I have just returned from my first Boston Marathon.  I admit that “just” is a relative term.  I took so many photos I needed to crop and such that the post was started upon my return but just now getting finished.   No, I did not run it.  You have to qualify for Boston and I do not run nearly fast enough, yet, to qualify.  I went to see a dear friend run it.

First, I cannot imagine the heartache of those who trained and trained – yes, even if you qualify, you will train specifically for the conditions in Boston – and couldn’t get to the US due to air traffic issue with the volcano.  It is nothing like being stuck like my friend Michelle’s daughter is – a school trip to France that has had at least one additional week added to it – but it is still hard to take.  I spoke with a woman who had turned her bib in as she had pneumonia and couldn’t run this race.  It is tough when you set a goal and something out of your control does not allow your work to allow you to achieve the goal.

Second, I cannot wait for next year!  I do not believe my friend is going to re-qualify and run it again but there is always that possibility.  I do know that another friend will run Boston next year as he didn’t register for this year due to the arrival of his child.  I just loved being there, in the crowd, cheering on people who had their names in tape on their shirts or in body paint going down their leg, being supportive of all the runners.

Running is an odd sport.  Even though you are competing, you really are only competing against your own personal times.  Consequently, everyone cheers on everyone else.  Everyone helps everyone else out.

Third, thanks to Paula and Lindsey who know the area and helped with info on food and the T and where I might want to go.  It was a wonderful couple of days.  Without the proper pre-race fuel, I am sure that Steve’s race might have not been as successful as it was.  Lindsey’s recommendation of Cambridge 1 was perfect.

Fourth, a big thank you to the woman on the T who convinced Lynette and I to get off a stop before the hotel personnel had told us to do.  We loved, as I stated in my previous post about Boston, the walk through Beacon Hill and the Public Garden.

Now, the marathon itself.  I was amazed.  I admit I have been to a few collegiate games that were playoff or NCAA tournament games.  These were games, played in either stadiums or rinks.  There were tickets involved and costs other than travel.  The Boston Marathon is different.  It is held in several communities that the runners run through.  I am sure that each town, in other words along the entire marathon course, had people along the roads.  The crowds were five to six deep along the main streets in Boston itself – Hereford and Boylston – possibly along other also.

People in the crowd were wonderful.  Once a person’s interest – at least where we were standing at approximately mile 26 – ran by, that person would let the next person in the front.  I was way in the back but by the time my friend was close, I was right up at the barricade.  When I left the barricade, my friend Lynette moved up to look for her sister.

The volunteers were amazing.  Lynette and I would ask questions and receive pleasant answers from everyone we spoke to in Boston.  The police presence was also amazing.  They were everywhere and there did not seem to be any problems.

So, to be able to show you all kinds of photos – yes, I took photos of people I have no idea who they are – indulge me as I post one more slideshow of photos from Boston.

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