Tuesday, April 19, 2011

26.2 Miles

It's 2:45 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and here I am, aimlessly wandering around Facebook and emptying the contents of my DVR with a listless humor. Twelve hours ago, I was somewhere between Wellesley and Newton, hitting the pavement with more the 27,000 beginner and veteran runners, men and women of all ages, all sizes and all walks of life. It was my second Boston Marathon, the first for many, the tenth for some, the 25th for the inspiring members of the Century club.

At 11 am, with broad, beaming smiles, we hit the gates in our neon pink at Hopkinton and breezed through Amesbury, Framingham, Natick and Wellesey. The energy on the course pulsed under the sun, following a pattern of highs and lows as we moved down the road to Boylston. Along the sidelines, at times overflowing with partiers and at others studded with just a few quiet fans, runners passed onlookers and the two crowds combined for fleeting moments of a quickly absorbed and much appreciated support. And when Newton came along and walls were hit, knees began to ache and our feet screamed from unforgiving street step after step, the crowd was there to take our minds off the miles ahead.

Runners waved and high-fived the many who held signs glittered with motivation, encouraging us to keep moving and, my favorite, reminding us that our feet hurt because we're kicking butt. But, I fear that the crowd doesn't understand the role they play. Any veteran marathoner will know the feeling and I hope the supporters can truly understand how important they are. After all, how many of us would continue for 26.2 miles on our own? Every single fan on the sideline worked to keep our legs moving, our hearts fluttering and our eyes glistened with tears.

So, I want to say a huge "thank you" to all of you. To the friends and family that made it to the race and to the ones that were there in spirit. Especially to my amazing parents, who I thought I'd missed until I saw their bright red "Go Molly!" signs, to my sweet friends at Kenmore who celebrated with me after the race, and to my incredible boyfriend, whose presence at mile 26 kept me going through the ups and the downs. I love you all very, very much.

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