Marathon Monday April 20, 2009 Photo by Sarah Gordon
I’m the white sweater leaning over the barricade pointing at and cheering for runners.
On Marathon Monday, the outpouring of joy is so thick you can gulp it from the air. I moved out of Boston about three years ago and though I now consider New York my home, I always get homesick for Boston on Marathon Monday; nothing compares.
When I was at BU, I would find a spot along the route about five miles from the finish line and from there I would fall in love with all of the runners making their way to the end. I loved being able to watch and support people accomplishing this incredible feat or goal. I had to let each of them know how strongly I felt as loudly as I could muster. I used to cheer so hard that runners, who were perfect strangers, would stop mid-marathon and hug me along the route. One year a group of girls cheering next to me said, “You are so good at this.” The days following the marathon, I’d have no voice and bruises on my stomach from hanging over the metal barricades for hours, shouting my support and praise. I needed to be closer to give as many high fives as possible and point at runners while screaming “YOU INSPIRE ME!”
I’m not totally sure why I wrote this. I just needed to displace the confusion, fear and anger that have rippled through me since I heard the news. I needed to remember Marathon Monday the way it should always be remembered – as a day of happiness and a tangible symbol of human will and perseverance.
My heart is in Boston.