Monday, April 21, 2008

My Boston Marathon

Today is the Boston Marathon. I must be clear I am not running in it. For a long time, I wasn't really aware it was even taking place. I grew up in Lexington ( as in home of the battle of Lexington and Concord, don't fire unless fired upon, if they mean to have war, let it begin here). When I was a kid, there was a kids parade, we all marched in it. Then there were boring (always to kids) ceremonies. Followed by a pancake breakfast and then an afternoon parade. Sometime in the early 70's they added the battle reenactment. It started in the afternoons. But for crowd control and to make it more authentic they switched it to 6am. (Spectators are very passive at that hour. They don't want to spill their coffee.)

Needless to say, I never paid attention to the fact that there was a race going on as well as a Red Sox game until after college. Since then, I have developed a plan for watching these. I would get up in the morning and go to the parade in Arlington. Then come home in time to watch the marathon on TV. Usually time would be a little tight. In an effort to boost parade attendance, they have now switched the parade to Sunday afternoon so people don't have to choose.

Yesterday we went to see the reenactment in Arlington. British regulars march down Mass Ave and are hassled by minutemen for a few blocks and then there is a big battle, the bloodiest of the day, where 12 patriots are taken prisoner and shot. Then they come back to life, they raise the flag and play the Star Spangled Banner (which wasn't written until the next war). Unfortunately our timing was a little off. We got to where the British regulars were and the first gun battle. As they marched down the road, and stopped to reload, we marched down the road and stopped to watch. (One really smart couple decided to cross the road between the regulars and the minutemen and got yelled at as it was life gunpowder...) Actually it was sort of like being in the battle as it was going on around us. Then we saw the big battle at the end and after it was all over finally met up with the friend we had meant to meet at the beginning.

We contemplated watching the parade but that meant sitting around for an hour and a half so we opted to return home. After some gardening (and minor injury to Walter's head where he got a big gouge from the rhododendron), we quit work for the day and discovered we could watch the parade on TV in the comfort of our own living room and Walter could have a beer to contribute its healing powers to his cut.

Today, this is my marathon. I will work for a bit at home. Then I will turn on the TV around 915. The wheelchairs start at 925, the women at 935, and the men at 10. The first wheelchairs will probably finish around 11 and the elite men will cross around 1205 with the women just before them. I will watch these and make some phone calls and flip over to the Red Sox game, which starts at 11 am (against the Rangers). At approximately 1230pm I will motivate and go for a walk and garden, etc. That is my marathon.

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