Our Boston Marathon Experience

by Marie Scholl, Owner of Inspired Endurance

After the tragedy struck last year, we knew we would come to Boston this year to not only exhibit at the expo, but to watch the race on Patriot’s Day, also known as Marathon Monday. The hard work and around the clock hours in the shop was worth every second of being part of one of the world’s greatest races and cheering on customers and runners from all over the world.

The energy in the city was electric. You could feel it all around you. Outside the venue residents were happy and excited that their great city was on a world stage. Bostonians have always been a proud bunch, but even more so over this weekend. The Red Sox were in town and nearly everyone was either wearing the local team shirts or Boston Strong apparel.

We listened to stories from our customers. One that stuck out the most was a customer telling me “I had to come back. I didn’t want last year to be my last memory of the Boston Marathon.” The B.A.A. opened the race to nearly an additional 10,000 runners who “had to run.”

Monday morning we had to be at our pre-planned location to watch the race. Paul’s (my significant other born and raised in Boston) longtime friend lives around mile 2 so we rushed over with our Dunkin Donuts coffee in hand before the roads closed. What we saw next was a bit unexpected but quickly understood. Hundreds of state trooper and local municipality police cars were headed toward and away from the finish line. At least 10 bomb squad trucks mixed with many large black SUV’s with hidden red and blue lights flashing continued while helicopters buzzed above. State police stood in formation within eyeshot getting their morning debriefing and police dogs were on standby with their partners at the intersections.

Young kids lined the streets likely unaware of the events from last year. They were running around and chasing each other, as it was finally warming up after a streak of cold weather. They were drawing messages to the runners in the street with chalk and happily squealing away! Fire hydrants along the route were painted yellow and blue and bright yellow daffodils were everywhere.

We walked down to the local bar, T.J.’s, for a drink and music around 8am. What a fun little spot that is! Dozens of motorcycle pipes and loud rock n roll blared through the air. Everyone was happy…talking and laughing. This is their annual “holiday” party. That was short lived because we had to rush out to see the first wave. As we were walking back to our post, dozens of participants running on prosthetics or in racing wheelchairs passed by. Tears popped out of my eyes when last year suddenly became very real.

We stood and cheered the runners through the entire race yelling “you made it to Boston” “you worked hard for this” “pace yourself it is hot today” “you got this” over and over. So many thank you’s came right back to us. Thank you to everyone who came to run and support the great American race. Hundreds of thousands were raised for charity. This past weekend was proof that although terror may cause pain, it doesn’t win.