After ESPN reporter and senior writer Andy Katz crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, he shuffled painfully on fatigued legs to claim his finisher’s medal.
Drenched from head to toe, yet still cracking a smile, he found shelter inside the media center and reflected on his experience after the 26.2-mile journey.
ESPN: First marathon is in the books. How did it feel?
KATZ: It feels great. It feels overwhelming. I got a little choked up as I crossed onto Boylston. I took in the moment running down Boylston Street, just looking around. It was weird to be in the moment going down that street. I couldn’t believe that I pulled it off.
The only thing that I’m disappointed about is that I cramped up in my hometown. Endurance-wise I felt fine. The funniest thing is that my previous injuries did not affect me at all. My calves, my feet did not affect me at all. It was my quads that never felt pain on any of my runs.
ESPN: You’re a trooper for braving that weather. What did it actually feel like on the course?
KATZ: Now I feel like I’ve completed the trifecta of running in every kind of condition. What I had not done in training was run in driving rain. Snow, ice, cold, wind or heat? I’d done the gamut over the last six months. The only thing I had not faced was driving rain.
The crowds were unbelievable. In Wellesley, they really lifted your spirits. Even before that in Natick and Framingham, it was great. Wellesley sped you along. By my hometown, near [Boston College] was fun. Then when you get into the city, the crowds are tremendous. Here I am, coming later in the day, and yet the crowds did not thin out as much. There was still awesome support.
ESPN: What did you anticipate being the toughest part?
KATZ: I thought it would be Heartbreak Hill, but it was before that. It was going over the hill just off the (Massachusetts) turnpike. That was the hardest hill for me and that’s when I started to cramp up a little in my quads.
ESPN: You’ll have a couple days off from work now. When do you hope the soreness goes away by?
KATZ: The next big event on my calendar is the New York City Triathlon in July. That will feel like a sprint compared to this.
ESPN: Has the marathon bug bitten yet? Are you already thinking about the next one?
KATZ: Not sure yet. It’s a major commitment. I’m overwhelmed, because this was wonderful.
ESPN: How much did it mean for you to complete this journey for the V Foundation and for (ESPN colleague) Shelley Smith?
Katz: It fueled me. It was great getting word this morning that I had raised over $10,700. I think that number is going to grow. It was added fuel for this morning.
Note: Texted the next morning and asked about the state of his legs, Katz replied, "Sore!!! But it's a well earned soreness. New York City Tri next!"