I will never forget the moment, at about the 100-meter mark of the 117th Boston marathon, when I thought, with sun shiny clarity, “This is going to be the most amazing thing I ever do.” And I was right. Thanks to you.
The moment I stepped onto the platform at Back Bay Station, I could feel it. I describe it now as an embrace. You didn’t just make me feel welcome, you embraced me. I was a part of your tradition and was swept up in your pride. Light as a feather, a Boston marathon starter. What an honour to be your guest.
I tell people about that embrace and about how rightly proud you are of your beautiful town, your strong community, and your iconic run. I fell head over heels in love with you during those three days in April. I am giddy with joy just thinking about it.
I find it hard to explain to people how amazing you are. I am not the most poetic of storytellers, but it’s all so raw and moving that I hope some of your nature is portrayed. So I tell people about you with the oranges… About the thousands of high fives, my sore hand and my sore shoulder… And my sore cheeks because I did not stop smiling for 26 miles. (Well, maybe your hill made me cringe a little).
I tell them about the tissues and the wet paper towels and the sponges and the lollies and icy poles… And your beer and barbeques... And your deafening, up-lifting roar that pushed me to my PB (PR). I tell people about the sea of black, shiny leather, at the pub… About the kids, the families, the communities. I tell people about how sore your hands must have been from all your clapping, and how sore your throats must have been from all your cheering.
And I tell people about the 100’s or 1000’s of you who yelled out “Go Aussie Go!” or “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!” and about how I laughed when one of you said “There’s an Aussie…ARE YOU FAIR DINKUM???!!!” and how I laughed again every time one of you said “Go Great Britain!” and then your neighbour said, “That’s not Great Britain, it’s Australia.”
I have never felt so supported.
You carried me for those 26.2 miles. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Kew, Victoria, Australia
For more personal accounts of the 2013 Boston marathon, click here.
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