Back in the summer of 1989, after doing some hiking in the Green Mountains, my cousin and I took in a Saturday afternoon game at Fenway Park. It was my first look at the city, but only a five hour stop over. I could feel the "thunderbolt" coming, but I had not quite fallen in love (yet).
Having raced bicycles most of my youth, I transitioned to running in 1998 at the age of 39. Richmond was my second marathon and qualified me for Boston. I had intended and expected to better the time requirement. However, once I qualified I did not take this accomplishment for granted, and was thrilled about running Boston the following spring. And really excited when told of the reception I would receive at Wellesley College!
|Picking up my number for first corral|
The next day, I stopped by Fenway Park. I had soured on baseball after the 1994 strike cancelled the World Series. I met a scalper with a Boston accent who claimed the seat he was hawking was so close to the field I would be able to smell the "pine tah." That day, hearing the roar of the Fenway faithful, made me forgive baseball. Thanks, Boston. [I did not purchase that scalper’s ticket, going to the JFK Library instead, but I made up for it by attending Sunday games before the marathon in 2002, 2005, and 2008.]
Scarfing down pasta in a restaurant in Somerville the night before the marathon, a customer pointed over to me and said "that guy is a runner, he's carbo loading." I overheard a nurse lamenting she would not be able to see the marathon because she had to work. All this while, I was reading about the next day’s marathon in the Boston Globe. I wished I could freeze that moment: I might run Boston again, but the first date would be unique, that I knew.
Patriots Day, April 17, 2000
Our bus loaded up at the Boston Common. The rather portly driver jokingly stood up as if he could not operate a school bus, and asked "Does anyone know how to drive a bus?" I replied "No, can you run a marathon?" He took his seat behind the wheel and off we went to Hopkinton. In route I listened to one of my new CDs. Every now and then when I hear this music, I realize one of the most powerful things about music: Music brings you back. In this case, it brings me back to one of the highlights of my life.
Hopkinton. High Noon. Let’s Go!
Red Sox Nation lines the course. What crowds.
Natick. Home of Doug "The Magic" Flutie
Did I kiss one of the Wellesley girls? Does a runner have two legs?
"Hahtbreak Hill" not such a heartbreaker (but then I am used to the hills, living in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains).
"GO EAGLES" brings a roar from the Boston College loyal.
A high five from a Boston Policeman on Mass Ave.
Runner # 6721 loves the Citgo sign.
Kenmore Square. I can almost smell the "pine tah."
Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston. The best part.
The Finish Line. "Wicked Pissah." When can I do this again?
ESPN 2 aired the Boston Marathon in 2001. I watched and longed to go back. Past time to set up a “next date” with my now beloved city…
|Fenway Park bleacher bum|
Monday, April 15, 2002
A tough day for me but I finish.
I see my mom's cousin in Brookline; after about 40 years.
The Red Sox beat the Yankees.
When can I do this again?
In 2005 I got it right. I wore a Boston Red Sox T-shirt with the sleeves cut off.
|Kenmore Square - Becoming a fan favorite of Red Sox Nation|
|Fenway and the Citgo sign|
For more personal accounts of the 2000 Boston marathon, click here.
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