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Patriot’s Day and the Boston Marathon

posted in: Running, WhyWeRun | 0

Ah, Boston. The fabled beast in the marathon world. One of the races you can simply say the city and everyone knows what it means. The race where your time mattered to get in but not so much when you toe the line. The race that may be just as much fun to watch {with or without a beer in hand} as it is to be amongst the masses. This holds especially true on a day like today when the wind is whipping, the rain hurts your face, and mother nature threw a curve ball like no other in the storied history of this marathon.

I've have the pleasure of working a dozen or so major marathons across the Midwest and East coast and they all have something special to them. For Boston it is a New England towns that runners knock off one after another that leads up to a finishing stretch lined with flags from each country represented and thousands of cheering spectators. And it is this small piece of visiting each medical station along the 26.2 miles to set up gear and popping the country flags at the finish line where I get to come in. We started the day at around 4:40 AM to a light drizzle and about 30 degree temps. But even at that absurd hour we saw runners huddled over their morning coffee in the lobby and a few even getting their final warm up preparations in by running up and down the rain soaked blocks of downtown Boston.

And that is the glory of this race. It doesn't matter that the weather hurts your face. It doesn't matter that you had to take a vacation day off from work to compete. And it certainly doesn't matter that a PR is nearly impossible in these conditions because this. is. Boston! You get to official rock that yellow and blue and proudly say say that heart break hill kicked your ass. You get to put that bib in a frame and hang your medal from your rear view mirror. And you get to brag {humbly, of course} that you ran Boston.

It is something special being able to see the streets filled with runners leading up to the race (even if that means they break the cardinal sin of wearing running shoes with blue jeans. That topic will be for our style expert to share with you all). Each having their own pre-race ritual and go-to food but all preparing for the same task at hand. As I finish typing this while sitting in a coffee shop 100 meters from the finish line, I can't help but be amazed at what it looks like to see tens of thousands of people gathering together to cheer, to run, and to be a part of Boston. To all of you running, run strong. To all of you cheering and watching from afar, thank you for the support. And to all of you who made it all the way to the end of this post and cannot believe anyone would subject themselves to 26.2 miles, I challenge you to try. Even if you have to walk the full marathon, you will see what this whole 'running' thing is all about.