Boston Marathon 2014: Race On

 

It is about pinning on that number, lining up and getting onto the course.
It is about pinning on that number, lining up and getting onto the course.

The Boston Marathon is the ultimate, elite running race.  The first big race I witnessed was the Barcelona Marathon because my boyfriend and I happened to be in town on race day.  When we moved to Boston, and I worked as a teacher, Marathon Monday was a vacation day for me.  Marathon Monday symbolized spring to me.  It was a celebration of the people of this city stepping outside.  It was a day of pride to be a member of this city, the city that hosts racers of all ages, religions and races with their own histories, and stories.  It was a day of breathing the air and feeling the city blooming after a long cold winter.  Marathon Monday was a day for me to head to Newton.  I’d dig up the sunscreen, find a cowbell in the basement, fill a water bottle and find a spot on the curb.  The Boston Marathon was a day for me to look in awe at the bodies abled and differently-abled working their way up Heartbreak Hill after having traveled miles (not just on the marathon route) and pushing to make it up the aptly named hill.  Heartbreak Hill is so close, yet so many steps away from the finish line.

I’m not at the finish line.  Perhaps just like how I teach, parent, and see things, it is not about the finish line.  It is always about the journey and not the destination.  As a spectator, I am standing and cheering on the curb near the top of Heartbreak Hill so I can yell out the name your son, daughter, partner, love, self have carefully drawn on your shirt.  I am trying to will your calf cramp to loosen and let you continue on.  I am a witness to the hard work you have put in for the past months, years, decades.

The 2014 marathon is about the race and the racers. This year’s marathon is about the last Boston Marathon that Dick and Rick Hoyt will be doing as a father-son team.  This year’s marathon is about American Olympian Ryan Hall, Boston Marathon first-timer Abdi Abdirahman, spouses Mathew Bowen (1st timer) and Sharon Cherop who train in Kenya.  It is about the elite men:

Dennis Kimetto
2:03:45 (Chicago 2013) CR
KEN

Lelisa Desisa
2:04:45 (Dubai, 2013)
ETH

Gebregziabher “Gebre” Gebremariam
2:04:53 (Boston, 2011)
ETH

Markos Geneti
2:04:54 (Dubai, 2012)
ETH

Ryan Hall
2:04:58 (Boston, 2011)
USA

Wilson Chebet
2:05:27 (Rotterdam, 2011)
KEN

Tilahun Regassa
2:05:27 (Chicago, 2012)
ETH

Shami Dawud
2:05:42 (Dubai, 2012)
ETH

Eric Ndiema
2:06:07 (Amsterdam, 2011)
KEN

Frankline Chepkwony
2:06:11 (Eindhoven, 2012)
KEN

Micah Kogo
2:06:56 (Chicago, 2013)
KEN

Adil Annani
2:07:43 (London, 2012)
MAR

Paul Lonyangata
2:07:44 (Xiamen, 2013)
KEN

Joel Kimurer
2:07:48 (Gongju, 2013)
KEN

Lusapho April
2:08:32 (Hannover, 2013) CR
RSA

Abdi Abdirahman
2:08:56 (Chicago, 2006)
USA

Mebrahtom Keflezighi
2:09:08 (Houston, 2012)
USA

Brett Gotcher
2:10:36 (Houston, 2010)
USA

Mathew Bowen
2:10:57 (Rennes, 2013)
KEN

Jason Hartmann
2:11:06 (Chicago 2010)
USA

Nicholas Arciniaga
2:11:30 (Houston, 2011)
USA

Vitaliy Shafar
2:11:52 (Frankfurt, 2013)
UKR

Jeffrey Eggleston
2:12:03 (Chicago, 2012)
USA

It is about the elite women:
Mare Dibaba
2:19:52 (Dubai, 2012)
ETH

Rita Jeptoo
2:19:57 (Dubai, 2012)
KEN

Jemima Jelagat Sumgong
2:19:57 (Chicago, 2013)
KEN

Meseret Hailu Debele
2:20:48 (Chicago, 2013)
ETH

Eunice Kirwa
2:21:09 (Amsterdam, 2012) CR
KEN

Sharon Cherop
2:22:28 (Berlin, 2013)
KEN

Caroline Kilel
2:22:34 (Frankfurt, 2013)
KEN

Desiree Davila Linden
2:22:38 (Boston, 2011)
USA

Flomena Chepchichir Chumba
2:23:00 (Frankfurt, 2013)
KEN

Buzunesh Deba
2:23:19 (New York, 2011)
ETH

Tatiana Petrova Arkhipova
2:23:29 (London, 2012)
RUS

Aleksandra Duliba
2:23:44 (Chicago, 2013) NR
BLR

Yeshi Esayias
2:24:06 (Frankfurt, 2013)
ETH

Philes Ongori
2:24:20 (Rotterdam, 2011)
KEN

Belaynesh Oljira
2:25:01 (Dubai, 2013)
ETH

Shalane Flanagan
2:25:38 (Houston, 2012)
USA

Yolanda Caballero
2:26:17 (Boston, 2011)
COL

Amy Hastings
2:27:03 (Los Angeles, 2011)
USA

Lanni Marchant
2:28:00 (Toronto, 2013)
CAN

Serena Burla
2:28:01 (Amsterdam, 2013)
USA

Noriko Higuchi
2:28:49 (Tokyo, 2011)
JPN

Adriana Nelson
2:28:52 (London, 2008)
USA

Adriana Aparecida da Silva
2:29:17 (Tokyo, 2012)
BRA

The marathon is about all the charity teams, the every day people who become super-heroes for a day, the every day heroes who surprise themselves by accomplishing this huge feat on this day, the personal bests, the extra mile runners and spectators are ready to go for one another to reach a goal.  The Boston Marathon is about pinning on your number, tying your laces and putting foot in front of foot, arm over arm, hands together for the grande performance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s