Today has arrived. The 118th Boston Marathon. A marathon known around the world for it's prestige, Heartbreak Hills and Wellesley Scream Tunnel. It's the most famous road race in the world and the longest continually run marathon in the United States. It's not just a city that comes together to cheer on the runners, elite and amateur, registered and bandit. The Red Sox always play a home game, starting at 11:05. Ideally this game ends so that spectators can pour into Kenmore Square and cheer on the runners for their final miles.
In previous years, over half a million spectators line the streets from Hopkinton to Boston, cheering until their voices are hoarse. I imagine today the crowds are even greater. Three, four, five, six ten people deep are the crowds, especially the closer you get to the finish line. Even as a spectator, the feel and vibe of the Boston Marathon makes you feel special.
As a New England runner, Boston is a hometown race. While I've never run in it, it's an event close to my heart and an intricate part of my spirit. On years when I have stood on the corner of Boylston and Hereford Street to cheer on family and friends alike, the feeling of accomplishment, those who have risen to meet a challenge and the fun that everyone was having, enveloped me like a big hug, a cloud that buoyed me all day long, on that third Monday of April.
I am not there in person today, but I am absolutely there in spirit. From New Hampshire, I am cheering on my cousin Jenna, good friends Morgan, Dave, Jo An, Bethany and many others. I'm crossing my fingers that hometown favorite, Shalane Flanagan becomes the first American winner since 1985. You'll find me glued to the tv set today, watching people run.
Even if you aren't a runner. Nor live in New England. Today, this third Monday in April, on Patriot's Day, is your day.
Today it's more than a city that's come together to cheer on the Boston Marathoners. Today it's a nation that stands as one. And today, we run again.
We are #BostonStrong.