The post is written with warm thoughts and respect to those we lost and those whose lives were changed forever on April 15, 2013.
More than a marathon
I am a runner, passionate about my sport, and my kids know that. But even if you have no interest in running or understanding why someone would pay to run 26.2 miles, taking your kids for a family day at the Boston Marathon on April 16 is worth your time.
Filled with sport history
The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world. It carries a wealth of sports history as it approaches its 122nd running. As a mother of two daughters, most prominent in my mind are when Bobbi Gibb became the first woman to run (unregistered) in 1966, followed by Katherine Switzer (registered) the following year.
Life-long goal, achieved
Held on Patriots Day, the marathon draws athletes from around the world. Some of these athletes have won other marathons, but a win at Boston is a life-long dream for many. Our own local running hero, Shalane Flanagan, will try to take home a win in Boston as she did in November in NYC. Why am I telling you this? Because I don’t think there isn’t a kid who couldn’t benefit from seeing men and woman testing their physical and mental limits while pursuing a life-long dream on the streets of our fine cities and towns along the course.
Passion and commitment
The Boston Marathon draws over 30,000 athletes each year. Many athletes have gone through years of preparation. A non-professional runner typically spends 16 weeks training before they get to the starting line to run 26.2 miles. It’s inspiring to watch so many people with such passion and commitment. That drive carries them through the training and the length of the race that day. Sure, my kids might not appreciate all the preparation that goes into this, but I love sharing the electricity that exists on the course along with the camaraderie and good sportsmanship you witness from the race participants.
Running for a cause
A large number of athletes who participate in the Boston Marathon do so through charity organizations. Last year participants raised an astounding $34.2 million dollars through the 200 charities involved with the marathon. There are individuals who embark on training for Boston never having run a mile — all to support the charity they’re passionate about. They are a great example to my children: Testing their physical limits to benefit hundreds of worthy charities.
Spend the day
Grab your lunch, lawn chairs, cowbells, and your loudest cheers, and pick a spot along the 26.2-mile course (our favorite spot is the Newton Hills). And enjoy the 122nd running of the Boston Marathon!