This year I watched the marathon from the finish line area around Copley Square. For readers who don't have marathons in their towns, you have to plan where in town you go, when, and how you're going to get back on marathon day. The route bisects the city and you can easily get trapped on one side or the other. If you don't mind waiting it's fun to watch the marathoners go by and give 'em an encouraging yell. If you have somewhere you're supposed to be though it can be frustrating.
I took the D-line T down to the Arlington stop which is well enough past the finish line that you can easily cross to one side of the route or the other. It's sad when you see marathoners on the T and it's early enough that you know something went wrong. One guy I saw looked perfectly fine and I couldn't imagine why he was there. One woman started to pass out on the train though. That was alarming. Up on the street, still in the race, less than a block from the finish line I saw an older man stumble but not fall and take a few steps back. He had to be in his sixties. He bent over, took several breaths, pulled himself together and hauled himself the rest of the way. The crowed went nuts for him. So scary to see though. I imagine he headed straight for the medical tent.
Then there are the runners who walk around town right afterwards like they didn't just run 26.2 miles. Just wandering around chatting with their friends, not even sweaty or red like I would be.
It's exciting to watch the marathon. It's amazing to see the different types of people, different ages, different shapes who can all run that distance. Okay, not all of them run the whole way but still they take it on. And afterwards the streets are thronged with people in mylar blankets or running shoes or else they just look really healthy (or sometimes kind of grim) and you think "gosh, it's really crowded. I hope I don't jostle anyone. They've had enough trouble as it is today." Well, at least I think that.
I didn't bother to take the T back home. It was way too crowded so I walked. There's a huge difference between working out with your XBox personal trainer in a barn a few times a week and real mileage. The walk from the Public Garden area is about three miles - not so bad - but I was kind of sweaty and tired when I got home. True, I had also been walking around all over the place down there and dealing with the crowds but still. I don't see me running a marathon any time soon.