Yesterday we went to watch the Boston Marathon. Despite the fact that we've lived in the Boston area for almost eight years now, we've never been to the Marathon. We've never been to a Red Sox game, either, though. I suspect we're failing miserably at integrating into the Boston culture.
Anyway, it was very exciting because my cousin qualified for the race this year. So we went to cheer him on. Things I learned in this, my first marathon:
1) Traffic is horrific anywhere near the race route. We've always steered well clear of the race area in previous years. It took us almost twice as long to get to the race as we thought it would. In fact, we got there just after the press trucks drove by.
2) Ten gazillion people watch the marathon. If you're not there early, you're not getting a good viewing area. At least not without walking far further than would be recommended with three year old twins. Arriving when the press trucks are going by is not "there early".
3) A crap load of people run this race. When I think "marathon", I think oh, 10 or 12 insane people. Turns out it's a giant convention of insane people. Okay, fine, I knew a lot of people run the Boston Marathon. It's just hard to imagine the sheer volume of runners that go by. I've watched a number of other races in my day, and I've never seen anything like this.
4) My facial recognition abilities are completely worthless. Not only was my cousin running, but so was my neighbor from when I was growing up. Did I see either of them go by? Nope! And I know they both did, as they both finished the race. In my defense, though, there were just huge constant packs of runners, and you couldn't really see anyone running toward the other side of the street. Perhaps it's because we were watching at about mile ten. Maybe things spread out further toward the finish line?
5) Because the cheering sections along the road were so crowded, you couldn't really look ahead at who was coming as ridiculously tall people were next to us, blocking our view of the upcoming racers. Watching people run by directly in front of you for an hour or so actually makes me kind of motion sick.
6) It's tiring to cheer for an hour. Yes, I just complained about how one hour of cheering (and watching insane people run) tired me out. Clearly actually running 26 miles would not be something I'd be up for.
7) Despite the fact that I believe marathon runners are probably certifiable, I was kind of touched and amazed at these insane people who get out there and run, either to raise money for a cause (it was nice to see so many people wearing shirts for the charities they were running for), or just to prove that they could do it. So congrats to all you marathon runners. I'm impressed!
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