Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Magic of Boston Marathon Weekend

How appropriate that the symbol for the Boston Marathon is a unicorn; a magical mythical creature that can never be caught. Yet it is in the act of chasing the Unicorn that we learn nothing is impossible and we can always strive for excellence.

There is a magic - an enchanted spell that descends on Boston during Boston Marathon weekend.

It's a time where where everyone talks with everyone else on the T. "You running?" "Where ya from?" "Who won the game?"

It's a time when you bump into people you haven't seen in awhile and it's as though no time has passed. You hug. You get caught up on each other's lives and then you let them know where you'll be watching on Marathon Monday.

Our Boston Marathon weekend adventure began with a stop at the Runners World Pop Up Store across the street from the Expo. We were blessed to meet Bart Yasso during the Bermuda Marathon Weekend.

He greeted us like we were dear old friends and gave us warm hugs. We told him we wanted to get a copy of his book. "My tag line is "Never limit where running can take you," he told us as he signed our book. We asked if we could get a photo with him and he said to Tom, "She makes two old guys look good."

One of the gazillion things I LOVE about the sport of running is that "famous" runners love to mix and mingle with runners of all ages, paces and abilities. I can't wait to dive into Bart's book. He had a crippling illness and was told he would never run again!

Team McManus was so blessed to be able to help out our dear friends Ken and Nell, creators and owners of Blue Diamond Athletic Displays in Booth 2828 at the Expo. Ken and Uncle "Night Train" Neil were driving in from Chicago because last year they ran out of inventory. It was a frenetic, frantic, frenzied Friday as runners were ooh'ing and aah'ing about these unique medal displays. Blue Diamond Athletic Displays is the official medal display of the Boston Marathon.

We helped with sales until Ken and Neil arrived, took a lunch break on Boylston Street and then returned to help them for a few more hours.

We were blessed to meet runners from all over the world each with their own why I run Boston stories. It was a perfect location for me to meet up with many of my friends who are running Boston this year!

We returned yesterday after going on a 5K run around the Reservoir:

Nell shared my story with members of the Blue Diamond Athletic Medal Display family. Customers who already purchased their medal displays from Blue Diamond come out to see Ken and Nell when they are at race Expos. Nell gave a copy of my book to one of her customers who is running his 17th Boston! He told me that my story would inspire him to go the distance tomorrow:

The announcement that gave me chills: "In just about 5 minutes we will be having a moment of silence at 2:49." The countdown to the moment of silence began with an announcement every minute or so. A hush came over the Hynes Convention Center that made the hair rise on the back of my neck. Tears streamed down my face as Tom and I held hands sharing this moment with our dear friends Ken and Nell and a community of runners united as One.

I was taken aback by how the moment of silence hit me hard. I was, for a brief moment, back in time to when time stood still 4 years ago for us at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel celebrating our 2009 Boston Marathon run as part of the Race for Rehab team and chaos and confusion ensued.

It was a great day when Boston ran again yesterday. Tom and I were blessed to cheer on the runners, give hugs, give away one of our fuel belt water bottles that we had for our own hydration while watching the race. We stayed until we saw all of the runners we made a promise to to be at the corner of Dean Road and Beacon Street just shy of mile 22.5.

So many inspirational stories; stories of grit and determination as runners made their way through grueling heat and then a sudden drop in temperature. I'm so proud to be a part of the magic of Boston Marathon Weekend. This is our City and we run Boston!

To your health and wellness!

My latest book, 'Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance' is available on Amazon chronicling my journey to health and wellness as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma and a woman who refused to quit!

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