Where do you see the most loud, passionate, dedicated crowd of cheering supporters in Boston?
It’s not in Fenway Park during a Red Sox game. It’s during the Boston Marathon!
On the third Monday of April, Massachusetts celebrates two holidays: Patriots’ Day and the Boston Marathon. While I didn’t see any historical reenactments of the battles of the American Revolutionary War, I saw plenty of cheerful sports spirits.
The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon. It is run on Patriot’s Day, which people know as simply Marathon Monday. Every year more than 20,000 people from a number of countries run the 26.2 mile race from the town of Hopkinton to Copley plaza in downtown Boston. There are several divisions that start the race in 30 minute intervals: wheelchairs’, elite men’s, and elite women’s. Four Olympic Champions have won the Marathon. But I will let the media cover the fancy side of the event, and I will tell you about the side I witnessed.
The spectators were as spectacular as the event itself! This Monday, a crowd of more than 500,000 watched the race. People were standing in the street along the route, some had climbed on stairs, poles, and fences, some were watching from their windows and balconies, and some were even atop their roofs! From Kenmore Square down Commonwealth and all the way to Boylston and Copley, the whole of Boston was out and about! Everyone had cowbells and posters with the names of their favorite runners, who were most often their friends and family!
Indeed, right behind the elite groups run all the sports amateurs and jogging aficionados, who often times look much less professional in their funny costumes and interesting hairstyles. These are the runners I enjoyed watching the most! Although the crowd recognized some of the famous runners, it really wanted to see the every-day people who were running just for pleasure… and glory!
Behind the finish line, I saw young people and old people, fathers and mothers, lawyers and students, and all of them were equally breathless and equally happy that they had just run the Boston Marathon and had participated in this memorable event together!
That’s what I call sports spirit!