During my four years of college at Babson, Marathon Monday was the day we would look forward to the most each year. Many people I’ve talked to yesterday who are not from Boston or have never lived in Boston wonder why Marathon Monday is such a big deal to Bostonians worldwide. Here is my attempt to explain this meaning and how important this day is to past, current, and future Bostonians everywhere.
Marathon Monday officially falls on Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts; a state holiday celebrating the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. Marathon Monday is inspired by the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics. This is a day that we celebrate Patriots, runners, and the American spirit. Given this is a rare three-day holiday weekend, one might think that most people would escape their city and spend the long weekend in sunnier and warmer places, but not in Boston. You didn’t want to miss Marathon Monday, not the runners, not the crowd, not the costumes, and not the energy and pride of Boston.
“..it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition. Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. – President Obama”
The marathon route starts in Hopkinton and 26.2 miles race through the state, including the halfway point in Wellesley, my college town. I remember spending my first Marathon Monday standing at 13.1, where Route 135 meets Route 16, cheering on the runners, the Supermans, the zebras, the Captain Americas, and all the other crazy costumes we would see each year. The Red Sox also traditionally play at home on this day, so runners can hear the cheers of baseball fans as they race past Fenway Park.
There have been many gruesome photos from yesterday’s tragic event, but I’m focusing on the ones showing the American, and the Patriot spirit. People helping people. We are a resilient people, as President Obama stated in his address yesterday, and we will prevail.
Marathon Monday is a day to celebrate and while we don’t have have many answers yet as to why, we will remember that this day is about the spirit of running, and when April 21, 2014 rolls around, we’ll be back stronger, faster, and prouder.