If you’re a tourist, this beach-like weather was a real treat, since April is typically cold, wet and windy. However, if you’re running, you would prefer July temperatures to take their proper place in line and come much later in the year. Either way, what was striking to me was the difference in how the city presented itself under these conditions compared to previous years.
On my first Boston Marathon trip in 2010, my experience was most of the people we encountered on race weekend were crabby, rude and even belligerent. In previous years, the race seemed to present more of an inconvenience to the locals than an opportunity to showcase their city.
The 2012 experience was completely different in a number of ways. The city was buzzing with outdoor cafes full of patrons, people smiling as they sported their summer attire early and an overall mood that seemed foreign to someone like me who had only seen the city under a cold blanket of early spring.
|The record heat added a half hour to my race time|
and left me weaker than I realized.
Someone noticed my ashen color and sweating and offered me a seat just in time for me to get sick all over myself. If you’ve never had the opportunity to vomit repeatedly in front of 90 strangers trapped with you on a subway car, then you’ve simply never lived. Imagine being locked in a small compartment with someone who seems disoriented and is tossing pea soup around his immediate area. It must be terrible. In fact, I am not sure if it’s worse to be the lead actor or the audience in that little piece of theater.
The doors finally opened and to my genuine amazement a young lady said something to my wife and then grabbed my bag. She pointed us in the right direction and then chaperoned us down two flights of stairs to the train we needed to take. She did this carrying my luggage the entire way. If by some miracle that Moroccan-born college student from Bunker Hill College ever reads this, thank you for your kindness.
As expected, the TSA lines were long at Logan International and I had just enough recovery time to start feeling ill again. One of the TSA agents noticed me and asked if I was OK. I told her I wasn’t feeling well. Again, to my amazement, the agent took me out of line, found my wife, and ushered us through security in a matter of seconds. I was delirious from the race and the subway experience so I figured I was dreaming. Perhaps I was on another planet. People were being nice, compassionate, caring. What’s going on!
And to finish things off, the Boston-based JetBlue flight attendant crew treated me like a patient in a medical facility checking on me constantly and bringing me everything I needed. Despite a very crowded flight, they were incredibly attentive. I must have looked horrible to garner so much unsolicited attention.
So what did we learn on our 2012 adventure to Boston? Well, we're reminded that first impressions aren’t always accurate. Our 2012 visit couldn’t have been more different than our 2010 experience. The Wellesley girls are a welcomed sight especially when it's hot. Vomiting in front of strangers isn’t as fun as it sounds. TSA isn’t all bad. Boston does have a heart after all; and a big one at that. And lastly, that sunshine on your shoulders does really make you happy, especially if you’re a Bostonian.
[My 2010 Boston blog]
For more personal accounts of the 2012 Boston marathon, click here.
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