Monday, April 18, 2011

Tribute to Boston 2011

Today is the 2011 Boston Marathon.  A day that, had things turned out differently during the registration day, I may have been running.  An opportunity passed by?  Perhaps.  I guess only time will tell.  I wondered how I would feel as I got the athlete updates and heard the stories today.  Well, I can happily say that I was nothing but focused on their stories and their joy.

Here's a couple of athletes that stood out to me today:

* My friend and fellow Fleet Feet Racing Team member, Madelyn Patton, ran a 3:49:22.  I so enjoyed following her with the Boston Marathon athlete tracking tool.  It was fun to cheer her on (even though I know she couldn't hear it, maybe she could feel it?).  I felt like I was right there, waiting at each spot to see her come by.

* Kara Goutcher finished in 2:24:52.  I am becoming quite the Kara Goucher fan!  Seeing her run through her pregnancy and then come back to running so strong is amazing.  I know how hard that can be, and I am so impressed that she is PRing 6 months after becoming a mom (it took me 3 years but I am no elite athlete either!).

*Clara Grandt finished in 2:29:54.  This girl (she's only 24) shares a name with my daughter, so I had to check her out!  What an awesome namesake for my daughter!  She is such a pretty girl, and it so amazing that she was a top US women's finisher (I think 3rd)?

Of course, I really enjoyed hearing about all of the local runners' times, and I can't wait to hear their stories when they return.  I am beginning to see why this race captivates so many runners. 

If you want to learn more about the Boston Marathon, I encourage you to read the latest Runner's World magazine.  They had a great article about Boston, its appeal, and the tougher standards and revised registration process that came about after the 2011 registration process.  The Boston Marathon lives on as a race driven by excellence, one of the things that is the most appealing to me about it.  I love this FAQ from Runner's World about the unicorn, which is its symbol (a little silly, but read on!):

Q: Why was the Unicorn chosen as the symbol of the B.A.A. and the Boston Marathon?

Chosen by the founding members of the Boston Athletic Association in 1887 -- ten years prior to the inaugural Boston Marathon -- the Unicorn is believed to have been chosen as the organization's symbol due to its place in mythology. In Chinese and other mythologies, the Unicorn represents an ideal: something to pursue, but which can never be caught. In pursuit of the Unicorn, however, athletic competitors can approach excellence (but never fully achieve it). It is this pursuit to push oneself to his or her own limit and to the best of one's ability which is at the core of athletics. And for this reason, as the marathon matured, that the B.A.A. also decided that the Unicorn would be the appropriate symbol for the marathon.
--from the BAA (this expounded answer was found on this website.)

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