We all knew that this year’s Boston Marathon would be very different.
I don’t remember the exact moment that I decided to run the marathon this year, but I think it was in the back of my mind ever since April 15th, 2013. I wouldn’t really call myself a runner, so committing to training starting in December as soon as I got back from being abroad was a frightening prospect. But I couldn’t think of any other way to show my support for my city. Many other people had the same idea and therefore the number of runners in this year’s marathon is much higher than usual. In addition, as could have been expected, the security measures this year are more intense than ever before. And as a result, the BAA has issued a statement saying that all bandit runners are strictly prohibited from entering the race.
The Campus School Team has always run bandit (without official numbers), but this year they have decided to respect the wishes of the BAA, the State Police, and all other parties that have been tirelessly working to make sure we can have a safe marathon. Unfortunately, what this means for me and the rest of the BC team is that we don’t get to run our marathon. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I received the email with the news I was absolutely crushed. It felt like all the training and the time and the injuries and the hard work I had been putting in since before Christmas was all for nothing.
I had never before felt so committed to a cause and it is all the events of this year that was going to make this Boston Marathon so meaningful for me. Not only was I doing it in support of Boston, to show that no one can mess with our city, but also for The Campus School, which is who the BC runners raise money for every year and a place where I volunteer and to which I (happily) commit a lot of time and energy. This year was different however, because the Campus School was battling with the threat of closure. Thankfully, The Campus School came out on top and is allowed to stay on BC’s campus for the time being, and therefore running the marathon this year and raising money for them comes with extra honor and a hint of victory.
To say that being denied the opportunity to run in the actual marathon is a disappointment would be an understatement. Not only is it sad for those who were planning to run, but also for their friends and the BC community who will be mostly rooting for strangers on Marathon Monday instead of cheering extra loudly for people they know or for anyone wearing the yellow Campus School t-shirt.
BUT, this year we will be running a different marathon. The Campus School Bandit Marathon. On Marathon SUNDAY April 13th. I will be running for myself, for the good work and success of the Campus School, in memory of the tragic events of last year and for those who were killed and injured, and FOR BOSTON, and the graceful perseverance of our city. And we are asking that the BC community come out and join us at Mile 21 just as you all will do the following week. We need you. Throughout all of my training, the scene I visualized to get me through the last few miles of a long run or up Heartbreak Hill was not crossing the finish line on Boylston. Instead, I imagined the thrill of running past BC at Mile 21 and hearing the support of my classmates and friends. So come out to give the Campus School runners the support they need to get them through the last five miles and to show that no matter what adversity we face, that we can overcome, and we WILL run our marathon.
The Campus School Bandit Marathon will be held on Sunday, April 13th and you can expect runners to be running past BC between about 12pm and 2pm. For more information check out the event on Facebook!
Photo Source: Camilla Creatura