The Boston Marathon is by far my favorite race. I absolutely loved it when I ran in 2010. I thought it was just because it was my dream race. This year when I went back as a spectator, I was not sure how I was going to feel. I knew I would be excited for everyone running but was pretty sure I would be jealous that I wasn’t running.
When Marathon Monday came, I was not jealous at all (and not because of how hot it was), I was excited! I couldn’t wait to get to the finish line and grab a spot to watch the race. I was at the finish line about 3 hours before the first finisher would come in and not once was I bored. I had my phone with me so I was able to track my favorite runner, Ryan, as well as the elite runners.
I was getting extremely excited when I could see that the elites were close and almost to the finish. I was telling everyone around me, I was so excited!!!! Sadly, no one around me was a runner so I was probably sounding a little crazy with how excited I was and jumping up and down.
When the first female started coming down the stretch I was pumped! And the second female was not far behind her. They ended up finishing only 2 secs apart. Not long after that the first male came through as well. (Picture on the left is the 1st place female and the picture on the right is the 1st place male). When the first place female came through I had tears in my eyes. Who cries while watching a marathon. oh, this girl.
I was able to see a ton of completely amazing things while spectating. I thought I was hot while standing in the shade spectating. Can not even imagine the troops who ran in uniforms, boots, hats and 40-50lb packs in 80+ degree weather. A marathon in boots! That would hurt no matter what the weather is. I saw multiple groups of troops, some had flags, some were sprinting to the finish line, some were marching in a straight line. Everytime a group of them passed, the crowd went insane.
I saw 2 friends sprinting to the finish and one just didn’t have it in him and slowed down while his friend went on. When his friend noticed he was alone and his friend was behind him, he stopped and turned around to go back for his friend so that they could finish together. Again the crowd went crazy…and I cried.
I saw Team Hoyt finish and looking super strong! I then saw another set of friends walking the entire length of the Boylston Street finish with their arms around each other. They looked beat but determined to finish together….and then I cried again.
As if it wasn’t hot enough, this guy ran in a full American Flag body suit. Talk about hot. The suit, not the dude.
Ok and here I really lost it. As a spectator, you saw a lot of guys struggling to finish. You just wanted to get out there and run with them to help them out. It was hard to be on the sideline and just give them encouraging words. At one point a guy came along and was hurting bad. It looked like he was cramping really bad in one leg and couldn’t even put pressure on it (he also looked dehydrated and was extremely unsteady). He could barely stand and just when I thought he was going to fall over, a complete stranger who was running toward the finish line, stopped and ran over to steady him. He kept asking him if he was ok and looked ahead to see how far the finish line was. The complete stranger grabbed the guys arm, put it around his neck and was about to head to the finish line, when another complete stranger, came on the other side to help him out. Together the three of them crossed the finish line. These guys all looked about the same age and judging by the time clock, they could have easily given up a great finishing time (under 3 hours) and even requalifying for Boston, just to help one runner finish. Pretty sure I am going to have this photo printed and hung up.
And then I saw my favorite runner charging towards the finish. He looked great for just running a marathon in 80 degree heat. And guess what. I cried again. I was so happy that he was finishing the course and I couldn’t wait to get him out of the sun and hear all about his experience.
If you follow me on twitter I hope you enjoyed my #livebostontweets. I am already planning on going back next year either as a spectator or as a runner. Either way I know I will have a great time.
Also, tomorrow I will have my first ever guest post on the blog. Stayed tuned. It’s a good one!