Posted by: Joe English | April 2, 2008

Commentary: April excites me!

Yes, it’s true. I do get excited about April. Actually there are two months that really excite me throughout the year as a marathon runner and writer: April and October.

Joe Running Small

October is really the six week period from the end of September to the beginning of November. It’s the time when the most marathons happen around the world and, in particular, some of the biggest ones: Berlin, Chicago and New York. That’s just an all-out good time.

But April is awesome too. April might sneak under the radar screens for some people, especially those of us that live in northern climes. Here we are just starting to blow the dust off our warmer weather running gear or coming out of hibernation from the winter and April presents us with two huge early season races. That means that some people — some of us — have managed to keep things going through the winter and are ready to take on a race.

And these are important races two: London and Boston!

The London Marathon is a huge deal, because of the amazing elite field that is often assembled and the world records that have been set there from time-to-time. The fireworks at the front of this race are often quite amazing. Last year’s 1-2 finishers in London were, in fact, the same 1-2 combination at New York six months later. This year Paula Radcliffe will sit out the race, but she has often lit up the course, setting world records and generally being awesome there.

Boston is a big, big, deal for a variety of other reasons. For one thing World Marathon Major’s Champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot will be back to see if he can three-peat the race. And the day before Boston we’ll get to see the US Olympic Marathon Trials on the women’s side to see how the American women stack up and who will represent us in Beijing.

But Boston also has this amazing aura about it, because it requires qualification for amateur (or age group) runners. Because the bar is set high to make it to Boston, it’s just an honor to be there and that adds a major mystique to the whole race.

As Duane Slade said on his new blog yesterday, describing his excitement about the upcoming Boston Marathon:

“…that’s the cool thing about Boston. A regular guy like me — a financial consultant by day — can make his way to a huge international sporting event. I can’t think of any of sport where I’d be able to get to the championship game, whether that be the SuperBowl, the World Series, or the Masters. But with enough work, sweat, tears, and pain, a mere mortal like me can wind up running 26.2 miles alongside the best that America has to offer.” (You can read the whole post by clicking here.)

I think that says volumes about what the Boston Marathon means to so many people.

I’m personally excited to be going back to Boston for the first time since 2004. And I’ll have a lot of coverage here on Running Advice and News as we get ready for the race. I’ll be doing interviews with several people running in the marathon and I’m even working on some new video segments that will be shot while running the race itself — something I haven’t attempted before. I’ve been doing live blogs from races for a few months now, but this will be a new medium to test out.

Bottom line: I’m excited and I hope you are too. This is going to be a great month. I hope you’ll experience some of it with me here!

If you’d like to comment on what Boston means to you or you would like to be interviewed about your upcoming Boston Marathon experience, I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment here to get in touch with me.

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



  1. Iol, coach!

    April is indeed an incredible month for running. I have my first marathon of the season this month, and have my oldest son’s birthday. Beautiful time of renewal.

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