A Marathon Thaws A Chilly City

I live in Boston but I did not grow up here.  I am a transplant therefore I will never be a true Bostonian.  A Bostonian is defined as someone who was born, raised, educated and now lives their adult life in Boston with their spouse happily procreating the next generation of Bostonians.  Since I am not a Bostonian I feel comfortable saying the following.  Boston is a chilly city and, no, I am not talking about the temperature.

I know it is hard for Bostonians to admit but Boston is not a friendly city.  And people tend to get less friendly in the winter.  The colder temperatures and lack of sun induced vitamin D probably contribute to this.

As a runner I get frustrated when drivers fail to stop at crosswalks, homeowners don’t shovel their sidewalks, and bicyclists can’t decide if they want to ride in the street or on the sidewalk.  I know I am making Boston sound bad, but just hang on for a bit longer.

There is this transformation that begins every year around mid-March.  The sun begins to feel warm, the days become longer and the runners become the focus.  You can’t live anywhere between Hopkinton and Boston and not feel it.  Boston’s annual rite of passage is nearing.  No, not opening day at Fenway, I am talking about the Boston Marathon.

Every April Bostonians and transplants come together to support our marathoners and when you are training on the course you can feel it.  The cars give you the right of way and the drivers smile.  A friendly honk of the horn shows both admiration and respect.  People walking on sidewalks make room for you to run and give you a friendly nod.  The vibe is in the air, the Boston Marathon is coming.

Obviously this is coming from a runner’s perspective but I do believe the Boston Marathon brings the city to life.  It awakens us from winter and reminds us that anything is possible.  After all, marathoners are mere mortals, who for one day are superhuman.  I believe marathons are very powerful, so powerful they can even thaw a chilly city.

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