I know people in New York and Chicago brag about their races, but for my money, there’s no better marathon than the one here in Boston.
I just love the communal feel of the day, and the way the route snakes through the suburbs before finally ending at Copley Square.
That allows people everywhere to really be a part of the race and make it a festive, fun day, even if you’re not running.
As much as I have enjoyed watching downtown near the finish line in years past, watching it here at Boston College is also a great deal of fun. For one thing, I can see all the action out the window of my condo.
But that’s not as cool as going out on Comm Ave and watching as the hordes of runners turn the corner at the top of the hill and just descend, like the pack of wildebeasts in The Lion King (yes, I made that same analogy last year).
And then they just keep coming, for two or three hours. It’s an amazing, awe-inspiring sea of humanity. Not even the college kids, some of them standing halfway in the middle of the road to give out high-fives, can get in their way.
This year, as in years past, I kept my eyes peeled for my former coworker, Ken (aka: Boom-Boom). What a thrill it was when he picked me out of the crowd, thanks to the sign I was holding. (And how cool is it that when going through my photos, I found him in one of them?)
And then, because I had a heads up and knew to look for him, I was able to pick out the iPhone Guy a short while after Ken ran by.
I also saw “Hubb-O and Wife-O,” Abe Lincoln, the Hoyts, a couple Supermen and Batmen, Captain America, and all sorts of other folks. And of course, I cheered for Kevin, Keith, Sue, Nancy, Bill, Joe, and anyone else I saw with a name on their shirt, and held out my hand to slap a few high-fives of my own. One person even tried for (and got) a fist bump.
Oh, and the quote of the day came from a guy who, when asked where Hopkinton (the start of the route) is, pointed up the hill and replied, “About 21 miles that way.”
And now, as I write this and look out the window, the roads have opened up and the cleanup has begun. The race is over, and I can turn my attention to the day’s other events: in addition to the marathon, the Red Sox won big and tonight the Bruins and Celtics continue their playoff runs.
What a day.
What a race.
I love this city.