Nothing awful is supposed to happen on a day when you can watch Paul Revere, with a police escort, retrace his ride beginning in the North End and ending on the Battle Green of Lexington. Nothing bad is supposed to happen on a day when people from all over the state come with their cow bells to watch people from all over the world run a grueling 26.2 miles. But, today something awful did happen. And, I'm so sorry. How I hate to see it.
My sister and I ran the race in 2005. On that day it was 80 degrees at the starting line. The noontime sun beat down on us, scalding our heads and smearing us into the black tar. Our feet were burning after mile 1, but neither of us said anything. We could feel the blisters at mile 5, but neither of us said anything. At mile 13 in Wellesley we could see Boston's skyline, but neither of us remarked on how far away it looked. At mile 18 we missed our friend who was stationed with supplies and encouragement, but neither of us said anything. And at mile 21 just after we had completed the devilish climb and had begun our five mile decent to the finish line, our victory lap, my sister when down. And I mean down. Heat stroke. Sorry, Em. An hour and a half later we emerged from the medical tent in sweats. What was there to say now? And then there is mom telling us that we had to finish the race, that if we were to walk away and leave it incomplete, we would regret it. Oh, mom. Of course she was right. So humbly we walked, waving wearily to the sypathetic cheerleaders. And, we talked the entire way.