[This isn’t really about coaching, rather a coach trying to deal with today’s lousy news. Then again, maybe that is all about coaching.]
I love the Boston Marathon.
It has shown me the World.
From the day I was born the Boston Marathon was part of my DNA. I was born just blocks away from today’s explosion.
And then I grew up around the corner from the race course, somewhere around 1/2 way.
We watched it every year — like clockwork.
Everything stopped on the day of the race.
My dad grumbled about the traffic. Mom marveled at “those crazy people.”
And I was happy on race day since my house was on one side of the course, my school on the other. You’re not crossing with “those crazy people” my mom would say. “They’ll run you over.”
So I got the day off. Mom was smart. And I hung out at the race, on my side of the street.
I loved the Marathon because it showed me the World before the World was ready to be seen.
I saw my first black athlete at the Marathon.
I saw Pat Paulsen run it (1970ish). He was the coolest person I ever knew who ran for president.
One year Katherine Switzer went by in a mass of humanity (1967). I did not know who she was. I did not even know she was a she. It took another five years before the Marathon would officially allow women to enter, but by then the secret was out … women could run without dying.
I loved the Boston Marathon because it made busy people stop.
I can remember clapping for hours. The first runners went by in a flash, and people politely clapped for them.
Ah … but those runners who struggled by in the third or fourth hour got robust claps, and the loudest cheers. People really rooted for them.
I saw my first wheel-chair athlete at the Boston Marathon (1972?). He amazed me, this man on wheels. He hit the down hill section by my house and probably reached light speed by the bottom.
I love the Boston Marathon because everywhere I’ve traveled people know about it. “Every see the Marathon?”, I’d get asked when I told people I was from Boston.
Got that more than questions about the Sox or Pats.
Since I was born the Boston Marathon has given me a secret view into the world.
Today it did the same, and I struggle with it.