“Every serious marathoner should do Boston,
to experience the close to a million spectators,
the three generations of families out cheering,
the little kids handing you water or orange slices.
The whole city really appreciates the runners.”
I am not sure what being a “serious” marathoner entails, but I do know that I am seriously into running! Perhaps that is why I was glued to my twitter feed all morning (in between entering orders and caring for patients) drinking up every ounce of information as if I had been stranded on a dessert island with no other source of sustenance. Truthfully, I was rooting for Shalane Flanagan more than any other runner out there. It was clear how badly she wanted it… Plus, I am a sucker for a hometown hero. Add to that the fact that she is no taller than I am and a totally bad ass lady; and you can start to understand why this women has won my support.
If not, watch this:
Hello! She is wearing a polka dot jacket and she compared running to church… clearly we were separated at birth and I just happened to miss out on the super athletic genes.
Okay, now that we are on the same page… Let’s talk about why I am obsessed with the Boston Marathon. For starters, Boston is the brass ring of the marathon and distance running community. It’s a goal that so many people dream about. The amount of blood, sweat, tears, and months to years of preparation and training it takes is unlike any other marathon. The time qualifiers are so competitive that I will easily be in my 60s before I qualify by their standard, and that is only if that don’t up the qualifiers by then!
Boston is not a race you run on a whim. It’s a race you pine and dream about. Every runner in that race has earned a spot there; and before you point out that there are plenty of people who get in by fundraising for charity- I would like to just invite you to take a look at the minimal fundraising requirements to get in. When you find a cheap one, you let me know. Point being every runner out there deserves every bit of support from the crowd.
I have always been a fan of Boston; however, after last year’s marathon it has become even more significant. The tragedy that happened last year shined a national spotlight on the marathon and running community. It carried marathon running into the mainstream more than it ever had been. It inspired more people than ever to want to run a marathon and to want to run Boston. It brought the spectators and runners together. It drew people who never had interest in running into the sport (yes, it is a sport). The Boston bombing didn’t scare anyone away from the Boston Marathon, rather it attracted them in droves.
Why? Because it was a tremendous display of community and indomitable strength. The aftermath of the explosion was filled the city with terror, but even more so it was filled with courage, selflessness, charity, goodwill, empathy, and compassion. All the best parts of human character showed through more luminous than any damage those terrorists could have inflicted. People risked their lives to help complete strangers. Runners continued (after running the full marathon) to the hospitals to donate blood. Finishers gave up their medals to those individuals who were stopped short of their goal. The whole nation rallied in support.
The Boston Marathon was not defeated, rather it became an even greater symbol of resilience. It brought Patriots Day from a little know local holiday into national consciousness. Perhaps, the next step should be to declare it a National Holiday, and we could all celebrate the Marathon together… Should anyone decide to start that petition please let me know!
In the meantime, I showed my support in the best way I knew how. I started by joining the 118 For Boston Movement and logging all my mileage with the tag #118ForBoston in RunKeeper. If I can’t run Boston in person, then at least I can run miles for Boston! In case you were wondering, I included the #118ForBoston tag on my Ultra mileage on Saturday as well. It was my last official contribution before the race this morning. I also wore my race shirt and sneakers in support of Marathon Monday as well! My newest shirt addition from the Traprock Ultra just happens to be Boston Marathon colors, and super awesome to boot. I think it may be my favorite race shirt yet! I am pretty sure I am the only person who dressed in support of the marathon today at work, but I just assume that’s because everyone is living under a rock…
Luckily for me, my coworkers were pretty tolerant of my exuberance about the race. They even humored me with feigned interest when I rattled off the standings every 15-20 minutes. I was sad that Shalane didn’t win, but happy for her that she ran the first half faster than the course record and got a PR. I was also pumped that Rita broke the course record with a time of 2:18:57. The women totally rocked that race!!!! Way to represent ladies!!!! I think I even heard that Rita ran a 4:47 split at mile 24 which was one of the fastest splits for any of the racers- male or female. By the time they announced Meb as the male winner, I think I was ready to jump out of my skin with excitement…. luckily this coincided with my lunch break.
So after spending my morning finally fully recognizing just how useful (and what a God-send for those of us stuck at work with no TV!) twitter can be, I texted the hubs to share my enthusiasm about the results. Can you believe he didn’t know what I was talking about? And he is a runner? Before questioning how we are married, I decided that he must have just woken up. Obviously, if he had been awake, he would have been equally as captivated by the days events… like every other runner on the planet… hello!
Poor hubs… He had no idea what he was getting himself into when he met me. And to think he once made a comment about his ex-fiance not being a “real” runner because she “only ran half marathons” (Pfff as if there were such a thing as fake runners… At the time we weren’t even officially dating and I don’t think I had ever run more than 8 or 10 miles). Oh hubs, how many times have you had to eat those words in the past 3+ years…
What did you all do to show your support for the Boston Marathon today?
Just a little more inspiration for you…
You can also see her dance again and learn about the technology here
Congrats to all the Boston Marathon Finishers!!!!!