Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Boston bound

I've always had it in my head that Boston is a town I'd like to visit. On top of being home to Super Bowl and World Series champions, the city is also home to some of the best restaurants in North America; sports and food - need I say more? But it isn't the Red Sox or Sal's Pizza that has me in a Boston state of mind, it has more to do with the six consecutive hours I spent earlier this week watching the terrific coverage of the 112th Boston Marathon and the famous 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to Boston.

Watching the elite runners consistently pushing the 5 minute per mile barrier for all 26 miles and still having enough left for a sprint down Boylston Street was simply unbelievable. Like any other race I watch or participate in, however, it was the collection of stories that unfolded behind the winners that left me sneaking a swipe over my tear-soaked eyes on more than one occasion.

There was the Lance Armstrong story that ended with him tearing-up the course in just his third marathon since retiring from cycling. Soon after that, 66-year old Dick Hoyt crossed the finish line in a little over three hours all the while pushing his wheelchair-bound son, Rick. Then there was the group of U.S. Army cadets who ran the entire race in full fatigues carrying 50 pound sacks on their backs in memory of their fallen comrade who had been killed a few weeks earlier while on duty in Iraq. And just as that was playing itself out, the camera picked up a determined soul as he crawled the last 50 yards of the race on his hands and knees - I have never seen anything like that before.

It seemed everybody was running for a cause - some for charity, some for family members, some for themselves and some even just for fun. Whatever the reasons, the day spent in front of my television reinforced my belief that running is about so much more than pace and stride - running asks, "can you?" - we provide the answers.

So to the 25,000 runners who provided their own answers and woke up this morning too sore to move, I salute you - undoubtedly your lives have been changed forever by the Boston experience. Who knows, next year I might just be there on the sidelines to cheer you on.

Dinner's on me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was amazing to watch. You didn't have to be a runner to appreciate what was going on.