Part of the thrill of running a marathon is that family and friends line the course in support. From Wellesley College women offering runners kisses to small kids handing out sponges and orange slices in the Newton hills, the intimate relationship between runners and spectators is a hallmark of the Boston Marathon. Even elite runners often remark how fan enthusiasm along the route creates an atmosphere unlike any other marathon.
Still, Keflezighi wondered if the area around the finish would need to be guarded and placed under surveillance a number of days before the marathon.
“One of many things it could mean is that the public is pushed even further back,” said Morse. “But I don’t want to think about a scenario where you finish marathons in a stadium where no one can get in. This sport is much about the spectators as well as the athletes. It’s a relationship that’s important to the marathon world and marathoning.”
But Monday’s tragedy goes far beyond the marathon world. And those locked down at the Fairmont Copley Plaza knew that.
“This was about Patriots Day, not just about the marathon,” said 1983 champion Greg Meyer. “The marathon is a piece of it. It’s another attack on America. It’s sad that they choose a day that brings countries together and they do this to rip it apart. I don’t understand it.
“But Boston will come back. Boston will rally itself. It will be stronger, probably different, slightly scarred, but it will be back. It’s what Boston does.”
Shira Springer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.