Boston was totally nuts, in a good sort of way. It reminded me a lot of a Greek holiday party, nonstopcommotion. So I felt right at home. The group swelled from 50 to over 100 at a point, with people jumping in left and right to join the entourage. It was an incredible experience; never in my wildest dreams could I ever have imagined such a day.
Runners had flown in from Texas, California, Florida, Canada, and Israel. There were a number of first-time marathoners, and one runner was celebrating her 100th marathon today! A large crowd had gathered at the start, and with a boisterous countdown we headed down the road, fall colors in full blaze on both sides.
The Boston Marathon is traditionally held in the spring, and running the course in the fall with the leaves changing was absolutely spectacular. A number of runners said this was their “prettiest” Boston ever.People lined the road cheering as we passed, some even went so far as to setup little aid stations with food and water for the runners.
At the halfway point, we were met by the Wellesley College womens’ cross-country team who joined us to the finish. Other runners met up at different points along the route, some ran for a few miles, others went all the way to the finish. We chatted, shared some battle tales and some laughs, ate and drank a lot, and generally carried on like a roaming party was in progress. Even Heartbreak Hill couldn’t bring us down. I’d run the Boston Marathon last year and it was great, but I have to admit that I had more fun this time.
As we rounded the final corner and headed toward the finish at Copley Square, I couldn’t believe the size of the crowd that had gathered! There were people waving signs, television cameras, kidsscreaming, police sirens blaring, and cheering spectators lining the road. We ran across the finish as a team, at least as best we could given the sheer number of runners. It was a magnificent conclusion to a historic fall Boston Marathon, and I was so thankful to share this moment with such a terrific group of people.
We adjourned to City Sports for a post-race gathering. The other runners seemed to share mysentiment that this was an amazing day. On top of it all, six first-timers crossed the finish line, and a number of people set personal records. As we were preparing to go, my son Nicholas said, “Look at what they gave me dad!”
The manager of City Sports had given him a new football. Not being one to turn down a game of catch with Nicholas, we headed out to the parking lot and let it fly. It would have been good to stretch for a while, but this was much better.
All the best from Bean Town,