By Chris Murphy, Globe Travel Staff
A love letter to Boston ... and Brookline, Newton, Wellesley, Natick, Framingham, Ashland, and Hopkinton.
Thank you for yesterday's gigantic exercise in good will. Starting with my running club, the Colonial Road Runners, which granted me a Marathon waiver, helped me train, and got me to the starting line.
Thank you to the extremely generous woman in Hopkinton who let me and my friends use the bathroom in her house as we schlepped to our corrals. To the runners I met from Dublin, Toronto, and Sao Paolo. To the bands, the drummers, and the guy who was playing the theme to "Jurassic Park" on his trumpet when I went by.
To the runners dressed as Batman and Robin, a giant cheeseburger (Go Big Sandwich!), cross-dressers, a British bobby, the man who ran in a tuxedo and black sneakers (did you propose to anyone?), and the runner with the inflatable Pesky Pole strapped to his head.
To the kids who blew bubbles, gave passing high fives, and offered Twizzlers, orange slices, Popsicles, and Kleenex. To my husband, John, who wrote Go Chris! on my shirt, and to everyone who thought the exclamation point was an "i" and yelled Go Chrisi - well, that was just sweet.
To the man who told me I better get going because his money was on me. To the baseball fans holding signs to inform runners that the Red Sox were ahead.
To the Wellesley College women with their screams and free kisses and the Boston College dudes slapping my hand, especially the one who told me to dig deep. To the two runners I saw who ran with prostheses, the brave man running with an oxygen tank on wheels behind him, and the two I saw running blindfolded (with guides) to raise money for the Perkins School for the Blind.
To all the other charity runners.
To Santa Claus and the giant furry chicken who patted me on the back. To my friend Susan, who gave me a hug at Mile 15.
To the endless army of ever-gracious volunteers who must have been out there all day, you earned those jackets.
To the runners I saw supporting a woman who ran into trouble at Mile 25.
To my brother-in-law Matt who steadied me afterward and kept my legs moving around the Public Garden until my posse arrived with warm clothes.
To my boys, Rob and Ryan, who made me a lovely cheering sign.
To the police and State Troopers who kept the peace.
To the crews who are still cleaning up. To the friends, family, and co-workers who wished me well.
For every loud, messy, miserable, crazy, wonderful step of the way, it was a privilege.
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
- Ty Velde is a 15-time Boston qualifier who's completed 11 consecutive Boston Marathons and 23 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 12th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
- Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes