Today the most famous marathon in the world took place: the Boston Marathon. As a slow runner, I am no where near reaching the qualifying time for the marathon. I dream about it, but I’d have to completely change my lung capacity to reach the speed needed to shave literally an hour off my PR. Not easy to do. Thus, Boston remains an intangible goal.
Here are a few of its highlights–maybe one day I’ll experience them with a bib on my shirt and a racing chip on my shoe–not as a spectator:
It takes place on Patriot’s Day. To those of us outside of Boston, the third Monday in April usually means a standard work day (except this year it also means Tax Day). But for the citizens of Boston, it’s a special day off–although no one seems to know why. I guess we can call it Patriot’s Day/Marathon Monday…?
Heartbreak Hill. Anyone familiar with marathons has heard of Heartbreak Hill–the most notorious, dreaded part of the course. Kicking off the last 20 miles, this hill is a killer with runners pushing their bodies to the top (and often vomiting along the way). Be careful if you choose to watch the race from here–you may face a little extra liquid coming your way. Take caution.
Wellesley College. Around the 10-mile mark, runners pass by this all-female college and almost every female comes out to cheer. It’s loud, festive and provides an extra kick in the step of runners as they near the back half of the marathon.
Coolidge Corner. This area can get pretty lively with bar goers packing the streets and local pubs. After watching your runner go by, you can hop onto the Mass Pike or Storrow Drive to continue to spectate and see your runners pass by again.
While it’s difficult to quality for the Boston Marathon, runners do have options to participate. You can join various fundraising groups and if you raise enough, the Boston Athletic Associate will give you a bib and make you an official participant. You can also try becoming a racing bandit and race behind all those officially registered… It’s not the same, though.
Some day I’ll be in that line up!