I have been so overwhelmed already with the messages, texts, and posts of good luck, prayer, and well-wishes. It has really been a remarkable journey to get to this point. This is so much bigger than me, and I feel so blessed to be a part of this experience. It’s the oldest, most-treasured marathon in America, and I am a temporary custodian of it; sort of an ambassador. Some of the people who are sending messages of luck probably wouldn’t give the race a second thought on Monday. But now they are carving out time, setting up text alerts, and figuring out how to check in on my times during the race. I am their link to the race. Overwhelming indeed.
The title of this post comes from a very good runner-friend who ran Boston last year. It is a simple message, but is profound in its statement. When I read it, it really provoked thoughts and emotions in me. The Boston course has very little turns. In fact, I think there are six total? Turns can slow you down on a run. However, on the curved part of the track, you can overcome an opponent by powering through the turn. In a road race, the goal is to run on a tangent through the turn. I have used turns to make passes. And I have been passed many times in a turn. Turns are a change in direction that could lead to a change in the race. It might be into a demoralizing headwind, or an uplifting tailwind. Turns can be significant.
But these last two turns, right on Hereford Street and left onto Boylston Street, are probably the most significant. From Jeptoo, to the Kelleys (young and old), Boston Billy, Dicky and Al’s “Duel,” Ryan Hall, Shalane, Desi (all running it this year), Rick and Dick Hoyt (their last one, by the way)., so many runners have made the turns; so many of my friends, too. I can only imagine the feelings and emotions. Relief from the mid-packer that the end is near, elation of a winning athlete; tears of pain, tears of joy. And there are some who didn’t make the turn. I can only imagine at this point. I still need to run the race.
The sights and sounds of the cheering fans are in my dreams. I have had many training runs where I have envisioned making this finish. I even remember a particular run with Steve S. through First Landing. I was trying to dig deep on mile 18 or so of a training run. Steve, a four-time finisher, said, “Just envision yourself making the turns to the finish at Boston.” I visualized the screaming fans, the tall buildings, the finish line. But the turns have been there too. I have thought about making those turns. I watched many clips of finishers making the turns and, in my mind, I thought about what it’ll be like to make those turns. And I will be making the turns with all of my friends and family tracking and supporting me. I just mentioned to Kelly this morning how there have been many messages already and how overwhelming it all has been so far. I was lamenting how I didn’t want to let anyone down. And she asked “Why? You are ready.” Your support is appreciated. I can’t say “thank you” enough for all the support. Thank you all! Enjoy the show!