The wind was miserably COLD as me and 20+ thousand other runners waited for our race to start. My nerves were getting the better of me as I wondered if the increased downhill would do me in. I tried to quell the apprehension with the reminder that I would take it easy and savor the race. But, I couldn’t help but question whether I was prepared for this race or not.
After dropping off my bag, I joined the crowd and we walked toward the start. Although it remained blisteringly cold, the sun shone bright and energy was high. I held back my tears as I thought about what a long journey it has been to get here. Approaching the start, I looked all around me. Along side, in front, and behind were runners from all over the world. Lining the course on either side was a sea of spectators. They were hootin’ and hollering for us!
My eyes began to well up again, and once again, I pushed back the emotion. It would not be the last time I’d hold back the flood of emotion. This occurred many times along the course.
Reflecting on all that I’ve been through in the past 9 years. A combination of good, bad, and ugly…a new home, numerous injuries, and dying loved ones. And through it all, I somehow managed to continue on.
The heat from the sun and the warmth of the spectators helped me leave the chilly feeling of the morning behind. The tearfulness continued to pop up here and there: In the scream tunnel of Wellesley, while leaving the hills of Newton, when the famed CITCO sign came into view, and as I made the final turn onto the straightaway to the finish. Different from the tears of marathons’ past, these tears, brought on by the cheer of the crowd, were tears of a different kind.