Shit, you guys.
Every year (with the exception of last year when I wasn’t able to be there, probably for the best), I say that Marathon weekend and Monday is the best couple of days in Boston or anywhere, ever. Since I moved here from Boston in 2006 (!!), I’ve gone back almost every year to watch the marathon – my sister still lives there, right along the marathon course – wishfully thinking that maybe I’d be back and running the race the next year. BQing didn’t work out this past fall and I won’t be racing the NJ Marathon this weekend, but this past weekend wasn’t about me and my sub-par, injury-plagued running of late. It was about a city taking back a sacred weekend and a sacred race, and in the process saying a big fuck you to any terrorist, terrorist organization or asshole with an explosive device.
Boston is taken over by runners on marathon weekend, and it’s awesome. My sister and I walked the city, checked out the expo, met Kara Goucher (we are besties now) and ate some good food Saturday and Sunday. Even before the race started, the excitement in the city was absolutely contagious and I loved it.
But even so, Marathon Monday trumped every other day I’ve had in recent history. It started out with a run (!!) with my sister (!!!!!) whom to my extreme excitement, has just started running. We’ve never gone on a run together ever, and this was awesome. After we finished our run, I took off up Beacon Street to see my beloved Charles River and check out the marathon finish area before heading back for some breakfast and marathon prep. My sister lives on Beacon Street by mile 24, which necessitates a party of epic proportions on Marathon Monday. We watched the first part of the race on TV and went down to the street in time to see the leading women, and cheered our faces off for all of them (especially Shalane, who was fighting for every step).
We stayed outside and waited for the men, and had no idea who was leading. We knew Meb had been leading early, but I honestly didn’t think he would still be in contention in the final miles of the race. But, the lead vehicles went by and there was Meb. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this moment, because we (my sister, Julie and many other friends) went NUTS. I have never jumped up and down or screamed so much. “He can do it! HE CAN DO IT!” I said over and over.
We raced back up to my sister’s apartment to watch the finish on TV, and it still gives me goosebumps to think about how awesome those moments were. We kept saying to each other, Meb won! MEB WON!!!” We raced back downstairs to see (Coach) John, who looked great and ended up finishing in a ridiculously amazing 2:32.
The rest of the day was a blur of cheering and (a lot of) beer – we were probably outside well past 4 p.m. and it went by so fast. I always say I prefer running to spectating, and being cheered for as opposed to cheering, but not on Monday. It was so great to be able to cheer on the runners no matter how fast or slow, and be a part of such an awesome day for Boston, the running community and Meb.
sister and I in our matching shirts
As for my running – it’s happening slowly but surely! I’ll probably update on that at some point soon, but I think it’s safe to say I’ve never been more inspired.
And hey, remember that time Meb won Boston? #legendary