The Boston Marathon – An AMAZING Day!

One round trip ticket to Boston!

One round trip ticket to Boston!

When I woke up I saw the sun shining in my room and I was excited that I was about to go to the Boston Marathon to hopefully see my friends run it!  I put Kevin on the bus then I dropped Adrienne off at school and had to make a quick stop to rite aid so I could get cash back for the tolls and the train.  I hauled up to Worcester for the 10:45 train and caught it in time with about 3 minutes to spare.  I have to admit that was cutting it close!  

The train tracks run right alongside the marathon route at mile 6 so I got so excited when I looked out the window and I was able to see the runners.  At that point there weren’t as many as I expected and they didn’t look like elite runners either.  A smattering of them were scattered about.  Then we went to the another stop and were held up there for a while.  At that point I saw more runners and according to runner tracking and Facebook I was right about near be area where Eddie McCoy was. 

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

I met a girl on the train who gave me some advice.  The train arrived at 12:15 and we got off at Fenway park.  That was cool.  I have never been there.  The atmosphere had some electricity in the air.  To my right was the baseball stadium with a game going on and to my left up a block the runners were approaching mile 25 where the famous Citgo sign is.  I went through bag check and parked myself at mile 25.2.  I figured this would be a great place to wait for Eddie.  I decided against going to Heartbreak hill because the B train has too many stops both there and back.

The famous Citgo sign I always heard about

I was loving the energy at mile 25 and wanted to see what I could see in this part of town. I was overcome with emotions.  I got emotional when I was talking to my husband on the phone.  This is one special race.  I WANT to be a part of it.

I was doing the math in my head trying to figure out when I would see Eddie because I got an alert that he already passed the 30k mark.  I knew he shouldn’t have passed me yet and I almost left but I didn’t get an alert either that he had crossed the finish line, so I waited.  And then I saw him!  I have to admit he looked upset or tired.  He had his head down and was walking a little bit.  I recognized the buff he had on his head in his Facebook picture this morning so thankfully I knew for sure that was him!  I was only able to get a picture of the back of him but I got one!!  My mission was to go to the race in hopes of seeing some of my friends and I did!  I wished I was on the same side of the street as him so I could cheer him on and give him the boost he needed to get to that finish line.

Eddie at the far left in the blue shirts and shorts

Eddie at the far left in the blue shirts and shorts and yellow sneakers

After seeing him I decided to call rich and see where he and Charlie were.  They were on the T coming back from the hill.  I walked towards the finish and took in the sights.  It was a spectacular day.  The sky was so blue the air was the perfect temp and there was a special feeling in the air.  I ate my packed turkey sandwich and continued to walk and see where I would end up.  

The trees blooming in the City

The trees blooming in the City

The streets of Boston were beautiful with the trees blossoming and the streets are lined with store fronts and restaurants.  I definitely want to make a trip up there more often to take in the sights of the town and bring my kids to the aquarium.  I was really enjoying myself.

Boston Strong

Boston Strong On Bolyston street

With a lot of zigging a zagging I did get to see runners cross the finish line and I walked on Boylston Street where then bombs had gone off just one year ago.  It was a little bit eerie.  I was wondering which part of the sidewalk was the backpack on.  And since I am reading the book Stronger I thought of the victim who looked at the bomber right in the eye.

2014-04-21 14.34.56

Mike 26 on Bolyston Street

After a lot of walking I found myself in the back stage area where the runners get their water, their medical help, and reunite with their families.  It was neat to see this side of the race. Being a marathoner I know what it is like after you go through the chute to get your medal, water, space blanket and “stuff” and then sort of collapse or come down for a few minutes from the rush that you just had of the final stretch of the race.  There were people in space blankets everywhere and many of them looked really wiped out.  Like I said it was a beautiful day, but it was full sun for the runners.  

The Finish Line!

The Finish Line!

After two hours of walking around a maze, I was finally able to cross the street at Boylston street in front of the Prudential building.  I had to walk around most of the city, but I made it to the area where Rich Garing and Charlie Gessner were.  Rich and Charlie are friends of Eddie McCoy and Michelle Scribner-MacLean.  It was great to meet fellow Mickey Mile Podcast friends and Disney race lovers!

A mom hugging her son as he is about to cross the finish line.  He was running for Team Spalding Rehab

A mom hugging her son as he is about to cross the finish line. He was running for Team Spalding Rehab

I hung out with the guys at mile 26 for a little over an hour to wait for Linda Ambard, Linda Bachand, Jeff Galloway and Michelle.  Somehow Linda Ambard slipped by me!  Then Team Hoyt came by.  That was emotional!   I was very, very happy that I was able to see them in person!  It was beautiful to see the father and son team run their last Boston marathon together and the Team Hoyt runners gathered all around them! Watch the video!

I saw some amazing things today. I saw a pregnant woman who I would guess is 6 months pregnant, run by me at mile 25 doing a sub 4 marathon. I saw a man completely out of it barely walking to the finish. The woman standing next to me saw him, too. He needed medical attention because he was about to drop.  I saw history made as Dick Hoyt pushed his son past me and to the finish line for his last Boston marathon – that was emotional. I saw blind runners being led to the finish by their guides, soldiers running in camo and boots, amputees running, and I saw pain, happiness, elation, runners in tears pass by me to the 26.2 finish line.

On my way home I did see two men with  dark bags near the finish line being questioned by police. I didn’t want to go into too much analysis of what-ifs. I didn’t want to ruin the spirit of the day.  But it was on my mind as I am sure it was on everyone else’s. 

Goodbye for now Boston!

Goodbye for now Boston!

I said goodbye to Rich and Charlie just before 5:00 so I could catch the train back home.  As the train was pulling away from the city I said goodbye to it, but not for long.  I will return one day to run that hard and rewarding race!  My plan is that it may take 4-5 years to accomplish this goal.  If I cannot get faster to get to this race on my own then I will work hard to raise funds on a charity bib so I can run it for an organization who can benefit from my help. I won’t give up trying!  I have had a taste of it and saw the joy on people’s faces for having run it.  It is such a major accomplishment.  It’s not just any marathon, it is the Boston Marathon.

 

As a follow up to my Shalane Flanagan story, she took her loss very hard.  View her post race interview

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4 thoughts on “The Boston Marathon – An AMAZING Day!

  1. This sounds like such an amazing day, I would love to get up to watch the Boston Marathon one day (I had been contemplating going this year, but I really wasn’t feeling well last week). It sounds like you had such a great time and were inspired by the experience!

  2. Wow!! Great recap. Thanks for taking us along. 🙂 What a wonderful day!!

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