Boston has been hit with marathon fever!
Every April, the city begins to develop a certain buzz around the famous marathon. Television channels have been running commercials about their upcoming marathon coverage, blog posts and articles are showing up in the local papers, and my neighborhood is FILLED with runners every weekend mornings.
Every year, I seem to miss the marathon for various reasons. The Boston Marathon always falls on Patriot’s Day, a Massachusetts state holiday that commemorates the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Schools are closed, city businesses are closed, and some offices are closed. When I was in college, we always had Patriot’s Day off. I always wanted to spend it by making my way to Copley Square to watch the race, but I never made it. School work, part time jobs, and other things always got in my way.
There’s something about the marathon that’s really special to the city. The marathon is such a storied race with a rich history of marathon stories – it’s the world’s oldest annual race, the challenges of Heartbreak Hill, the “scream tunnel” at Wellesley College, team Hoyt (who actually ran the New Bedford Half with me – and I saw them!!), Rosie Ruiz, and much more. It’s awe inspiring to watch the runners push themselves to the limit, both mentally and physically.
This year, my roommate Steph and I are going to watch the marathon for the first time ever! We’ll be watching from the Brookline area of the race. I feel like it’s the perfect location. The runners will have just finished going through Heartbreak Hill, and at the Brookline point of the race, they have about 4 miles left. The runners are going to need all the support that they can get – and we’re going to give it to them!
Steph and I are also running the B.A.A 5k the day before the race and will be attending the Marathon race expo. I’m super excited!! Running races always gets me super pumped about running more, and I can’t wait to be inspired to keep running.
Another story that is part of the famous Boston lore is the story of the first female runner ever to enter the marathon: Kathrine Switzer. In 1967, Kathrine entered the race using the name K.V. Switzer. Not realizing the name was that of a woman, no one noticed and Kathrine ran the race and finished. I saw this NPR quick story and video about Kathrine and learned something I had never known – she was almost physically pushed off the course by a race organizer. Check it out – it’s a pretty amazing story. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 40 or so years since women were allowed to run marathons. It seems that women dominate at running races as much as men these days – it’s definitely an equalizing sport and I love it!
Are you running Boston this year or know someone who is? Would you ever want to run Boston? Have you ever watched the marathon in person? What do you find most inspiring about running?