Happy Marathon Monday, everyone! I can’t believe it was just one year ago that our city changed forever. While I’m not in Boston today, I have a guest post from someone who is running this year and may be crossing the finish line as you read this. Like me, she grew up watching the Boston Marathon in Wellesley every year but lived in the town next to mine where the race starts in Hopkinton. Here is her marathon story.
My name is Lauren and I blog over at Will Run for Boston where I share my love of running, healthy living, and my family. I am really excited to post for Sarah today and hope that you enjoy the story that I have to share!
My husband Henri and I just made the big move from California, where we’ve lived for the past 2 years, back to my home town in Massachusetts and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. You see, I grew up in a very special place, Hopkinton, where the Boston Marathon starts.
My family first moved to Hopkinton when I was in 4th grade. Before that I don’t think I knew what a marathon was or even gave running a second thought outside of playing soccer, but when you live in the town where the oldest (and best) marathon in the world starts its nearly impossible not to catch the running bug. Each year in the spring the town would hold a “Mini Marathon”, a day filled with races for kids ranging from 200m for the 3 year olds to the mile for the older kids. I ran my first race at the Mini Marathon that first year that we were in town and it was awful! I couldn’t breathe, I needed water BAD, and I didn’t think I was going to make it but my parents and sisters cheered me on and I crossed that finish line.
I have no idea what my time was or what place I came in but after finishing that race I realized that running was something that I COULD do. And more than that, it was something I WANTED to do.
That same year all of the Kenyans that were running the Boston Marathon came to my school the Thursday before the race. We had a little pep rally for them, cheered for them, and got to listen to them talk about running in Kenya past lions and all sorts of other wild animals. I can still remember being 9 years old and sitting there in awe of these amazing runners. Four days later I got myself all dressed up in my new Kenyan T-shirt for Marathon Monday.
For the first of many times in the years to come, my family and I went to Wellesley to cheer on the runners at the half-way point of the marathon. As we watched the elite runners sprint by I cheered my little heart out. I was officially a fan of running – I had been hooked.
Since that day (14 years ago now) I have run cross country and track throughout middle school, high school, and even through 4 years at a NCAA Division I school. But my biggest dream has always been to run the Boston Marathon. When I first heard about the events of last year’s marathon I was in complete shock.
How could someone do that to such a great city? How could someone do that to such a great race?
That week following the 2013 marathon was the most homesick I ever felt while living in California. I felt so helpless and wanted nothing more than to be in Boston, to give my family and friends a hug and tell them that I loved them. I can’t even tell you how many times I cried that week. It was at the end of the week, when the search had been resolved and questions started being answered that I knew without a doubt that 2014 HAD to be the year that I ran my first Boston.
So today, maybe even as you are reading this, I will be making my way from Hopkinton to Boston. The dream that I have had since I was 9 years old will come true. And I will be blessed to be counted as one of the 35,000+ people running the course today – not just to chase personal bests or glory for ourselves but to show the world that last year’s acts of terror will not stop us. We are Boston Strong and we will run.
A BIG thanks to Sarah for letting me share my story with all of you!
Wishing you all a very happy Marathon Monday!