The Boston Marathon Pt 2: From JP’s Perspective (What It Was Like To Be A Spouse of a Boston Marathon Runner)

First, we couldn’t have made this trip without our dear friends, Thomas & Jenn. Last year when we casually mentioned that we would be going to Boston with a newborn they quickly chimned in & said, “Sounds so fun! Can we help?”

And HELP they did!

If it wasn’t for Thomas & Jenn, I (JP) would not have been able to see Ryland run. Period. It’s enough to have a newborn in a new city, take public transit, & push through 1000’s of people. But it’s a whole other story when it’s pouring rain & it’s freezing cold. I would have stayed in our little AirBnb the whole day. But thankfully, these two carried bags, huddled me into the train stations & then pushed me in the front of the crowds just so I could catch a glimpse of Ryland coming down the road. There aren’t enough words for how thankful we are that Thomas & Jenn braved this trip with us!

Lots of people have asked, “So how did you do this trip with a newborn? & “How was it for JP when Ryland was running?” Well – here is my honest description of our trip to Boston & truly how it feels to be a spouse of a Boston Marathon Runner!

First & foremost, Ryland does all of his training before Kerr & I even wake up each morning. So we joke a lot, that Ryland lives a whole day before the sun comes up. The most I see of Ryland’s training is when he gets home & is untying his shoes! Yup!

Day 1: Travel To Boston

I was scared out of my mind traveling with Kerr! I wish I could be that cool & calm collected mamma. But alas. This was such a new experience – I imagined the worst. But guess what? It was more than fine & Kerr slept most of the time on the plane. Praise!

When we got to Boston, we had been up since 2 am. So needless to say, we took it very easy the first day & gathered our bearings. A short trip to the grocery store, a long nap for Kerr, & a walk around the Freedom Trail was about all we could handle that day. We all went to bed exhausted!

Day 2: Race Packets & Carb Load

The second day, we braved the cold & headed into Boston for the race exhibit. When we arrived, the exhibit was slammed! Everyone was escaping the rain & cold to pick up their packets. We tasted all of the samples, grabbed a few extra layers of clothes for Ryland to wear on race day, & then took our time seeing all of the exhibits.

On our way back to our Airbnb, we stopped at Harpoon Brewery for a drink. It was packed with runners & families! Truly, everyone was celebrating & getting ready for the big race the next day. 

That evening, we cooked a feast of carbs – pasta, cream sauce, & grilled chicken. We huddled together on the living room floor (it was SO cold) & drank wine. All the while, Ryland mentally prepped for the day ahead! All I could think was “My oh my! We are here & I can’t believe what Ryland is about to do!”

Day 3: Race Day

Ryland was up at 4:30 getting his gear together & then he was off to the train station to meet the other runners. Kerr & I slept in as long as we could. We were up & at em at 9:00 & out the door to join the crowds downtown for the big race. Thomas & Jenn carried our things & I strapped Kerr to my chest as we braved the Boston cold & POURING rain.

Once we got to the race, we huddled down & kept out of the rain. Thomas & Jenn stood on the side of the race cheering on the runners, but there was no way that Kerr could withstand the wet & cold without getting sick. I decided to make the most of it & we hunkered down at a TJ Maxx about a block away from the race. We sang songs, drank hot tea, nursed-nursed-nursed. All the while, I prayed for Ryland “OH LORD, keep my husband. Give him a great race. Please keep his body warm in this cold. Please allow him to finish this race well.”

As Ryland drew nearer to the finish line, Thomas & Jenn made space for me next to the road so I could see him pass. Then the most amazing miracle happened. As I was making my way to the road, a security guard stopped me, “Ma’am! I can’t let you stand out here in the cold & rain with that baby! Please let me take you to my office so you can watch your husband inside.”

My heart stopped. Do I have enough time to follow her & get to a place to see Ryland or will I miss him as I am walking to cover. We decided to bolt & BOY, I am so glad we did. You all saw from our Instagram Live that we saw Ryland right on the road as he was passing by. By God’s grace, Kerr did not get sick & we were able to see Ryland from a warm, rain-free office literally just a few yards from the race. Proud can’t even describe my feelings as we watched Ryland run by. I was overcome with emotions! What an honor to see the one I love come through such a hard race & finish with endurance & joy! Nothing beats that moment!

Day 4: Recovery Day

The following day, we spend walking around Boston to keep Ryland’s legs “warm”. We hit downtown & walked through Bunker Hill & the Charlestown Navy Yard. Both were great & we loved learning about all of the history along the way (huge geeks over here, people).

Day 5: Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity, Jig

That’s it! It was such an experience & one we can’t wait to re-tell over & over again to Kerr one day! Thank you, friends, for cheering Ryland on & for all of your texts, phone calls, & prayers! We couldn’t do this crazy life without our people. Next race? We hope for Ryland to qualify for New York next year 🙂 Stay tuned!

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