Friday, July 5, 2013

one run for boston

This past Sunday evening, I was had the opportunity to participate in the One Run for Boston - a non-stop running relay that started in Los Angeles and ended at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It took 23 days to make it's way from coast to coast, with some individuals flying to different states to fill empty legs of the relay in order to keep it going. People (including myself) obsessively watched the GPS tracker as Miles (the baton) made his way home to Boston.

selfie in the t station. hawt.
The plan was for Miles and approximately 650 runners to leave Newton at 7:00pm on Sunday. When I woke up that day, I saw that the relay was about five hours behind schedule. Ugh, great. It also didn't help that I had managed to come down with a chest cold between waking up and going to bed on Saturday. I did considering bailing on the relay. Running at midnight. In humidity. And rain. While sick? Not exactly my idea of a good time. But Jeremy helped me talk it out and I decided that this was a once in a lifetime experience that I did not want to miss. At around 8:00pm, I parked my car near the finish line, hopped on the green line and met up with some of my fellow Boston LUNA Chix before making the walk over to Newton City Hall.

When the runners and the baton made it's way to city hall the mood was.. exuberant. We cheered, we clapped, we all took a million pictures and before I knew it we were on our way to Boston. After the excitement of the start had started to fade, I began to feel pretty sorry for myself. It was midnight, humid and raining. Not to mention that my chest and throat were hurting and my stomach is apparently not a fan of night running on a full day's worth of food. Lisa (one of my amazing LUNA Chix team members), who always seems to be bursting with positivity and energy, helped me to get out of my head, and helped loosen up my tight knee. While everyone was going at their own pace, it was amazing to see how supportive and kind the runners were to one another. When someone slowed to walk, you'd hear the chorus of "are you okay? do you need anything?". The running community is so supportive, but there was definitely something special in the air that night. 

My body started to relax around mile 4, which coincided with striking up a conversation (ie distracting myself) with a woman named Jackie. She from Jersey, and I from New York, we talked about what it was like to live through September 11th, and how that added to the impact of the Boston Marathon Bombings. She pointed to the spot where she'd been spectating on April 15 and I talked about how jarring it was to be away in West Virginia when the city seemed to be breaking apart. Crossing the finish line was an emotional experience for me. I guess that's not at all surprising considering what the city, and the running community, has been through. Those who finished first stood in the rain, at 1am on a Sunday, to bring in the other runners. I can't say that I've ever seen anything quite like it, and I'm not sure I ever will again. 

I woke up on Monday exhausted and sick as a dog, but I don't regret my decision to run the relay. Not one single bit. I was right when I said this would be a once in a lifetime experience. It reaffirmed my love for my Boston LUNA Chix, for the running community, and of course for Boston. I love that dirty water. Oh Boston, you're my home. 

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