Tag Archives: boston athletic association

We Are Boston

15 Apr

The sport of running has changed my life. I have never been so bad at something and loved it so much. My favorite thing about running is the camaraderie and fellowship shown in the sport. Whether it’s spectators along the road with humorous posters or a cup of Gatorade or the fellow runners who offer a friendly smile at mile 22 when you’re ready to die, running is one of the only sports that includes everyone. From the fastest gazelles to the slowest penguins, covering 3.1 or 13.1 or 26.2 miles is something we are all in together.

Today this sport lost its innocence. The sport where everyone who finishes a race is a winner, where we endure injury, blizzards and rain to train, where total strangers come out to cheer for you, was brutally attacked by cowards. The Boston Marthon is the oldest and hardest marathon in the United States. It’s the only race you have to qualify for. It’s the race all runners dream about like a kid dreams of Disney world. History has been made at Boston. The first female to ever run a marathon, Kathy Switzer, did it at Boston. Last year a world record was set by the winner.

Boston has always had a mystical elite aura around it in the running community. We run hard and dream big of running a Boston Qualifier. Today, this special race and the community that loves and supports it was viciously attacked. No matter what the reason, no reason is good enough for an act of violence against so many innocent people. Innocent people who came together for a sport that encourages community and overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles.

The country may be in chaos and mourning right now over this senseless act, but one thing these attackers need to know: runners are strong and resilient. Runners can conquer anything that is thrown at them from a 20 mile hill run to a snowstorm to a coward who attacks their most sacred race. These are people who think running 26.2 miles is fun. Don’t mess with them or their race.

This runner and marathoner stands with Boston today. I may never run a Boston qualifier and my feet may never cross the finish line in Copley Square, but today, anyone who runs is a Boston marathoner. We stand strong with this city and the running community. We are one with Boston.

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Book Review: 26 Miles to Boston

23 Aug

Over the weekend I finished the book “26 Miles to Boston” by Michael Connelly. It was a fantastic, inspiring read about the most difficult marathon course in the United States. The author was an ordinary guy who had the dream of running Boston. He suffered from a heart condition that prevented him from achieving his goal. He decided to have surgery to correct his condition so he could run the race in spite of protests from his family and friends that he shouldn’t risk his health or life for Boston.

The book chronicles his journey as a Boston Bandit (one who doesn’t officially register for Boston but runs it anyway) mile by mile. He goes through the history of the area where each mile is and what role it has played in the race’s history. I learned a lot of fun facts about various Boston running legends and what happens at the different miles. Connelly has a great voice that engages you throughout the book and makes what could otherwise be dry history interesting and humorous.

Being that I’m possibly the slowest runner on earth, I don’t think I will ever post a qualifying time to run Boston. Reading this book allowed me to experience it as if I were there. Connelly shares all his joys and struggles as he runs the course and you feel the immense pain he is in by the end.

Although many purists believe it is wrong for bandits to run Boston, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and sharing Connelly’s experience. I recommend it to anyone interested in running who is looking for an inspirational story to keep them going.

Buy 26 Miles to Boston on Amazon.com