Monday, April 16, 2012


You probably didn't know that today was a holiday, did you? That is probably because you don't live in Massachusetts, which is the only place that celebrates this (made up) holiday. Well, except for Maine, I think.

The holiday? Technically it is Patriot's Day, which commemorates something or other to do with some Patriots - either the battles of Lexington and Concord, or winning the Super Bowl, I am not sure which. Really, though, the holiday is Marathon Monday, where large numbers of people take the day off to cheer for extraordinary skinny people running really, really fast.

And today, hopefully not dying of heat stroke.

One of the many things I have learned in my seven years in Boston: the marathon is a bona fide Big Deal. The Chicago marathon is a big deal, too, but it is not quite the same (although I think it is bigger than it was ten years ago when I lived there). I am not sure there is another place where the race is bigger in comparison to the size of the city than becomes a huge presence starting on Friday when the runners from out of town start to trickle into the city. It helps that the weather was awesome all weekend, that the Bruins had a big game on Saturday, and that the Red Sox season just started: all of that together made for TONS of people out and about all weekend long.

There is a pretty big problem, though: it is going to be almost 90 degrees today, and the race starts at noon. Anyone from New England who has been training for this race is unlikely to have spent much time in anything approaching that kind of heat, which makes it a very dangerous undertaking, and the authorities have been encouraging people to take it very easy. They have also kind of encouraged people to not run by offering to let them put off their entries until next year.

I know a handful of people running, all of them to raise money for one charity or another. I actually think that most of the runners in the race are running for charity: I think that is the only way to get into the race unless you can run really fast:-) So, send your best (cool) wishes to the runners today, and wish them all the best of luck!. Take it easy everyone, and drink lots of fluids!!!


Brian said...

Love the "... where large numbers of people take the day off to cheer for extraordinary skinny people running really, really fast." comment - made my day so far.

laurwilk said...

While I'd be pretty disappointed if I BQed and then had to attempt to PR in ridiculously hot weather, I'm shocked they've opened up the option to defer. Could make for a very interesting 2013 BM!

More importantly, I'm pissed that it's 88 degrees there and SNOWING HERE. I'll add today's weather to my long list of "reasons I hate Boston".

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Another thing to note ... Boston school districts start their spring break this week (while the rest of the nation had spring break weeks ago). I always had this Monday off from school. And, since my family never went away during spring break and because the race course ran a block by my house, I always went out to watch it ... never knowing one day I'd run marathons, too!

We have friends from Austin in to run the race this year. I kept thinking this weekend that it's a good thing they trained in Texas ... sigh.

Accidentally Me said...

Brian - Glad to help:-)

Lauren - What What?!? Long list of reasons you hate Boston? I am not sure we can be friends anymore!!!

Nilsa - Public schools take two vacations here...February and April. Which really just makes everyone stay in school a week longer in June. Not sure it makes all that much sense. But you are right about that contributing to the marathon being such a big deal: students and teachers are on Day 1 of vacation!

Talking Thirty said...

I'm a Bostonian, too! I was born and raised here so I actually never realized that other states don't celebrate Patriot's Day until I was well into my upper teens.

Gotta admire those gutsy runners. There's no way I'd run even 5 miles in the heat we had on Marathon Monday this year!