That is the only adjective to describe the awe of the Boston Marathon; there is truly no other race quite like it. I ran my first marathon in 2011 and it wasn’t exactly love at first experience. I was finding myself back at a start line, ready to run yet another marathon. They are a bit of a love hate relationship, the pain sometimes makes you question why you pay good money to put your body through it, but in the end you wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
This year iFit had the amazing opportunity to send 3 of us to Boston for the Marathon, including Alex Ipson, Colby Anderson, and myself. While all of us had very unique experiences, we all came out of it so glad we had done it. Running the Boston Marathon is something that few people ever have the opportunity to do, and we were given a chance to do it together.
For me the morning started out with a long bus ride out to Hopkinton for the start. That’s where I met up with my colleagues and other friends that were running as well. From the very start I was amazed by the sheer number of participants. Not only did the spectators line the streets every step of the way, but the road was packed for pretty much the entire duration of the race.
The people you meet and see are perhaps the greatest part of the whole trip. From the woman I met on the bus heading to the start line, to the man that had run over one thousand marathons, to all the runners there for different charities, to the thousands and thousands of spectators that line the entire path, everyone there has a unique story that brought them there that Monday. For many in the running community, Boston 2014 was a monumental race with some of the highest participation in history, and following such a tragic event the preceding year, it seemed as though everyone bonded together to take back the finish line.
Marathons are always a bit of an emotional experience since you are putting your body through so much, and you hit that wall of fatigue you have to overcome in order to hit the finish line, but Boston was even more than that. When I finally hit Boylston Street with about ¼ mile to the finish line it really hit me. I was going to finish the Boston Marathon. The crowd was alive, and I looked up to the grandstands where the bombs went off last year, and they were absolutely packed. The support was overwhelming, and I had never felt like I had been part of something so big ever before.
We are Boston Strong, and that is something I couldn’t be more proud to say. Regardless of the heat, the emotions, the rolled and broken ankles, the training, the past, the travel, the pure number of miles, and all the struggles along the way, we did it. We crossed that finished line, and we are official finishers of the Boston Marathon.