***EDIT: The following post was written and posted the morning before the tragic Boston Marathon bombing. My heart goes out to all those affected, and to all of those whose lives were turned upside down for one senseless act of violence. Stay Strong, Boston.***
Today is one of the best days of the year in Boston; Marathon Monday. Instead of a normal blog post, I’ve taken today to write a letter to all of the runners who will be pounding the pavement today:
Dear Marathon Runners,
Do you know what you’re about to do? You’re about to run. 26.2 miles.
From Hopkinton to Boylston St, through Framingham, Wellesley, Newton, and Brookline, among other towns in between. Past throngs of screaming students from Wellesley College, BC, BU, and the 30something other colleges in the Boston Area (because of course all of the colleges have this day off, it’s “Patriots Day”). Up Heartbreak Hill, where you’ll want to just crawl your way to the top (or alternatively, curl up in the fetal position and cry… both are acceptable). You’ll run through some quieter areas, but for the most part the crowds will be so loud and excited that, for better or worse, you’ll hardly be able to hear yourself think. You’re about to run.
You’re about to join the exclusive club of people who have run Boston. BOSTON. The world’s oldest annual marathon, and one that is the pinnacle of many runners’ careers. Runners from all over the US and all over the world dream of running in this race, and here you are. You are HERE. You are about to run. You are becoming a part of history; a part of a century-old tradition, and this is happening NOW.
And I’ll be somewhere in Mile 25
eating handing out Swedish Fish to those who need a little glucose kick (and maybe throwing back a mimosa or two). And for that, that makes you better than me (for today). You have trained your butt off, you have logged countless miles throughout a long, cold winter in order to get ready for today. You have dedicated your weekends to long runs and your social life has taken a back seat to the pavement. For that, I applaud you. Whether you’re an elite, a weekend warrior, a war veteran, running for a charity or simply to put a check check-mark on your bucket list, know that today you are amazing.
As much as I joke on this blog about how much I hate running, I have the utmost respect for all of you. The reality of the situation is, I couldn’t do what you’re doing today. The time, the commitment, the training sessions, the final event; I know it’s not in the cards for me. But you’re about to complete one of the most incredible tasks of your lives. I applaud you for everything that has brought you to this moment, and I will continue my applause all day, from the sidelines, because not everyone has a marathon in them. YOU do.
You are strong, you are determined. You may be fast, you may be slow, but all that matters is that you’re here, and you’re about to run.
And to my friends Kristen, Steph, and Corey who are running today, this message goes out to you three especially. Good luck on the course, have fun, and most importantly, keep an eye out for me at Mile 25. I’ll give you Swedish Fish. And maybe a mimosa if you ask politely.
You can also check out my Marathon Monday post from last year if you’d like, complete with some thoughts about the inspirational men and women who run this race every year. Enjoy! Happy Marathon Monday everyone!