Boston Marathon 2017 First Thoughts
Hard to believe that Boston Marathon Monday has come and gone again. This was my 4th Boston Marathon and it really does feel like Christmas for runners as I heard it described by many runners throughout the weekend. There is truly nothing greater than being in a city where running is being celebrated by almost everyone. I am thankful for having been able to take part in this amazing race so many times 3 times as a qualified runner and once with Team Stonyfield. Not only have I run the Boston marathon but I have also been fortunate to row in one of the World’s premiere rowing events, the Head of the Charles which also takes place in Boston. Boston definitely holds a special place in my heart for all of these incredible experiences that I have been able to take part in through my athletic pursuits. Boston is a city filled with positive energy, strength and resilience of its people can be felt with every step of the Boston Marathon and with every stroke of the oar on the Charles River. Both events take place in the heart of this great city and it is one of the places where I have truly felt so much power in my own spirit through passion, heartbreak, and true joy.
I have shared bits and pieces of my journey so far on instagram and will be sharing my full race recap soon once I have fully had time to digest the weekend but for now I’ll just share 5 memorable things about the Boston Marathon this year.
Kathrine Switzer, the first ever woman to complete the Boston Marathon, first running in 1967 under the name K.V. Switzer ran and completed the 2017 Boston Marathon 50 years later in an astonishing time of 4:44 at the age of 70 on a sweltering hot day. She did so with grace and beauty along with the 261 Fearless runners who were fundraising for her charity 261 Fearless to raise money to help empower women through running all over the world. To join the fundraising campaign please check out the Crowdrise page for 261 Fearless.
Another American Woman to spotlight at the Boston Marathon this year is Jordan Hasay who not only placed 3rd at the marathon but she broke the American record for fastest debut by more than two minutes. I cannot wait to watch her running career unfold!
- 2016 felt hot when we were running but this year the heat was stifling before the race even started. The sheer number of cups in piles as we ran through the early aid stations were not a good sign of things to come. With the temperature rising into the 70’s, little to no cloud cover, and that tailwind that was forecast????? . . . it was all you could do to stay cool and hydrated to be able to keep running. But this is when people come together to help each other out and where true humanity shines. Things were tough but the race course was lined with spectators generously handing out orange slices, freeze pops, cups of ice . . . anything to help, the fire departments opened their hearts and their fire hydrants to provide relief. When runners went down on the course which was a common occurrence on Monday runners were there to lift them up and guide them to the Medical tents and even to help them cross the last few steps to the finish on their own feet or by carrying them. In a sport that is very individual runners and their friends and family come together in the true spirit of kindness.
Right on Hereford Left on Boylston. The final turn in the Boston Marathon will forever be etched in my memory. In 2013 I ran down Boylston on a high, I had nearly matched my PR running a 3:34 and ran down the left side of the road. I high-fived every woman, man and child who reach out to me. It was a celebration that later would leave me grieving wondering if I had high-fived those who were hurt. On marathon Monday I chose to run down the right side. This time I knew my family would be there, their voices encouraging me. It has taken a lot to let go and to allow them to stand there so close to disaster in an area that brings me so much anxiety. On Monday as I turned onto Boylston I felt like I had conquered the run not only in the heat but I felt that I had won against the fear. Those last steps down Boylston were my fastest of the day and what carried me more than anything was my heart. I will never forget that feeling.
The runners. Running has brought so much into my life. One of the most important thing that running has given to me are the people who are now in my life from all over the country who share this crazy passion of mine. We are all seeking goals, and have this big energy, and even bigger dreams. Intense personalities are what drive us to go for our goals and these runners are so important in my life as teachers, partners, and true friends. I am so very thankful for all of you who have shared this journey to Boston and beyond with me. You inspire me to run further, farther, and faster and to keep sharing my own dreams and passions.
What is your favorite part about a marathon? Did you follow the Boston Marathon this year? What was your favorite moment?