While today may have been ideal for spectators, the Boston Marathon was anything but for the runners. I was lucky to snag a VIP bleacher seat at the finish line. The temperatures were expected to hit the high 80’s.
I sat with my high school girlfriend Stacy (who ran 2-years ago) and her coworker Val. Stacy’s dad works for the marathon sponsor, John Hancock, and got us the tickets. He even got to hold the tape for the wheelchair champion (who broke the record). I was still at home working and missed it.
We got to see the elite men and women finish close up. It blows my mind these people can run a sub 6-minute mile for 26.2 miles. The women basically collapsed to the gravel. I’m not sure if they were kissing the ground or wanting to die… Either way, the winner was up and at ’em shortly after to receive her wreath crown and trophy.
Despite the heat, many people finished with smiles on their faces. Some looked like they were barely sweating!
Others, had to be helped out by fellow runners. If you note the time in the below photo, clearly this man ran a fast marathon and it’s so inspiring to think that two strangers stopped to help him finish. They let go of him right before the finish to let him cross on his own.
Others were able to cross the finish line but not make it too far beyond that point.
Sitting at the finish, we were able to get up close to some of the notable runners like Kristine Lilly. She is former professional soccer player and you might recognize her from the team that won the World Cup. Remember the sports bra screaming Brandi Chastain cover of Sports Illustrated? Lilly was on that team and that’s why I remember her. I was also a soccer player back then.
My friend Jess was battling a knee injury and thought she might not be able to run at one point. We were excited to see her cross the finish line with her Dad who must have jumped in at the end to help her out the last few miles. She did a phenomenal job and is such an inspiration to me. It makes me want to run next year! Then again, I told her that in September of last year…
Since today is my brother’s birthday, I had to snap a picture of his favorite retired NFL player, Tedy Bruschi who decided to run his first marathon for stroke victims and proceed to make out with his wife at the finish for the cameras (for a solid 3 minutes). If you have run a marathon, you know this is awkwardly long to linger at the finish…
Every year, I watch 20K+ people run the Boston Marathon. I have only missed 3 in my life time that I can remember and those were when I was in college. I’m on the verge of tears it seems like most of the time. I don’t know what it is about finishing a marathon that makes me so emotional? Each year, I’m compelled to run but when it comes time to signing up I just can’t do it. Perhaps next year will be the year. Did you ever feel this way before running your first marathon? If so, what pushed you over the edge to just do it and sign up?
I was always moved and inspired by marathons too. I think a part of me was scared I couldn’t handle it though, which is why I never signed up for one, until a friend told me that putting down the money, registering, and having a specific date to work towards forces you to train and be ready. And that’s just the way it worked for me. After making the commitment, I was really dedicated to my training plan and it paid off on race day. Your body is often more capable than what you give it credit for.
I’m not a runner. Last year I finished a half marathon though. I signed up with 11 months to train. I broke my toe 6 weeks before race day and I still finished. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. I’m moving to Boston over the summer and I can’t wait to be a spectator for the next marathon. Signing up early and seeing the date on the calendar motivated me to train.
Stacy Pillera says
Maybe try a smaller race one that’s not so intimidating, and work you way up to the Boston Marathon!
As a fellow bostonite, I feel you-the boston marathon is always pretty emotional-especially on the beautiful day we got on monday!
I have never done a marathon, nor do I think I ever will. I like 5k-10k’s but that’s as far as I can run without going bonkers/getting bored. I would rather play a sport than just run and run and run….
I absolutely love marathons! Here in Qld, Australia, we have two main ones each year: Bridge to Brisbane 10k run and Gold Coast Marathon which is 20km. I have done the half marathon of Bridge to Brisbane which is only 5km but this year I am hoping to do the full 10 in 60 minutes or under!
I grew up as a runner, mostly competing in 5k’s and 10k’s. About three years ago i decided to run my first marathon. (Gasparilla marathon in Tampa, FL) Everything about traning and running a marathon is emotional. I cried numerous times during and after my first marathon. Sure there were times I wanted quit and just stop, but then I remeber all of the hard work that I put in and how so many people out there would kill to be able to run a marathon. Its hard work, but so well worth it!
I just completed my third marathon last monday (my second Boston) and I still got emotional at the end. There really is no other feeling like running a marathon. I highly, highly recomend it!! Good luck to you!!