Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon logo 460

It is THE marathon – the sine qua non, if you will, of long distance races.  You cannot just sign up to participate in it; you have to qualify.  And to qualify?  Well, that is tough – I mean, real tough…we are talking about months and months of long runs, tempo runs, hill training, interval training, pace runs and more.  Then you have to run one of the Boston qualifying marathons within a specific time frame to make the cut.  I have been fortunate enough to run it twice, in 2006 and 2007.  And to be honest- aside from my wedding day and the births of my three children – those two days are in the top highlights of my life. 

The race is run on Patriot’s Day every year and the entire city of Boston has the day off from work.  They bus the runners out to Hopkinton, a small city that is 26.2 miles from Copley Square.  On April 17, 2006 I stood at the start line, crying, not really believing that I was a part of it…that this piece of history would soon be a part of my history.  I ran the race smiling the entire time – running through Ashland, immersing myself in the cheers at Welleslley college, trudging up Heartbreak Hill, setting my sights on the famous Citgo sign, and finally crossing the finish line.  The spectators lined every inch of that race course, cheering each and every runner on.  It was incredible, and I ran my PR that day.
boston 2006

My husband, my mom, and my sister met me at the finish line.  It was everything I dreamed of and more. 

In 2007, I went back to run it again.  They almost canceled the race due to a Nor’easter, but ~25,000 of us ran it anyway.  They weren't the best racing conditions, but it was just as incredible as the year before.  They actually used a picture of me running that race for an Adidas Ad used in the 2008 Boston marathon (I was pregnant with my precious MJ that year so I had to sit it out). 
Adidas ad

Why am I telling you all of this?  Well, I guess because this race is very special to me – it’s hard to explain in words.  When I heard that someone set two bombs off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday, I was devastated.  Devastated for the victims, the runners, the spectators, the city of Boston, and our entire country.  What is such a beautiful, incredible, special event turned into a horrific act of violence.  To the runners who were trying to make this a part of their history, to the spectators who were cheering on loved ones and even complete strangers, to the entire city who supports this incredible race every year – my thoughts and prayers go out to you.  I hope to make it back their soon.

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