In the wake of the bombing in Boston, oddly enough I didn’t make the connection for a few days in my own mind that I’ve been to the finish of a marathon. I’ve had friends compete in the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in Seattle and followed their training in conversations with them and on social media. It’s a type of dedication that I can’t imagine, and that leaves me inspired.
A few years ago, a friend posted pretty much every day “only X days until the marathon” for a few months. I don’t mind: that’s what Facebook is for, and it’s pretty quick to scroll past it. By coincidence, I was on First Avenue that day and there were a bunch of people looking over the entrance to the Battery Street Tunnel cheering. I stopped by and looked for that friend, even though I had no idea when he’d be passing.
I didn’t see him, but I loved the energy and enthusiasm of the people cheering right there toward the end. I stayed and cheered for nobody and everybody for about 20 minutes until moving on. I went about doing other things and then went back an hour or so later, and new people were cheering on new runners. Other than the fact that the runners were obviously going slower, the scene was pretty much the same, so I cheered again for a while.
Since then I’ve done that again or been at the finish for the marathon. It’s absolutely wonderful. And even if there’s more security and an added danger this year, I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be that day than watching the end of the race.