Musings boston

Published on January 21st, 2014 | by karlyn


What Boston Means To Me

Today marks the three month mark from the Boston Marathon. 90 days to go.

A marathon isn’t like any other sporting event because in a marathon, ordinary people can participate alongside some of the greatest athletes in the world. I can’t ride in the Tour de France. I can’t play in the World Series. I can’t participate in the same events as Olympians. Except in the marathon. Marathons shut down entire cities for a day that not only celebrates elite athletes, but all of the ordinary people that train for months to run 26.2 miles. It doesn’t matter if you finish in 3 hours or 6 hours, total strangers are still there to cheer you on the entire way. It’s a sport that brings out the best in people.

And Boston is the greatest marathon in the world.

Boston is my Olympics. It is my World Series. It is my Tour de France. In Boston, I get to follow in the footsteps of the greats in the sport – Meb Keflezighi, Gebre Gebremariam, Desi Davila, Shalane Flanagan. Even though I’ve already run a marathon, this particular event is one that I always viewed as more than I would ever be able to achieve. Bigger than anything that I – a slow runner who has no particular desire to run very fast – ever should participate in. People like me don’t run the Boston Marathon. But this year I will. And this year more than any other, crossing that finish line will be a personal victory. It will mean that I got myself back in shape after an almost three year slump, that I conquered the ridiculous nature of my weekly schedule and made the time to work out, and that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. It’s so much more than finishing a race. I will be crying like a baby when I cross that finish line.

I feel especially privileged to be able to run Boston as a part of Dana-Farber’s team. Anyone can run a marathon, but Boston is one of the few races that you have to work a little harder to run. You can’t just enter. You either need to qualify by running a previous marathon at a pace that I can’t even maintain for a 5K, or you need to raise money for a charity. I’m not built to do the first, for no other reason than running fast has never been a priority in my running life. So option #2 it is. Regardless of which road you take, the race is a celebration of a lot of hard work.  Though running Boston is a dream, I only applied to one charity team to be a runner because if I was going to raise money, I wanted it to be for a cause that I had a personal connection to. Cancer has impacted my family and my friends. Though money can’t solve all problems, the more money we can throw at this one through organizations like Dana-Farber, the better.

90 days left. So close, yet so far away.

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I’m running Boston to raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, to support innovative cancer research.

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About the Author

I'm a non-runner (i.e. a proudly slow runner) training to run the world's most famous marathon. This will be my third marathon, and second Boston Marathon in a row. I will be running as a part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Team and will be raising money for the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Cancer Research. Follow my journey by joining my mailing list, following me on Twitter or on Facebook.

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