Boston Marathon: For More than Just Runners

It’s Marathon Monday! Elite runners from around the globe are descending on Boston to race in the world’s oldest annual marathon. What started in 1897 with less than 20 racers now draws more than 30,000 to its starting line. [WHAT!] Did we mention the 500,000 who line the streets simply to watch participants endure the 26.2-mile course?

Boston is more than just a race. It’s the race.

BOSTON IS ABOUT PERSEVERANCE.

Regardless if you’re the type to lace up your shoes on a Saturday morning, you should be paying attention. Why? Because, at its heart, Boston isn’t about running — especially not now.

The Boston Marathon had always been the hallmark event to watch as the world’s greatest vied for their place in history, but after the 2013 bombings, the event catapulted into the minds + hearts of the masses, extending the race’s embrace outside those who had always dreamed of one day toeing the starting line to the population at large.

The world watched as Boston rebuilt itself. But what the Boston Bombers [+ perhaps the world at large] had not yet realized is that marathoners are relentless. A community of thousands came from far + wide to aid those affected by the tragedy. You can go through article after article, video after video, following the bombing + you will hear the same thing: “You picked the wrong people.”

BOSTON IS ABOUT HOPE.

Five hundred thousand spectators don’t line the streets simply to watch people, wearing essentially what equates to underwear [lookin’ at you Shalane Flanagan], put one foot in front of the other. They just don’t. Those spectators line the streets for a glimpse of humanity in its purest form.

Racers push past the physical + mental limits of the human body, showing the power of days, months + years of training. No one is born able to run 26.2 miles. It’s the culmination of sweat + determination. It is absolutely breathtaking to witness.

This event is for everyone who believes in something greater — something worthy of excitement, dedication + even fear. What Boston marathoners show us is that it’s okay to be afraid of taking on big challenges, but it’s not okay to never try. You can only achieve what you’re willing to work for.

BOSTON IS ABOUT HEART. 

It’s not the desire for glory that draws 30,000 people to tackle Heartbreak Hill. Glory would never get you that far. It’s heart.

Marathons are humbling in the most unabashed way. No matter how many miles you’ve run + how many weeks you’ve trained, you will hit a point where that no longer matters. Your body wants to give up, your legs begin to wobble + your head begins to pound. It is there that you must turn to something far greater to push toward the finish line.

Marathoners have to reach deep down into their soul + find that one thing that once encouraged them to believe in themselves. That one thing — a memory, a goal, a dream — is what will propel them to the finish. It’s not their feet or their legs or their gasping lungs, it’s their love for the sport + those who are running by their side.

So why care about Boston if you never plan to toe the starting line? Because its quintessence is what it means to truly live. I encourage you guys to lace up your shoes today + #runCHAARG for Boston.

+ Grace [@gm.inchaarg], Kent State CHAARG

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