Marathon Weekend

The Boston Marathon is not just about showing up at the start line on Patriots Day morning and waiting for the gun to go off.

It is an entire weekend of excitement, energy and anticipation. Runners start to fill the streets of Boston days before the marathon. It is easy to pick them out of the crowd, not only because of their stature and choice to wear athletic shoes as a fashion statement, but because of the iconic Boston Marathon Jacket.

Veterans of the race wear previous years jackets proclaiming “Yes, I have run this race before and am back to run it again!”. Newbies, like myself, are wearing the brand new 2013 jacket screaming “I am a first timer and am so excited to be here!”. Regardless which jacket we were wearing, those of us wearing them would exchange an unspoken look or nod of being part of the same club. As race day grew closer, so did the number of jackets walking around the city.

The Expo

Bib Number and Race Bag Pick Up

Bib Number and Race Bag Pick Up

First stop of marathon weekend is the race expo Hynes Convention Center, where you go to pick up your race bag and spend oodles of money on marathon memorabilia (including the afore mentioned race jacket). Myself, and what was anticipated to be 80,000 others, milled around the large exhibit hall munching on samples of power bars, checking out the latest running gear and watching the looped video that previewed the entire course and scared you even more about the Newton hills.

Marathon Finish Line on April 13, 2013

Marathon Finish Line on April 13, 2013

After the expo we walked down Boylston Street to the where they were setting up the finish line. I admired it with awe, snapped a few photos and hoped that my undertrained legs would be able to carry me there on Monday. However, I knew deep down that not crossing that finish line was not an option because I had come a long way and would do anything to get there. Little did I know.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing typical touristy things that would leave me with very tired legs come race day. We took in a Red Sox game at Fenway (Sox won, bottom of the tenth!), walked the campus of Boston University (where my husband completed his masters online this year), strolled through Boston Commons and stopped for a 26.2 Samuel Adams brew at Cheers (NORM!). Well, my husband did. I had a 26.2 cup of water.

We ended the weekend Sunday night with the pre-race marathon pasta dinner at the Civic Center. There is nothing better than a free, steaming hot plate of carbs to put in your belly the night before the race. We met up with an old college friend who was also running Boston for the first time. Over dinner we shared stories of how we qualified for Boston, the hurdles we had to overcome during our training, what we had heard about the course and what our goals were for the next day. I am sure the conversation was similar at the hundreds of others of tables surrounding us.

Running Gear the night before

Running Gear the night before

As I was laying out my gear and going to bed that night I told my husband “This has been an absolutely perfect weekend. Now I just have 26.2 miles to run to cross that finish line to have the perfect ending.”

Sidenote, a huge Thank you to all the volunteers and organizers that put the pasta dinner on. The food was delicious and it was very well organized!

Race Morning >

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2 thoughts on “Marathon Weekend

  1. Mark

    Thank you for sharing your story. Reading this brought back so many memories of the 2nd blast. I must have been seconds behind you. I got caught next to 2nd bomb in the middle of Boylston Street when it went off. The shock waves shot right through me and I remember seeing the heat waves crossing the street. I remember how confused I was because I didn’t know where the bombs were coming from. I was hit with all sorts of debris but was not injured. Although my ears are still ringing like crazy.
    I took off down that same side street that you took and started searching for my wife. She was on the opposite side of the street from the second bomb. She has video of me running by her and shortly after that we hear the first bomb go off. You’re probably in that video because you were just a few seconds in front of me.

    Good luck to you and your recovery

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy to hear that you and your wife were both uninjured! I hope that you were able to find each other quickly. I have heard some stories of runners and families not knowing if each other was ok for an hour or more. Although to some it seemed silly to carry a cell phone (I wanted it to take pictures) I was so glad I had it with me!

      It is still hard to process everything that happened that day. I wish you well as you move forward and hope that your ears stop ringing.

      Thank you again for sharing. Be well. Keep running.

      Reply

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