Yesterday I ran in the BAA 5K, an annual race that takes place on the weekend of the Boston Marathon. What’s so cool about this particular race is that it goes through some of the same few miles as the last part of the Boston Marathon, including that famous “right on Hereford, left on Boylston” at the end. Admittedly, I was pretty excited when taking those last turns today knowing that I’d be a lot more tired next time I’m there on Monday!
The atmosphere of the 5K was invigorating. From talking to other participants and overhearing conversations, I knew that many of the other folks out there were also preparing for the marathon. The cliché sense of “Boston Strong” rang true with large crowds and incredible spirit. Teams were out there running in memory of the victims of last year’s marathon tragedies; teams were out there to support some of the same charities that will be represented on Monday; and teams, like Dreamfar, were out there to simply enjoy the race and take in the scenery.
I use the word “team” an awful lot in that last sentence, which might seem strange in the context of running – a traditionally “individual” sport. But what I realized yesterday as part of the crowd of thousands – and what will make tomorrow so much more accomplishable – is that “Boston Runs As One.” Those are the words that are on the back of this year’s Boston Marathon t-shirt and they’re true. Like the 5K, despite the Boston Marathon being comprised of thousands of individual runners, it is also made up of teams, families, and communities. All of these groups bring runners together as “one,” just as the BAA put it. So though “Boston Strong” may seem cliché, I know it’s an authentic sentiment as the world watches us go 26.2 miles from Hopkinton tomorrow morning.
As I think about Monday, it’s true that I’m nervous. I mean, come on – 26.2 miles…that’s a long way to run! But if it weren’t a lofty goal, it wouldn’t be worth it in the end, and that’s what I have to remember. Something new for me with this race, having never run Boston before, is the tremendous support I expect along the course from friends, family, colleagues, students, and strangers! I think it’s a combination of it being such a well-known race and that I’m running to support a charity, but the moral and financial support I’ve received has been outstanding. I’m so appreciative of everyone who has wished me luck, donated to Newton Schools Foundation, or promised to be out there cheering along the course. Each and every one of you helps motivate me to get out of bed and down to Hopkinton on Monday morning. I can’t wait to see all of you out there!
For those of you looking for me on Monday, here’s fair warning – I’m by far not the fastest, so be patient if you’re looking for me! You can track me by my bib number (30851) either online, through text messages (text 30851 to 345678), or the BAA Marathon app. I’ll be wearing my bright orange Dreamfar singlet in appreciation for the training and support that Dreamfar has provided me as I worked to fundraise for Newton Schools Foundation this season. And orange is a fitting color this year – not only as one of the official colors of this year’s marathon, but also as the color that Newton South and Newton North share.