Keep running

Today J and I watched the Boston Marathon from our usual spot between miles 18 and 19 in Newton. It was the first Marathon since the race was canceled in 2020 and postponed this past April due to the pandemic: a relic from the Before Times modified for our current COVID days.

Water station

Today’s field of runners was intentionally smaller than usual, and we missed seeing the elite front runners who started earlier this year to allow a rolling start for the general field. It didn’t matter, though. This year wasn’t about seeing any particular runner win or lose; it was about taking back the streets after more than a year in pandemic isolation.

Guide runner

Usually Marathon Monday happens in April, when New Englanders are ready to get outside after a long, cold winter. This October, we’re emerging from a different kind of hibernation, ready to return to in-person activities (with proper precautions).

Run for the candy

In 2014, one year after the Marathon bombings, showing up to shout from the sidelines felt like an intentionally courageous act: no terrorist is going to bomb us into hiding. This year felt similarly liberating: after a year and a half of avoiding crowds, here we are again in the open air cheering for strangers.

Worst parade ever

Although some spectators were masked (and J and I carried masks on our wrists, ready to wear if the crowds got too dense), most of the folks we saw today were bare-faced to the open air. It felt good to be outside, and good to see other folks outside. During the dark days of 2020, we weren’t sure this day would ever come.

Find your happy pace

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