“Wow! Look at those runners! How are they so fast? Those crowds are unbelievable. That finish line… I want to be there one day.” Those are just some of the things that have flooded my mind since I began watching the marathon, long before I even started racing.
I feel like the word ‘epic’ is overused, so I don’t use it. To my surprise, ‘epic’ is the word I keep turning to when I think about my experience in the Boston Marathon. I’ve been a part of small races and huge races and everything in between, but I can’t compare my Boston experience to any of those. Maybe if I’d been to a World Series where the Red Sox won, I could possibly compare the excitement surrounding that event to this day, but I’ve never been.
Boston is strong. Boston came out strong. You expect wild cheers for the elites, but the runners running 7+ min pace? No way. Well, they were there and they were wild for us too. People big and small, happy and loud cheering for every runner, every step of the way from Hopkinton to Boylston St.
The need to participate in the spirit of Boston Strong was too overwhelming. I couldn’t ignore the fever that was emanating from the crowd. I tried hard to focus on my splits, but I couldn’t keep myself from cheering along the way, giving every little kid I saw a high-five, and thanking the hydration volunteers as I cautiously grabbed and sipped from cups that were way too full of gatorade and water.
The entire race was filled with beauty beyond my wildest visions. A small part of me wanted my legs to take me to the finish line fast and strong, but the majority of me seemed to, unmindful of me, take a step back. It was as if I was watching a play. It was messy, yet perfectly fine. It was chaos, yet organized. I was performing, yet it felt like I was in the audience.
I watched the minutes on my watch tick by. There were just three miles left in the race when I high-fived my family, but I didn’t feel any sense of urgency to push my strides. With a half mile to go I saw a young woman getting helped by fellow runners. I wanted to help her. The thought of her being so close and not finishing bothered me. I checked in with my legs and thought that if I stopped, I may not start back up. I thought about the runners who got stopped last year, and what an awful shock that must have been. When I rounded Boylston St., I hoped it was safe for me to run down and so I repeated the words “Fearless” & “Be Strong” in my mind as I ran straight down the middle of the road as my husband suggested I do… just in case. Boylston is a long stretch. You can see that finish line, but it is far. When your legs have all but given out, you struggle to keep yourself upright and moving forward. Thoughts of last year crept in, but the crowds lifted me and carried me across the line. I was safe. I finished. The sun was shining. The crowds were cheering.
Upon finishing, I wanted to soak in all the feeling and emotions encompassing the day. However, the loud speaker instructed us to keep moving forward and head towards the gear check area. After about thirty minutes of walking, I finally reached a spot where I could reflect and rest. I saw my watch, I wasn’t thrilled with what it read, but oddly enough I was happy and feeling a good kind of sore nonetheless.
Thank you to all of my friends and family for getting me to the finish line!
I love you all!
Special Thanks: Joe, Ben & Miles, Carly, Mom & Dad, Myra & Dick, Sissy (Julia), Tarrah, Megan, Uncle Monkey (Jordan), Jen, Anna, Emma, Eliza, Jake, Sam, Patti, Deb, Sean & Jess, Danny, Addie & Whisker, AND all of the spectators on Marathon Monday!!!
Yay to Meb for winning!!!! Such an inspiring day!