I’m a day late, but the absolute awesomosity of the Boston Marathon hasn’t left me yet (and yesterday I couldn’t write because I left for Miami at 6:00 a.m.), so here are five things that made this year’s Boston Marathon one of the best days of the year (or any year).
1. There were 36,000 runners (my friend Dan being one of them, who cruised to the end like he was taking a run in the park on a Saturday morning), more than a million spectators, and if you were part of either group (or just watching on tv) you could see that there is so much more good than there is bad in the world.
2. The weather Gods convened and said, “Yes, this day’s weather will be beautiful whether you are fleet of foot, or sitting on your gluteus maximus drinking a cold one.”
3. I saw runners with cameras on their hats, three sets of bunny ears, six tutus, one pink mohawk wig, a man with two blade legs, a man with no hands, a kid on crutches, numerous flag holders from numerous countries, hundreds of “Boston Strong” shirts, and hundreds more with the names of those lost in last year’s bombings emblazoned on their shirts, a blind runner, a disabled runner running with a guide, thousands of charity entrants, moms and daughters, fathers and sons, friends and for the last time Dick and Rick Hoyt. And every one of these people, I realized, had a story. It was emotional.
4. Spectators were excited and supportive and downright nice to each other. There was no jockeying for positions or snarky “get outta my way” looks on the sidelines. We were partners in bringing back the finish line.
5. There was one arrest for disorderly conduct. This thing went off without a hitch. It was everything that last year’s marathon wasn’t. It was resilience, athletic beauty (Rita Jeptoo beat the course record and Meb Keflezighi from San Diego placed first), grit, joy, and a polite fuck you to the ugliness that ground this city to a halt on April 15, 2013. We’re back. From heartbreak hill to Copley Square. This city is back up and running.