The third Monday in April has a special place in a Bostonian’s heart. It’s not only Patriot’s Day, but it is also Marathon Monday, one of the most vibrant days of the year in the charming city. The race infamously known for being one of the toughest marathons in the world, draws thousands of people, young and old, to cheer on courageous runners who take on this taxing race.
Although I have grown up twenty minutes outside of Boston my entire life, April 15, 2019 was my first time attending the marathon, and I have never felt so inspired by, not only the runners, but the camaraderie of the spectators passionately cheering on their friends, loved ones, and even complete strangers.
As I rode into Boston anxiously waiting to see two of my best friends crush the 26.2 miles, I questioned what watching the marathon would actually be like. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would be bored watching hundreds of nameless faces run by every minute, just waiting for the split second I would be able to see my friends.
But it was the complete opposite of boredom.
As I approached Kenmore Square, I could hear bells ringing, horns blasting, and people cheering loud, proud, and passionately. Posters filled the spectator-lined streets, each having their own personal story. I found a spot along the route just shy of the 25.2-mile mark and stood in amazement. The first person I saw run by was a man pushing a person with a disability for a period of the 26.2 miles. The next, a woman wearing a running singlet labeled ‘cancer survivor.’ It was then when I realized that this event was something greater than all of us lined along those winding streets that lead to the blue and gold finish line along Boylston Street. The Marathon represented hope–hope for those struggling with a disease, or for those who cannot physically run. It was a race that showed all the spectators and I that resiliency is everything, and a little adversity is nothing.
Cheering for anyone and everyone while watching the slight smirk or beaming smile on their faces from the little extra boost of support with less than one mile to go flooded me with intense emotions. To do something so difficult, for something so much greater than yourself, in a city that prides itself on its sports fans, made this my new favorite event. It showed that we are all #bostonstrong.