I love Marathon monday-I always have. Ever since I was a little girl,
I can remember watching it on tv with my family.
The Boston Marathon is famous for so many reasons. It’s legendary attendance is something thats quite unbelievable: Second only to the super bowl, more than 500,000 spectators are usually present. This year, a record 1,000,000 people turned up to lend their support and strength to their runners.
It’s course has scenery that does not disappoint.. From the Wellessly college kisses to the newton hills-and from The rural town of Hopkinton to the BC campus-there is no way a runner could leave disappointed. People always ask me if Boston is really “all it’s cracked up to be” and my answer is YES. One million trillion zillion percent YES.
All roads lead to Boston.
If you ran your very first run because you felt inspired by the strength of Mondays runners-in the back corner of your mind was this thought:
It is the most prestigious marathon in the entire world and on nearly every runners bucket list to do at least once.
There is literally nothing like it. All day Monday, I was in a sort of surreal haze-sort of like “oh wow this is really happening right now…I’m about to run the most anticipated marathon of ALL TIME.” It just didn’t feel real.
These are some of my favorite facts about the Boston Marathon:
-Although 83 percent of runners are from the US, 95 countries are represented in the field. The US has 29,482 entries. Canada is second, with 2,485 runners, followed by the United Kingdom with 508.(Boston.com)
-Boston had 1,914 runners in today’s field, not surprisingly more than any other city. Second place New York City has 772, followed by Chicago at 346. Cambridge, Mass., is fourth at 323, and Toronto fifth at 266. London sent 97 runners, most of any city outside of North America, followed by Tokyo, Seoul, and Dublin.(Boston.com)
-The original starting line was in Ashland. As the distance changed and the starting line shifted, the finish has moved from Exeter Street near the Lenox Hotel to Boylston Street.(robcohen.com)
-Until around 1960, race organizers required all participants to undergo a physical exam on the morning of the marathon.(robcohen.com)
-Officials promised in 1975 to give wheelchair competitor Bob Hall a finisher certificate if he could complete the race in less than three hours. His time: 2:58:00. The BAA officially started a wheelchair division in 1977.(robcohen.com)
-Now arguably the world’s most popular marathon, the Boston race never attracted more than 285 entrants until 1963 and didn’t break 1,000 until 1968. At the 100th running, in 1996, there were 38,708, and 26,655 in 2012. (Robcohen.com)
-Patriots’ Day: Since its inception, the Boston Marathon has been held on the holiday commemorating Patriots’ Day. From 1897-1968, the Boston Marathon was held on April 19, unless the 19th fell on a Sunday. Since 1969, the holiday has been officially recognized on the third Monday in April. The last non-Monday champion was current Runner’s World editor Amby Burfoot, who posted a time of 2:22:17 on Friday, April 19, 1968.
-Record Field Size at Boston: The all-time record for the world’s largest marathon was established at the centennial race in 1996, when 35,868 finishers out of 36,748 official starters participated in the 100th running of the Boston Marathon. The Centennial Boston Marathon had 38,708 entrants and was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.(baa.org)
-Marathon officials announced the official entrant count: 35,755 total competitors—19,648 men and 16,107 women.(Boston.com)
And let’s discuss my new buddy MEB really quick.. I’m still geeking out over his victory! An AMERICAN!!!
At 38 years old-he was not the favorite to win Mondays race. Before the marathon started, I was watching the announcers discuss the favorites(I don’t remember who-let’s just say it was a Kenyan) and they compared the winners of 118th Boston Marathon to be Olympic winners. Meb came in second in the 2004 Olympics, and 4th in the 2012. Congrats on finally getting your gold, Meb!!
When I first heard Meb speak on Saturday, he spoke of his war torn lands, and how if he needed to get to a doctor, he had to walk hours and hours to see one. He was very determined to finish first on Monday for America, and to give Boston the win because of everything they have been through in the last year. He even wrote the names of the 4 victims on his bib. How amazing is that?!
Nobody except the thousands of fans lining the road for the final 5 miles who were lauding and loving and lifting him. “Usually it’s hard to run away in a marathon,” Keflezighi mused. “But when you’re doing it for the right reason and the crowd is behind you and God is blessing you and there are four angels that we lost last year, I felt the energy and you know what? It could not have happened at a better time.”
“Things don’t happen when we want them sometimes,” Keflezighi said. “They have to play out themselves and they did for me yesterday. And I couldn’t be happier and prouder to be an American to do it.”(source)
I was honored to run with this man on Monday. that is the thing about the Boston Marathon: no other marathon draws the attention that Boston does. This course allows you to run with the greatest athletes in the entire world..they are Olympians, they are champions…and for one day, you get to share their glory while you run along the same course their footsteps have tread on. And that is pretty dam cool.