Boston marathon day. Drove to Wellesley (13.1 mi mark) for easy access, change of venue from downtown and the fact that I wanted to visit Walden after. Got there about 25’ before the elite women came thru. Spectators were thin at first. Better later, lots of cheering & spirit. At the east end of town, there was loud beat music that was perfect to lift weary spirits. I was amazed to see how thinly dressed so many were: not a few women elites with bare mid-riff, shoulders, arms; many runners without gloves or head cover. I counted 5 shirtless men. Temp was around 40 with occasional downpours. There was a strong east wind higher in the trees but Wellesley seemed protected in that regard tho the flags occasionally flapped with vigor.
The runners came as a trickle, then a rivulet, small stream, large stream and finally a river, and still flowing strong when I left after 4.5 hours in town. And then all to reverse, return to a trickle and dry up. There were the particularly inspiring participants - running on prosthetic limbs and visually impaired come to mind. Some were wired with their own sound systems. Being in town, I didn’t need the umbrella I brought for half the time as the stores had awnings. There was a handy bagel shop for coffee etc, too. Nothing was jammed with people as has been the case near the finish. I did not see any Wellesley gauntlet if that is something the students still do. It was a bit hard depart but I was cold and time had run out. Just a block away, it was silent. That flowing river of humanity continued of course but one wouldn’t know that from such a short distance away. An incredibly trying day and the slower the runner, the longer the trial.
I didn’t think of it for awhile but today marked the 50th anniversary of my first Boston (’68) and the 40th (’78) of my last. I headed off to Walden after, stopping at Regis College in Weston, a place I occasionally used as a staging point for long runs in the late 70s. There was a lacrosse practice going on. It was raining as hard as I'd seen all day.
Elite women leaders