For the past few years I have been making claims that I want to run a marathon at some point in my life. I am well aware that given the physical as well as the time commitments that it takes to complete a marathon I should get a move on this goal, but as of this week I still haven’t started. However, I was very inspired by the almost 30,000 individuals who took the 26.2 mile jog that stretched from Hopkinton to Copley Square in Boston’s Back Bay this past Monday during the 115th Boston Marathon.
Marathon Monday, as I have heard this day referred too, would appear to most non-New Englanders as just another Monday. Marathon Monday is anything but just another Monday. In fact, here in Massachusetts it’s a holiday?
Marathon Monday conveniently falls on the state-wide holiday known as Patriot’s Day, a day that allows Massachusetts public schools to shutter their doors in honor of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. They even re-enact the battle all the way up in Lexington including in the ceremony a replica of the ‘shot heard round the world.’ (I got to witness it on NECN’s late-morning broadcast as I sipped on my morning java.)
Patriot’s Day also allows a lot of other businesses and people to take the day off. Lucky enough for the city of Boston, its local watering holes and the population of hundreds upon hundreds who enjoy every and any excuse to be outside, drinking and celebrating – and as I mentioned before – Patriot’s Day conveniently falls on Marathon Monday.
My good and dear friend Sharky was running the marathon along with her roommate, M. Bear, and despite feeling down and out over the past few weeks I knew I had to get it together to cheer them on. So, Sweethaht and I journeyed out together for what she promised would be an eventful day that I would never forget. (Or maybe – depending on how much fun I would have.)
Thompa and Tumbleweed’s other side of the family threw a private party in the large restaurant on Beacon Street that they rented out and extended an invitation for us to join them. We were right smack on mile-marker 24 and the hosts even hired a D.J. that parked himself out front on the sidewalk to blast music and hype up the crowd, giving a boost of energy to the runners’ that passed.
As I stood on the sidewalk, full from the free buffet, mimosa in one hand, my camera phone waiting to snap Sharky and M. Bear in the other, I was cheering and admiring the hundreds of runners. There were runners in all sorts of costumes: from a Batman and Robin, to lobsters, and even a man in a tuxedo (who Sweethaht willingly gave her full beer away too when he requested one.) Others that donned shirts supporting wonderful causes, researches, shirts in honor of lost loved-ones, communities they were touched by – and in some cases there were those who were overcoming something, rewarding themselves with the accomplishment of finishing 26.2 miles.
I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed with inspiration. I was in awe of everyone that ran by. Occasionally, I found that runners were joined by their supporters – even if it was just for the length of a football field. Friends ran along side friends despite their footwear, holding signs of support. I saw runners turning to tears they were so fulfilled with accomplishment.
Sharky and I were fairly close when we were back on the field hockey bench at our New Jersey located High School. Up until last year I never anticipated moving to Boston, and I have to admit that if it weren’t for the Shark I don’t know how I would’ve survived the waters up here. I knew that she had worked so hard, sustained an injury, and was running this year’s marathon as a gift to herself in some ways (and to the Brookline Children’s something or other that she was running for as well). She had far overreached her fundraising goal and as her and M. Bear finally came into view I decided to show some very tiny and brief support for the support that she has shown me over the past nine months.
Running down Beacon Street in my Uggs alongside Sharky and M. Bear, cheering and screaming my love for their immense dedication and commitment, I was filled with a purpose. It’s nice to show support for others. I was happy they both had companionship during their four plus hours of running.
When I stepped back onto the sidewalk the crowd began to disperse. One by one and two by two people left to retire from the day. After all, it was a Monday of all days.
Later that evening, I was snuggling up on my couch ready to OnDemand a movie you only admit to wanting to watch when you are alone (relax, I’m talking about Little Fockers), and as I sat there alone I found myself wondering what support would have shown up for me had I run the marathon? Would I have companionship? Should I come to terms that I am a solo runner?
I have great friends in Boston, like Sharky, but there is a certain support and foundation that I have yet to find here in Beantown. Maybe it will never come, but maybe it will? Maybe I won’t be watching movies on just another Monday alone for much longer, but maybe I will?
Just when I was having these feelings, like a mind-reader, my phone rang.
The familiar voice that spoke on the other end of the line usually has me rolling my eyes at his requests but this time he too was looking for someone to watch a movie with on just another Monday.
Congrats to Sharky and M. Bear who finished the 115th Boston Marathon in 4hrs and 47min at a pace of 11 minutes a mile! You girls are incredible!