I went to the Marathon on Monday, just like I’ve done for the past 38 years. I guess maybe I’ve missed a few, in fact, I was in Miami with my daughter during the horrific marathon bombing, (which you can read about here and here and here, too) but mostly, I’ve been cheering from the sidelines during at least 35 of them. I have seen it from Park Drive and Beacon, the finish line when I lived on Newbury, Heartbreak Hill, and more recently Washington Square in Brookline. I’ve cheered for friends and acquaintances as they’ve made the trek. I’ve clapped until my hands hurt, and watched until I was nauseous.
Sometimes the weather is cold, so good for the runners, but bad for the spectators, and sometimes it’s hot, which nobody really loves. This year was warmer than ideal, but really nice. I brought my sister, who, despite living in the Boston area for a long time now, had never been! We didn’t stay long, because she was having some pain from a recent surgery. But even though I have been on the sidelines so many times, I still marvel at the guts and athleticism it takes to keep putting one foot after another for 26.2 miles. I always wanted to run this thing, but my running days ended after college, when I found out I had a herniated disc in my low back and had to put away my sneakers. I cherish this event for its soul (and sole). Every year it has stories of hope and help and heart. And whether you’re running or watching, everybody is part of the great tradition that is Boston, baby.
Grateful this historical and iconic race went off without a hitch, a backpack or a misstep. I will always love that dirty water.