Last year at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon I ran through a stadium of cheering spectators on my way to crossing the finish line where I was met by my wife, kids and the pure excitement of having just qualified for the Boston Marathon! Little did I know what to expect for the race I had trained so hard to be a part of. From what I had read, running the Boston Marathon wasn’t so much about making a new PR, but experiencing a special race, an “experience” unlike any other.
April 16th, 2018: the day of the Boston Marathon! What can I say, the weather was utterly terrible. It was wet and bone chilling cold; mid 30s, extremely windy and rainy with occasional sleet.
Bad weather aside, the route was still surprisingly filled with incredible amounts of spectators, both young and old, holding up signs, offering high fives and shouting words of encouragement. The excitement from the area college students was so loud you could easily hear them a half mile away. Water stations were nearly a quarter mile long filled with smiling volunteers getting even more wet due to the rushed runners haphazardly spilling on them as they quickly hydrated. It was utterly amazing how irregardless the inclement weather conditions, spectators and volunteers stayed alongside the race path, from start to finish, to offer endless support and encouragement to all runners.
I successfully completed the 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 12 minutes. At the end of the race, many local businesses opened up their doors to provide shelter and warmth to exhausted runners that had conquered the course and the unforgiving match with Mother Nature! As everyone was exiting the finish line area, the city’s subway and bus system waived transit charges as a way of expediting the runners and their families to their warm, dry destinations. A nearby upscale hotel let my wife and our newly made friends escape the harsh wind and rain to warm up and provided us a place to change out of our wet running clothes.
As runners, we work so hard to meet our goals. We make sacrifices, and our families do also. Come race days, streets are closed and police and medical staff are out in full force to ensure everyone’s safety. Streets are filled with volunteers and spectators to guarantee that us runners have the greatest and most memorable race possible.
For so many people to work so hard to give us one amazing experience, runners by far have the greatest fans of any sport.