Fellow running friends were kind enough to give my wife and I the opportunity to go up to Boston for the Boston Marathon last weekend. We knew of about a dozen runners who were going to run the marathon on Monday. We decided to make the trip early Sunday morning. The day before, I had run the Hyner Challenge 50K ’15, so I was a little on the dreary side. Luckily my wife was kind enough to drive the first half of the way so I could rest up.
It was a beautiful, but windy day when we got to Natick, a small town about 20 miles outside of Boston. We met Robyn and Jeff at the hotel and took the subway in to Boston to meet up with some running friends at the Boston Expo. Here we are on the train…
We met Carol, who would run her 6th Boston Marathon the next day, and her husband Gary at the expo. The expo was similar to other expos I’ve been at, but had twice as much stuff. It also had Samuel Adams 26.2 Ale beer samples. We took advantage of that. We also walked around the downtown area. Gary and Carol took us down to the finish line. It really has become “hallowed ground” in the running community. They also pointed out to us where the two bombs went off two years prior. It was scary to think that Gary was literally 10 feet away from the first bomb. He described in more detail the events of that day, but I won’t get into that. Here we are at the finish line…
Gary and Carol also showed us the Boston Common area. Here we are with the commons in the background….
After a long day, Linda, Robyn, Jeff, Caryn and I went back to the Morse Tavern, a local establishment about 15 minutes from our hotel room. They have great food! We then decided to head back to the hotel. We definitely needed to rest up, for Marathon Monday was fast approaching.
The next day we woke to a cold, rainy, windy morning. This is what we, as well as all the runners, were expecting. I don’t mind running in conditions, but if I were to choose, the combination of rain and wind would be the worst to run in. The Boston Marathoners were going to have to really earn their finishers’ medals this day.
If you don’t know, the famous Boston College and pro NFL quarterback Doug Flutie’s home town is in Natick. He and his childhood friend, Alan, were planning on running in the marathon for Doug’s Flutie Foundation for Autism. His son had been diagnosed and for years, Doug has raised millions of dollars for research. Linda got to know Doug through this amazing cause.
We decided to set up in front of the Morse Tavern, since the marathon runs right past it. It would be around mile 10. Here we are in front of the tavern….
Just after 10am, the first of many marathoners came through…the wheelchair division. What grit and determination they had on their faces. They were really moving by us at a fast clip. Here are some of them…
Next to pass through were the handicapped runners. I’m in awe of their determination and their drive to complete 26.2 miles. They truly are Boston Strong..
It got to be about 11am and as the helicopter flew overhead, that only meant one thing. The lead elites were getting close. The lead pack of women flew by us 58 minutes into their races. Two Americans, Desi Linden and Shalane Flanagan, were in this pack. It was exciting to see….
About 20 minutes later, the men zipped past us. I couldn’t help but notice the form of all of these elite runners. Their bodies in unison with one another. Legs and arms running symmetrical to one another. I also noticed that their heads stayed perfectly still, while putting in so much effort. They reminded me of robots. Here is the eventual 3rd place finisher…
After the elites went through, the waves of runners started coming. With them came the rain and wind. Runners of all ages running by, in top form. We continually cheered for them….high fives, yelling their names that were on their bib numbers, yelling the city or country that was on their shirts, etc. It was a blast. We started seeing some of our fellow runner friends too. It really was a great time! When we got thirsty, we would go into Morse Tavern to quench our thirsts. For some reason, the liquor fireball was the drink of choice. Maybe because it warmed us up so fast.
We continued our cheering straight through until about 2pm. By mid afternoon, we had built appetites, so we decided to eat at the tavern again. With our bellies full, our arms tired from clapping, and our voices hoarse from yelling, we decided to head back to the hotel for a much-needed nap. I can’t help but laugh. We were exhausted from drinking fireballs and standing for a few hours. I wondered how the marathoners felt after running 26.2 miles in rain and driving winds?
After our naps, we drove over to Doug Flutie’s childhood friend, Alan’s house. They had a nice spread of Chinese food for all of us to eat, if we were hungry. Alan and his wife made us feel very welcome in their home. Here is my wife Caryn, Linda, and Doug just finishing our Chinese food and having a good conversation.
Doug is a great, down to earth type of guy. He still stays active, obviously, since he had just finished running a marathon. He also plays baseball in an over 18 league. After a great day to a very great weekend, there was time for one more photo….
My wife Caryn and I had a memorable time in Boston. We experienced a lot. That city is really nice. The people also seem very nice and personable. From other articles I’ve read, after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the people and the marathon itself have gotten stronger. No one can beat the human spirit down, and Boston Strong proves that.