Altra Endurance Team: Boston Reflections

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Altra’s endurance team raced hard in Boston and posted some impressive results: Tommy “Rivers” Puzey clocked an Olympic qualifying time of 2:18:20 and finished 16th overall, Jacob Puzey ran a solid race with a time of 2:26:52, Laura Kline fought hard and ran 3:03:24, and Altra cofounder, Brian Beckstead, not only ran his signature Boston Double faster than he ever had, but picked up a marathon PR with a time of 3:35:45. We share each of our athletes’ post-Boston reflections below:

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PC: Mike Scott

“I poured my whole soul out onto that course and yet somehow left feeling even more full of life and love and gratitude than before I toed the line. I am in such awe of the Boston community and unity that is born out of the collective struggle - a reciprocal, symbiotic relationship between runner and spectator. A transfer of energy. An exchange of power. The building of something great - the collective whole exceeding the strength of the sum of the individual parts. That is the power through which worlds are created, and by which the broken worlds are healed.

Thank you, Boston, for inspiring me to push into realms previously unknown to me, and for disassembling and redefining the preconceived boundaries of my own human potential. Such a fleeting gift to be alive and to have the ability to move. I hope to move freely for decades to come, but I see in my patients everyday that nothing is guaranteed, and that not a single breath, or a single step, or the utterance of a single word should be taken for granted. Life can change; it can all be gone in an instant. And for that I’ll run every race, and live everyday, and speak every word as if it were my last.” —Tommy “Rivers” Puzey Tommy’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/tommy_rivs/

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PC: Elizabeth Collin

“The face you make when you realize your younger brother just ran the race of his life on the biggest stage in the running world and all he wants to do is take care of you.

We hoped to run together for as long as possible. I was sweating before even warming up and started cramping less than 5K in, but figured if we fueled and paced adequately, we’d be fine. When we approached the water bottle stations, we took turns picking them up and sharing the water so that we could stay cool and hydrated. He was kind enough to share his special water bottles with me as I didn’t have a recent enough marathon time to be considered “elite.”

When he pulled away, I wasn’t sad. I was proud. I wished I could accompany him, but was also grateful that he didn’t need me. He is no longer the little kid who used to tag along beside or behind me. He is a grown man, a seasoned veteran, a husband, a father, a doctor. He is intimately familiar with the human body & even more acquainted with the realms of pain. He has seen & experienced more than most, but rather than weigh him down, he considers his experiences strengths. He is stronger because of them and better able to help those who are suffering.

I have received a lot of praise & attention since Marathon Monday, but the hero of the day and the one who deserves the accolades is Tommy Rivers. I have never seen him so fit, so determined, so consistent, and so resolute. He is no longer an honourable mention. He will be a factor in any race he runs. Monday was simply a glimpse of what the next three years before the 2020 Olympics will look like.” —Jacob Puzey Jacob’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/jacobpuzey/

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“Yes, I’m stubborn. This was evident on the day of the Boston Marathon. While I realized pretty early on that my sub-3 goal was slipping away, I still tried up until the very end to reach it. I was feeling worse each mile after 20, but the thought never even crossed my mind to just back off and enjoy the ride. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t try. So much for all that hot air when I talked about how I wasn’t going to do anything stupid to reach my goal. I always like to think that I am a smarter racer after my heat stroke – that I pay more attention to my body while I’m racing. The Boston Marathon was a day of dancing right along that edge. I ran those last few miles scared and desperate. I wanted to enjoy the sights and the crowds, but everything was a blur. I could only focus on that gigantic finish line that didn’t seem to get any closer. I couldn’t think to shut it down and take it easy – I wanted to cross that finish line as quickly as possible so I could finally succumb to the heat and cramps in my legs.

As for my race, no regrets. I put it all out there, which is the way I like to race. I ran with heart and joy like I said I would. I enjoyed and appreciated the intensity of the crowds. I smiled as much as I could. I was 3 minutes and 25 seconds over my goal time. I did not run a single one of those last 5 miles under 7:00 pace. I am okay with my result. I am honored to have had the opportunity to race the Boston Marathon and humbled by this event. The entire community, what they have endured – it’s incredible to be a part of it!

I ran in the special edition Boston Escalante’s, which I picked up from Altra founder Golden Harper himself the day before the race. I didn’t run (or even walk) a mile in those shoes prior to the marathon. Although, that’s a huge no-no, it’s a testament to how much trust I have in Altra’s footwear. They served me well on race day and not a single blister even after enduring endless cups of water and a jaunt through an open fire hydrant.” —Laura Kline Laura’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/laurajkline/

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“Today was amazing! Every once in a while I have experiences that seem to transcend life. Firstly, I met 5 random people on the way out to the start doing the double. Good people that were real…and real cool! Then on the way back I focused more then ever on pace and form. I seemed to float along the entirety of the Boston course. It was a rare state of flow and presence that created a wonderful state of happiness throughout the run. I seemed to absorb all the cheers and positive vibes that clearly go along with this special marathon. With 6 miles left, I realized that I had a chance to run a solid PR for the Boston Double. My body responded perfectly and I created a race atmosphere to hammer it home! My official marathon time was 3:35 and I finished with a huge smile! Congrats to so many of my friends who almost all had amazing races here at Boston Marathon 2017.” —Brian Beckstead Brian’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/brian_altra/


Don’t forget to pick up a pair of the Altra Boston Escalante to commemorate the best Patriot’s Day celebration you’ve ever experienced! www.altrarunning.com/men/boston-escalante

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