Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blogston Part two - the marathon

I'll start by saying I am a damn fool for not running a marathon last year. If I had half a brain, I would have run a 3:10 in 2007 so I could have raced on Monday.

The Boston TV coverage begins at 8:00 A.M. marathon morning. It's like watching a Superbowl pre-game show. There's all kinds of analysis & interviews & weather updates. They do a fantastic job. After watching the race unfold on TV for a while, my in-laws & I strolled out to the course and stationed ourselves right around mile 25.

The two women's leaders soon came by us shoulder to shoulder. We could hear the fan roar follow them down the street & around the corner to the finish line. Interesting side note: both the men's & women's leaders were preceded by a bunch of cops on motorcycles & a van containing 4 SWAT officers if full battle gear. Wild.

We didn't get a picture of the women coming through, as we were far too busy freaking out, but my wife did snap the men's leader.

A little after 2:50 on my watch, some familiar faces arrived. Below are Nate, Mike & Kirk, finishing strong.

The Boston cheering style is a little bit different than ours here in the MidWest. We tend to clap & yell "Go Runners" or "Go number 1132" if runner number 1132 happens to be running by. Bostonians Go for volume. They just scream their heads off & clap or ring a cowbell occasionally.

There is one exception to their non-number calling cheer style, and I honestly tear up a bit just thinking about it. About the time the 3:15 finishers were coming in, the first walker appeared. The guy's calves were cramping, so he walked little incline in front of us (we were just after an overpass). Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, directed all of their cheering to this guy. People were yelling is number, they were yelling "Come on silver shorts guy!", they were just yelling & pointing at him, then beckoning him forward.

Sure enough, the guy picked up his head, threw a little wave to the crowd, and started running again.

Everyone just lost their shit when he started running again. The volume went up 20 decibels. This random guy got a bigger ovation than Lance Armstrong & the winners combined.

Over the next hour or so, dozens of people walked the hill. Each time, the full energy of the crowd was on that person. Every time that walker started running again the crowd went nuts. Runners were crying tears of pain & joy, spectators were crying tears of joy, and I've never seen anything like it.

Thanks, Boston.


Nathan said...

cool! Thanks for the photo and for cheering! I'm so glad you caught me while I was running, not crawling :)

What a fun weekend! I did a little post-race analysis on my bloggity too.

carly said...

Awesome recap on Boston! I have never been out there for the marathon but I think I could really get into the cheering and spectating that you described!