I had a lot of fun last Monday following along with the runners as they made their way from Hopkinton to Boylston street. Although a big part of me was sad that I wasn’t there to run the marathon, a bigger part was excited and happy for all the runners who were. I wasn’t able to watch the live stream of the race online but I was able to follow along on Twitter and excitedly waited for updates on Meb and Shalane. When Meb was close to winning, my heart was racing and I was excitedly reading tweets giving a play by play and cheering (quietly, at my desk) for him. When I found out he won, I couldn’t have been more thrilled! I almost felt like I was in Boston!
I pulled up Boston’s awesome runner tracking software on one of my computer screens at work and excitedly tracked a list of runners, most of whom I’ve never actually met in person, but most importantly, my best friend and running buddy Asia! It was an exciting morning and I was sad when it was over. To me, it went by fast but I’m sure to those actually pounding the pavement that morning time moved much more slowly.
After all this excitement, I had time to reflect on my feelings about Boston. I realized that I learned some things that morning about the race itself, the running community and myself.
The 5 Lessons I Learned While (Virtually) Spectating the Boston Marathon:
- The Boston Marathon brings all runners together. I’ve never been so invested in a race as I was last Monday. The entire Twittersphere was going nuts over one race. We all knew someone racing and we all wanted an American to win. We all mourned over the tragedy from the prior year but came together to rejoice as we began moving forward. The running community is awesome and I’ve never felt so glad to be a part of it as on Patriot’s Day.
- The Boston Marathon course is a bitch. Not many runners I was tracking, following on Twitter or whose blogs I read post race achieved their goals on the course. As I tracked people and saw the changes in their paces, I worried about them and wondered how they were reacting to it. Were they sad, happy, mad? The decline at the beginning and the endless rolling hills at the end broke the hearts of many that day.
- If I run the Boston Marathon someday, I won’t be running for a PR or a goal. I want to go to Boston and experience every sight and every smell and every emotion along the way. Due to aforementioned bitchiness of this course, I’m not going to let a rough day get me down. I was so proud of Asia for enjoying her day in Boston after she realized that her race goal (which was already tentative due to various factors affecting training) probably wouldn’t happen. Instead of dwelling on it, she enjoyed it and had fun and collected some kisses from Wellesley girls along the way!
- Meb is an inspiration. At age 39, he won the Boston Marathon. The first American to do so in my lifetime (I was born at the end of 1983). Also, Ryan Hall is awesome. In case you didn’t hear the story, when Meb broke away from the pack, some of the American runners were wanting to go ahead and catch Meb but Ryan Hall told them to stay back. He said that if they went to catch Meb, one of the non-American runners could catch up and win. If they held the others back long enough, the lead would be too great for them to make up. And it was (let’s be honest though Meb deserves 99.9999% of the credit for winning though). I like to see the teamwork!! Who says running is an individual sport?!
5. I am going to try to qualify for Boston AGAIN this year. Likely at the California International Marathon in Sacramento in December. More details to come!!!
Did you follow along last Monday? Were you as inspired as me?