While originally I had not planned to run, I registered after the marathon as a way to both honor the law enforcement officers who played such an important role in the marathon and post-marathon events, as well to come together with my teammates, many of whom ran Sunday as well. A small part of me also registered to run to prove to myself that I could again be a part of a large race without fear.
About 9,000 runners showed up on this chilly drizzly morning. Due to the size and timing of the race, extra security precautions were taken this year that had never been implemented in the past. Only limited roads were open to access Seaport Boulevard and all who entered through the open roads had to go through a security check. Runners were given a clear plastic bag to bring belongings into the World Trade Center, instead of the usual option to bring your own bag/backpack to leave in the designated “bag check” area.
As we lined up at the start, my friend Nicole mentioned she had her phone and some other items weighing down the back of her running skirt. After being unable to retrieve her personal items on the baggage buses at the marathon, she didn’t want to leave anything she might need behind in case she couldn’t get back to it. It seems like the events of that day still stick with us all in various ways.
The World Trade Center, which serves as the hub for both pre- and post-race activities, did not allow new entrants, except runners, once the race was underway. I can’t say how everyone felt about these extra measures, but for me, these steps did not add any inconvenience to my race, and actually made me feel a bit better about being in the largest crowd I have been a part of since the marathon.
And while the weather, 42 degrees with on and off rain, had many runners confused about how to dress, no one was complaining. (Having run and volunteered at this race when it was 90 degrees and sunny, personally I was much happier with today’s weather.)
Before the race began, the stage near the starting line hosted several speeches, bagpipes played Amazing Grace (I held it together today) and a moment of silence for the fallen officers we were there to honor. Tributes were also made to the marathons victims and Officer Sean Collier. Race organizers printed copies of a second race bib for runners to pin to their backs, to honor Officer Collier who had registered to run today’s race.
Police officers were on duty throughout the race course. And for as many officers I passed, I heard at least 10 times as many “thank yous” from runners around me and even several high fives exchanged.
With an upset stomach for most of the race, today was certainly not my best day. But I am so glad I ran, as today’s run will absolutely be one to remember.
- 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