“She is the patron saint of the pluggers, the people who show up, on time, every day, and keep putting in the work, and who don’t have any expectation that anything will be handed to them.”
This is a quote from one of the many, many articles that have been pouring (no pun intended) in from Monday’s Boston marathon.
We had the race on at work but I wasn’t able to soak (there I go again!) it all in. We were warm inside but the torrential rains pelted the windows all day long. It was a mess here in New Hampshire, an hour away from the finish line. I couldn’t even begin to fathom waiting in the Athlete’s Village for over an hour before beginning to run. Anyway, those pesky patients of mine didn’t let me watch the duration of the race. However, I was able to keep one eye on the TV when Des took the lead. And I made everyone stop so we could observe history being made as Desi Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years. Everyone burst out in cheers and applause!
The pluggers – It describes this years race so well. Just look at the top 6 finishers.
The winner – Des Linden. She’s never won a major race. She came in second place at Boston by a mere 2 seconds in 2011. The other big names are flashier and got way more press than her. Honestly, I didn’t think she would win. For years, she’s been plugging away and I think everyone expected her to be in the top 5 but not to be the overall winner. She was way overdue for a win for sure!
The everyday runners (although very speedy everyday runners) who placed 2nd – 5th – Sarah Sellers, Krista DuChene (who last ran Boston 13 years ago!), Rachel Hyland, and Jessica Chichester. I had a friend who was near the finish line spectating and everyone was in shock seeing these everyday runners flying through in the top 10. Who are these women?!?! With no sponsors, they are essentially hobby runners. Did they expect to place so well on Monday? Hell no.
This years race was all about the pluggers.
The volunteers who donate their time to make this race work. From helping runners tie their shoes or put on fresh, dry gloves because their hands won’t work from being soaked to the bone. To making sure everyone stayed safe on the course.
The spectators who came out to support the runners. They showed up because the runners showed up.
The runners who wouldn’t let ridiculous winds and torrential rains stop them. The people who do the work day in and day out for nothing more than the love of running. They show up, do the work, and don’t expect accolades.
This years race also showed that you can be fierce competitors but we are ultimately, stronger together. The B.A.A provided some serious foreshadowing by making this years tagline, Together Forward. By offering to help out Shalane and Molly at different points in the race, Des took her mind off how horrible she felt to pulling her fellow American competitors along on the course. In the end, it made her surge ahead of the pack. Just another case of how much mental work running is.
And I can’t forget to mention the men’s winner. Another plugger who had to get back to work as a school administrator even if he did just win the Boston Marathon. Lol!
I was so inspired yesterday that I pulled out my shirt from Boston 2015. This shirt has been in my dresser drawer for three years. I’ve come close to giving it away numerous times. It held too many bad memories for me. Side note: I bought the jacket from that year too. I’ve never worn that either. I’m not sure why I reached for that shirt to wear on my run. Maybe it was seeing Des plug away through the years to reach her goal. Maybe it was seeing the tenacity and grit of every person on the course. I may not have finished Boston three years ago and I may never get back to Boston, but I know I can’t let that day ruin my dreams of reaching for goals in running.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling this fire burning in my belly. It happened in November when Shalane won NYC and now it’s happening again with Des’ win. It’s not necessarily another marathon to get a BQ. It could be to beat my 5k PR, to tackle a new distance, or to put BHAG out there for me to keep plugging away at. All I know is that I want to keep showing up and getting it done.
Because ultimately, my goal, will become a reality.
“My advice: keep showing up.” – Des Linden, 2018 Boston Marathon Champion.
What was your favorite moment from the race?