temperatures today are expected to reach 87 degrees.
“We’ve been training in cold weather so it could be tough to adjust on Monday,” Mercer said. “Chafing could be tough, it’s so nasty.”
Bates also said she is not used to running in such warm weather.
“It’s going to be hot [today], so I don’t know what to expect,” Bates said. “I run best in cooler weather. I’m as white as a ghost so I don’t have much protection from the sun.”
Christopher J. Catizone ’06 will also be running his first marathon today.
“I’ve been getting a lot of sleep but I haven’t been eating well at all,” Catizone said. “I had Pinnochio’s for lunch and dinner the other day.”
“I’d like to finish in between three and four hours but just finishing it would be great,” said Catizone, a high school cross-country and track runner. “A lot of my blockmates, House mates and friends will be there to cheer me on.”