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The marathon is everywhere in Boston. And it’s a big city to be everywhere.
  1. The Boston Marathon is fantastic. It’s one of those events you hear about growing up that you never think you’ll get to experience. While I would have loved to run it, being a spectator was also cool and let me take a wider view of the entire race.
  2. Why didn’t I run, you ask? Well, you need to qualify and I’m too slow. And not just by a little bit. My qualifying time is just over 3 hours, which is about 30 minutes faster than I could possibly run without serious blood doping. Luckily the times get slower with age, so give me another 20 years and I should be hitting my sweet spot.
  3. The 2013 bombing is still on everyone’s mind. Whether it was the thousands of police and military lining the entire route or victims of the attack running the race again for the first time (some with artificial limbs), you felt it. But not in a bad way. In a way that said ‘Nice try assholes. You’re going to have to try a lot harder than that to stop this thing. We’re crazier than you!” So good.
  4. 34,000 runners is a lot. I stood at the 20-mile marker for two solid hours and I saw only a fraction of the people running. It’s like a sea of humanity that is struggling to keep moving forward, but will never stop.
  5. The top runners (mostly Ethiopians) are fast. We’re talking faster than I could sprint over 60 metres – and they’re doing it for 42 k. They really are impressive athletes. Here’s a video of the leading ladies at the 20-mile mark: https://youtu.be/bwyqRVnFHyk
  6. Watching your ‘senior, ex-smoker’ dad run in the marathon is once-in-a-lifetime stuff. And the irony of it all is that if I didn’t quit my job and move half-way around the world, I probably would have missed it. Or at least most of the pre and post-game festivities. Regardless, I was happy to be there and I’m looking forward to the next big race (hopefully one I can run in too.)

Peace.

Shaun

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