What It Was Like To Run The Boston Marathon In A Freezing Deluge

For the first five miles my feet felt as if they were in ski boots. I couldn’t feel my toes as the rain shifted between steady downpour and Noah’s Ark-style soaking. I desperately wanted to finish, but I didn’t want to lose extremities in the process. I started jogging my memory to recall the hospitals along the route. There are several, thankfully.

And then, after about an hour, it all became sort of normal for a bit. You settle into a rhythm. Splish, splosh. Splish, splosh. There were moments when the rain slowed, though it never stopped, and the wind quieted, and you thought, O.K., no big deal. Then, just as quickly, Mother Nature unleashed a storm cell after storm cell for a few minutes just to keep us on our toes. Our wet, miserable toes.

So why not quit? Because long-distance runners live for the story. We love you thinking we are just crazy enough to run 26.2 miles in driving rain and freezing temperatures. It’s rebellious, almost countercultural, or at least it was in the pre-running boom days, and that spirit still lies at the center of what is now a truly mainstream endeavor.

Also, while plenty of Bostonians were smart enough to stay inside — this is supposedly the area with the largest concentration of graduate degrees, after all — tens of thousands of others came out to cheer us on, and did they ever bring it.

Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender” was blasting on the speakers as I passed through Natick. You could hear the Wellesley women screaming in Mile 13 a good quarter-mile before we got to them. An old college friend appeared to cheer me on Heartbreak Hill. Hadn’t seen her in 25 years. Thank you!

And then, eventually, the six most beautiful words in distance running happened. “Right on Hereford, left on Boylston.” That’s your last half-mile in this magical race, and I was streaking toward the finish line in Copley Square, airplaning my arms and weaving across the road in delirium. Sure, there was some hypothermia, after it was done. Another deluge, more gusty winds. Bring it on.

Best. Boston. Ever. At least in the telling.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/sports/boston-marathon.html