The path to today’s running of the Boston Marathon was in some ways, exactly as the same as it has been for the past 118 years. And in others ways it could not have been more different. We all know of what happened last year and as a result today was “different” and I think it took the race to another level. The emotion of the day was palpable. At each step in the process, from the moment you got on the buses at the Boston Common, till your crossed the finish line,you felt that this was indeed a unique race day. Everyone just seemed a bit more connected as if there was a higher purpose to today. The day was spectacular – blue skies and 45 degrees at the start combined with the ever-present support combined to exceed expectations. And for each runner it was a race to take in, to absorb, to embrace – to appreciate the moment, to connect with the spectators and to run to remember.
And the B.A.A and the race delivered as only Boston could - Boston Strong - a community that came together like a collection of fibers intertwined to make for a stronger bond. The communities along the course brought out their best and then some. Smiles, food, water, support, high-fives, signs of encouragement and a roar that sustained from beginning to end – Boston Strong indeed. Many of us who are part of THPL community have high expectation of ourselves and of others. It is indeed what we live for. Today, in Boston, expectations were exceeded.
This was bigger though, the day brought hope to the fore, it showed that we are indeed a great people, a great nation, one of strength and character and resilience. There is nothing more powerful than when our community comes together with a common vision and a common cause. And today we made a statement - we told the world that we we hold dear our values of liberty and freedom – that we will not be intimated, that we stand tall and do not back down. Today hundreds of thousands of our community came out to cheer on the runners, every runner, and it was personal. They reached out – they made their presence felt – and I will feel it forever in my heart, it was that impactful.
Boston will now clean up and in a few days the visual reminder of what was the 118th running of the Boston Marathon will be gone. I can promise you, though, that for every runner, every spectator, every member of our community who was there today they will remember April 21 for ever more. The new question will become – were you at the 2014 Boston Marathon? And in our own way, each of us will all be able to say yes.
Loving life and the running of the Boston Marathon – I am going back next year!