I got to go spectate the 2017 Boston Marathon. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I went with my friend Lori. We flew out of Kansas City on Friday and came back Tuesday. In the process of doing this, I learned several things.
- It lives up to the hype. It’s a magical thing to be in that place during that race.
- Some of the greatest stories on the Boston Marathon course are happening on the sidewalks after the course has closed and they’re tearing down the barricades.
- If you’re a runner and you go to Boston the weekend of the Boston Marathon, people will think you were running the Boston Marathon.
- Most people don’t know jack shit about marathons (see #3). There’s no way I would be running the Boston Marathon because I would need to have a qualifying time fast enough to make me eligible to register (3 hours 40 minutes, you know, just an hour or so faster than I’ve run one before). We did run the B.A.A. 5k on Saturday, so I could see how the pictures of us in running gear might have caused confusion.
- If you’re a runner and you go to Boston the weekend of the Boston Marathon to spectate, you will feel a teensy bit left out and jealous of all the stripey jackets and general badassery that you’re not a part of.
- I suck at subway navigation. How can I have a master’s degree and still not quite grasp the whole “the place it says on the front of the train is the end of the line in the direction that one is heading” thing? I’m always a frazzled mess getting on a train. I’m from the midwest and I don’t travel much, so I guess that’s an excuse. From the ticket buying and inserting/scanning/turnstiling, to knowing the difference between inbound and outbound, to trying to hear the announcements, I’m stressed.
- I’m a full-blown marathon fan. I’m watching them on TV. I’m flying across the country to watch them live. I’m watching recorded marathons on TV that I saw live. I’m following multiple pro runners on social media. I’m following blogs about running. I’m reading books and magazines about running. I’m listening to multiple podcasts about running. I only want to shop for clothes that are for running. I’m in it. Deep. I feel like I should be a better runner with this level of investment.
- Not everyone is a marathon fan. I forget this sometimes. In fact, on a podcast I listened to this week (yes, a running podcast) the guest said that most people on the street could probably name 10 pro golfers even if they have no interest in golf, but couldn’t name 10 pro runners even if they have no interest in running. That’s probably true. And I think that’s kind of a bummer.
- The Courtyard by Marriott in Brookline, Massachusetts is the perfect place to stay if you plan to spectate the marathon. I have no basis of comparison, but I stand by that claim.
- I don’t understand the love for the Green Monster at Fenway Park. To me it just looked like a big, ugly, green, wooden wall with a few advertisements. There may be some functionality I’m not aware of, but I don’t get why they don’t just have seats there. It looks weird. And they should have more seats in that place because they sell the standing room. Seriously. And it ain’t cheap.
- I need to learn more American history. Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston made me wish I knew more about all the Revolutionary shit that went down there. But I also made a resolution for 2017 to know more about actual kings and queens than I do about characters in Game of Thrones, so I’m not sure when I’m going to have time to do all this studying.
- Patriot’s Day is a real holiday in Boston. People have the day off and everything. Also, Bostonians aren’t aware that Patriot’s Day isn’t a thing anywhere else.
- I would go back to Boston again in a heartbeat. Marathon or not, it was an incredible place to visit.
- I really want to run another marathon.
I have my eye on the Twin Cities Marathon the first weekend of October. Haven’t pulled the trigger and officially registered yet though. Not sure what I’m waiting for.