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Boston Marathon For DadTake Back The Finish Line-Boston Marathon 2014

It caught up with me on the ride to the start. All the emotions, the sadness and the losses of the last year turned to tears dripping down my face as I looked out the school bus window. I was back in Boston, one year later. This time I traveled to Boston with my Mom. This year I would not be able to call my Dad from the finish line.  My Dad would have smiled, nodded his head and said ďHappy tears.Ē Iíve spent a lot of time with my father, said everything I wanted to say to him, shared much of my life leaving me with the ability to easily reach back Busses to the start of Boston Marathonand calculate what he would say.  He was with me.Donna Running Boston Marathon
 

Much of my training for the last two years revolved around Big B. Pushing myself to run fast enough to qualify, training for the marathon and then training for the marathon again. In the running community the letters BQ sandwiched together meant something-Boston Qualification. Itís a roundabout way of telling people that you are fast.  Runners aspired to Boston, while most of the world had no idea what special significance this race held until last year. 
 

Itís a big deal and all of Boston embraces and supports the marathon. The expo is huge, the finish line dramatic. The logistics of bussing all the runners to the start in Hopkinton is no small feat.  We left the hotel and walked to Boston Commons at 7:45am. Iíd say it took us around an hour to reach the Athletes Village which is the prerace waiting area.  Janet, Flavia and I all headedBoston Marathon Half to Boston Bettyís house. This year we had to maneuver through security to get out of the athletes village into the town of Hopkinton.  First of all we wanted to see Betty and secondly we wanted to visit her line free bathroom.  Janet and I were in a wave that would start at 11:00 so we had a bit of time to spare. Betty told me she thought the runners would like oatmeal cookies since oatmeal was a breakfast food and yes we enjoyed her homemade treats. Before we left, the four of us huddled together with our arms wrapped around each other and said a prayer. 
 

There were four starting waves this year and those Boston spectators have some endurance.  We ran through town after town with people cheering. Folks in lawn chairs, people handing out water and orange slices, kids sticking out their hands giving Boston Marathon Santayou a high 5 and some families went all out renting inflatable bouncing play equipment.
 

I read a sign that said Team HoytďTake back the finish line.Ē Members of a church held signs announcing their intention to pray for us. I saw Santa Claus. I heard a guy singing who sounded like Elvis. I saw a beautiful woman running in a red patterned skirt with black capri tights, she had on a red top with a pearl-yes pearl necklace, very pretty. I ran beside a blind runner and his guide, an amputee and a fellow really struggling with crutches. Got to see Dick and Rick Hoyt and simply running beside them encouraged me. 
 

There is this really big Citgo sign towards the end of the course and once I passed it I began to look for the place where I was stopped last year.  I knew I was less than a mile from the finish, but had Boston Marathon Finish!no idea how far I was from the finish. It was easy to find the place where I had stood surrounded by all the sirens shrieking toward us.  I ran on a mere two blocks from the finish line stretch. Now I have a confession: I donít know crap. Often in my life Iíd ask God ďWhy?Ē Why did this happen, why didnít that happen, why, why, why.  Last year I didnít know where I was on the course when they stopped us. I was clueless about the nearby danger and often life is like that, we donít know where we are, what lies ahead and what Godís will is. Living a life surrendered to Godís will is hard, especially when itís wrapped in uncertainty. A few years back I read about ďa faith to meet all circumstances.Ē Thatís what God gives us, circumstances and opportunities to grow. For me, running past that spot was another example of my Creator teaching me to let go of my expectations and know that I can trust God with my life.  Gratitude isnít a large enough word to express my appreciation.
 

Boston Marathon Medal 2014Suddenly there I was running the last three blocks down Boylston.  My mouth curved to a smile, I threw my arms up and I crossed the finish line.

Happy after finishing the Boston Marathon