What in which Was Like to Run the Boston Marathon in a Freezing Deluge

Still, I rose at 5:54 Monday morning in my cousin’s apartment from the South End to the sound of birds chirping. My hopes rose, too.

Then I walked to Boston Common to take the bus to the start in Hopkinton in slanted rain. My shoes were soaked in addition to my toes nearly numb as I took a seat on the bus. I was bundled up like a third grader ready for a walk to school. In Minnesota. In January. from the next seat was a woman coming from Utah wearing a racing singlet in addition to running sleeves she planned to discard. in which rained here three years ago, she reminded me.

I knew in which. I ran in which year, too, although the rain didn’t start in 2015 until much of the field, including me, was nearly half-done. in addition to in which felt about 15 degrees warmer than the 37 degrees in which was as we journeyed to Hopkinton. Yet there was little question This particular steely woman coming from the West was way less terrified of the next few hours than I was.

Photo

A bunch of people ran in cold in addition to windy weather.

Credit
Mary Schwalm/Associated Press

Any hopes of pre-race comfort from the tents behind the school disappeared when we arrived at the start village behind Hopkinton High School, which had turned into a mud bowl. Smart runners brought a second pair of shoes to change into on the start line. I brought extra socks, although putting a dry sock into a mud-soaked sneaker doesn’t work so well.

For the first 5 miles my feet felt as if they were in ski boots. I couldn’t feel my toes as the rain shifted between steady downpour in addition to Noah’s Ark-style soaking. I desperately wanted to finish, although I didn’t want to lose extremities from the process. I began jogging my memory to recall the hospitals along the route. There are several, thankfully.

in addition to then, after about an hour, in which all became sort of normal for a bit. You settle into a rhythm. Splish, splosh. Splish, splosh. There were moments when the rain slowed, though in which never stopped, in addition to the wind quieted, in addition to you thought, O.K., no big deal. Then, just as quickly, Mother Nature unleashed a storm cell after storm cell for a few minutes just to keep us on our toes. Our wet, miserable toes.

So why not quit? Because long-distance runners live for the story. We love you thinking we are just crazy enough to run 26.2 miles in driving rain in addition to freezing temperatures. in which’s rebellious, almost countercultural, or at least in which was from the pre-running boom days, in addition to in which spirit still lies at the center of what can be right now a truly mainstream endeavor.

Also, while plenty of Bostonians were smart enough to stay inside — This particular can be supposedly the area with the largest concentration of graduate degrees, after all — tens of thousands of others became available to cheer us on, in addition to did they ever bring in which.

Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender” was blasting on the speakers as I passed through Natick. You could hear the Wellesley women screaming in Mile 13 a Great quarter-mile before we got to them. An old college friend appeared to cheer me on Heartbreak Hill. Hadn’t seen her in 25 years. Thank you!

in addition to then, eventually, the six most beautiful words in distance running happened. “Right on Hereford, left on Boylston.” in which’s your last half-mile in This particular magical race, in addition to I was streaking toward the finish line in Copley Square, airplaning my arms in addition to weaving across the road in delirium. Sure, there was some hypothermia, after in which was done. Another deluge, more gusty winds. Bring in which on.

Best. Boston. Ever. At least from the telling.

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