2011 Boston Marathon Results - Chi Running

2011 Boston Marathon Results

Posted by Danny Dreyer on Wed Apr 20th, 2011, 9 comments

Well, I'm back home again, letting the dust settle a bit. It was quite a whirlwind week, last week. We had a great crew of Chi Runners helping out at the Chi Running booth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (Thank you all soooooo much. You all did a great job and we couldn't do this type of event without you. It was a true blessing to have you out there "working the crowds.")

And there were definitely crowds. The Health and Fitness Expo was a sea of runners, families and industry people sharing in the build-up to the race. I was the first speaker in their speaker series on Thursday afternoon and we had a sizable crowd despite the fact that it was the first day of the expo and I was scheduled to start speaking only 15 min. after the doors opened. Many thanks to all the wonderful Chi Running fans who came by our booth to give us their testimonials, which we hope to post on the website soon. If it's the pain-free Chi Running technique that keeps them going, it's their success stories that keep us going.

Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee stopped by to say hi. They're the folks who wrote the book Barefoot Running.

I also gave a Chi Running talk and demonstration to the AMAA (American Medical Athletic Assoc.) Symposium that was happening across the street from the convention center. It's an annual meeting of doctors who gather to share their knowledge of the latest in the care of running related injuries. The "act" that I followed was a discussion on barefoot running given by Dr. Dan Lieberman, Dr. Ilene Davis, and Dr. Mark Cucuzzella.  It was perfect timing for me to directly follow them because the attendees had been sitting and listening to speakers for hours. So, as usual, once the ChiRunning talk started they were up on their feet. I am VERY interested in more doctors hearing about the positive benefits of the pain-free Chi Running technique and we're winning more over every year. The talk was well received and many of the docs came by the booth afterwards to get a copy of the Chi Running book. 


The weather on race day couldn't have been more ideal... as you can see by the finishing times of the leaders. (The winner deserves to hold the world record even if the course is a net downhill. Running Heartbreak Hill, preceded by the Newton Hills, at the speed those guys are running is amazing.) The temperature at the start was about 45º and it was a cloudless day. The constant tail wind varied between 5-15 mph and was a wonderful boost up the hills. The peak temperature never felt hot (≍55º). 

The start is a nice downhill and I was just running by feel for most of the first half. I felt very comfortable holding a 7:45 mpm pace for the entire first half. It was incredibly crowded, as you can imagine, so I spend a lot of time running in the dirt off to the side of the course, which felt like I was trail-running my way through the Boston Marathon. Lots of weaving up front. I must give the organizers a lot of credit. The start was one of the most organized and easy starts of any race this size I've ever seen. 27,000 people took off without a hitch. Having the chip stuck on the back of my race bib was also a nice feature.

Most of my up-front running focuses were: a. keeping my hips and legs as totally relaxed as possible, b. pelvic rotation on the downhills, c. lengthening my spine and keeping my shoulders low, d. leaning into the downhill sections to make up for any lost time on the uphills.

I started drinking water at every aid station after the 6-mile mark. My countdown timer was set to beep every 10 minutes, so I grabbed a small 6oz. water bottle from someone along the route and carried that. All I really needed was to drink every 10 minutes, not at every aid station. It worked just fine. The other thing I did was to take chocolate PowerGel about every 45 min. I'd do them in thirds and with each glob I would chase it with a mouthful of water and not swallow it until the gel was completely dissolved in the water. 

I also took one Succeed! capsule every hour throughout the race. I tape them on my race bib with masking tape and peel them off as needed. I call them my "bullet pack."

After the halfway mark the Newton Hills start showing up at mile 16. That's when my legs started feeling the effects of standing on a concrete Expo floor for the three prior days. I did my best to switch to lots of upper body usage and driving with the obliques and it worked well on the uphill sections. My pace through the Newton Hills slowed to anywhere from 8:15's to 9:45's.  After I crested the top of Heartbreak Hill (late in mile 20) I was able to re-cohere my energy and focus all the way to the finish. 

The throngs of encouraging spectators lining the course was a total inspiration. The Wellsley Girls were there as usual and gave everyone a good boost before heading into the hills. I'd have to say the best-crowd-of-the-day award goes to the folks on both sides of Heartbreak Hill... the "uphill" crowd lifted everyone's spirits the "downhill" crowd was over the top wink 

I ran a couple of easy miles with Ryan Miller who graciously met me at mile 8 (where he grew up). Go to his FB page for a "running interview." No matter how much I weaved through the crowd, every time I looked around he was right there beside me like a shadow. 

Many, Many heartfelt thanks to all the aid station workers and organizers who helped to make this year's Boston a fabulous experience for all the runners. There is NO WAY we could do it without your support. 

I have only a very slight soreness in my quads today from the downhills. I went for a bike ride this morning to circulate the blood through my legs and they're feeling great right now. Thanks also to all of you who have cheered commented on my Boston training on FB. It's sooooo inspiring!


Here's the stats. First place in my AG finished 1 hour ahead of me!



  • race-specific training,
  • boston marathon

9 CommentsLeave a comment below

Kate Saunders Apr 20th, 2011 10:01am

Congratulations, Danny!

This is a great article - I almost felt like I was there. (:
Sounds like an amazing run and race.

Thanks for all you’re doing w/ChiRunning.

Phyllis Howard Apr 20th, 2011 12:07pm

Danny… first time I’ve been aware of your age… smile  You look so great! 
I took your class two yrs ago at Kripalu and learned so much…  Wish I had been paying attention b/c if I knew you were in Boston I’d have come up to visit!  You might not remember me but I was one of the ‘older’ runners (now 62) and have been a huge fan for years.  Getting ready for a half marathon in Bos on Mem Day - using your half marathon training guide and am in week 8.  Question.. what is the Succeed capsule you mention?  Is it the electrolyte stuff you refer to in your books? 
Congratulations on a nice finish… you’re just amazing!
Phyllis Howard

glenn trimboli Apr 20th, 2011 12:23pm

great run Danny, you sure picked the perfect day to do it.

I’ll see you in a few weeks at your morning workshop in the NYC.

I’ve signed up for the Pikes Peak Ascent,  need some good pointers for that one!!

take care,,


Clint Wilson Apr 21st, 2011 11:06am

Way to go Danny on the overall time:) I can only hope I can keep up with that pace this year.


Ashish Verma May 16th, 2011 01:05am

Hi Danny,  do you drink gatorade, or any other sports drink at all during races or during trainings ? Or do you just drink water and take Succeed capsules ?

Danny Dreyer May 17th, 2011 03:19pm

I don’t drink Gatorade, mostly becuase of the ingredients in it and I don’t feel it truly hydrates me. I usually just drink water and the S Caps, or my honey and maple syrup concoction.
Danny Dreyer

Phyllis Howard May 17th, 2011 06:10pm

Hi Danny.. now I’m curious… what is the honey and maple syrup concoction?  I’ve been struggling with drinks… most of them irritate my stomach.  I also can’t figure out what your Succeed capsules are and how to get some?  Are they electrolyte capsules?

Danny Dreyer May 24th, 2011 11:42am

Hi Phyllis,
My mixture is 2/3 honey and 1/3 maple syrup and a tablespoon of espresso if you’re using it in the last 10k of a marathon. S Caps are electrolyte supplementation, and they don’t give the effects of a sour stomach as many sports drinks do. I order my S Caps here: http://www.succeedscaps.com/main_scaps.html Lots of information on the caps at their site.
Danny Dreyer

Shayne Simons Apr 17th, 2012 04:12am

You snapped a complete picture of the race. Your article has driven me more excited for this years marathon in boston.

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