Boston Memories

Posted: April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Boston Marathon Coaching Picture

The 118th Boston Marathon will undoubtedly be remembered as the most unique and special in the history of the marathon.  I awoke with so much excitement and anticipation.  Here are a few FB posts that I shared with my friends:

Today the gloves come off…this is YOUR day. Time to show your friends, families, all your supporters…and the world…what it means to live…to chase your dreams…to be in the moment…and to NEVER succumb to giving up…show the world what you have…put every ounce of determination into today’s effort!

If you have a moment of doubt during today’s Boston Marathon, just remember that TODAY will be one of the most defining days in your life. Envision what it’s going to be like to take a right on Hereford and left on Boylston. You will be a Rock Star to the entire world. This will be a day that inspires you for the remaining days of your life… to chase your dreams and live a significant and meaningful life. Go Get This…Boston!

Today we run for all of America…Today we run for the entire world! The human spirit is the most powerful thing in the world…particularly when it’s being tested.

You will inevitably be asked what your time was today. I recommend the following…”It was the time of my life!”

Yesterday was certainly the time of my life.  One of the many blessings of being a marathon coach is celebrating the significant achievements of the runners I coach…and there were hundreds that unfolded in yesterday’s marathon.  The majority of the Marathon Coalition runners were prevented from finishing the 2013 Boston Marathon so the healing and closure that occurred was significant.

I truly believe the human spirit is the most powerful thing in the world, particularly when it’s being tested.   As I stood at Mile 15 until late in the afternoon, I saw the entire spectrum of emotions unfold.  I saw an elite Kenyan walking due to the heat and subsequent muscle cramps,  wheelchair athletes blazing by at 30 m.p.h., soldiers marching by (sans backpacks), Shalane Flanagan running by leading a group of Kenyan and Ethiopian women, Meb Keflezighi leading a large group of African runners by more than 200 yards, runners with prosthesis and a lifetime of determination, charity runners flying the colors of their respective charities, a runner that I’ve coached from Portland, Oregon jumping into my arms and wrapping herself around me, sharing a special hug with a runner who just lost her father, unknown runners desperately looking into my eyes and needing a few words of encouragement, Dick and Rick Hoyt completing their last Boston Marathon, small children holding big bags of candy for the runners, the most enthusiastic and supportive crowd I have ever seen, runners I have coached previously proudly wearing Marathon Coalition shirts created by Coach Paul Crockett and the amazing group from The Greg Hill Foundation!

And I saw the nearly 250 Marathon Coalition runners that raised over $1.7 million for the 16 charities that represent the 2014 Boston Marathon.  Empowering Others Through Running…providing hope and opportunity to people who have gone far too long without both.

The best part of Marathon Monday is celebrating with the Marathon Coalition runners and their families and friends at the Westin Hotel.  There’s nothing better than having each runner enter America’s Ballroom to a heroes welcome,  wrapped in mylar blankets, sweat soaked faces, their finishers medal draped around their necks, and the look of accomplishment etched deeply on their faces.

Laura Gassner-Otting entered the room with scrapes from a fall on her elbows, hands and hips.  She summed up the spirit of the day best:

Laura Gassner Otting

“In truth, because of the heat and how much I slowed down, the bruises from the fall are the parts of me that hurt most this morning. But, I love them because they are the reminder of what you always say: charity runners finish at a higher percentage. I knew I couldn’t let down the 100+ people who were supporting College Bound Dorchester and waiting to see me along the course. The heart of a marathoner has nothing, absolutely nothing, on the heart of a Marathon Coalition marathoner.”

To all those that ran…you have my deepest respect…I honor your achievement and effort!

Comments
  1. David Brown says:

    I am so proud of you Rick, and Lori, Ryder, Macie, and all of the Coalition team. When I come back, I hope you’ll be willing to be my coach!

  2. Hello David,

    I am not planning to stop coaching anytime soon. I’ll be here whenever you’re ready to run again.

    Rick

  3. Laura Gassner Otting says:

    ŠBlushŠ

    From: The Marathon Solution Reply-To: The Marathon Solution Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 8:08 AM To: Laura Gassner Otting Subject: [New post] Boston Memories

    WordPress.com Boston Marathon Coach posted: ” The 118th Boston Marathon will undoubtedly be remembered as the most unique and special in the history of the marathon. I awoke with so much excitement and anticipation. Here are a few FB posts that I shared with my friends: Today the gloves come off”

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