Kevin, Keith, Chris and I have all arrived and checked into our hotel in Natick, MA, to start the countdown to the 118th annual running of the Boston Marathon on Monday. Of course, only one of us is running, but he needs his cheering squad.
In fact, Kevin presented us with custom shirts that say “Fargo to Boston” on the front and “Team Carollo” on the back. They are neon green, and hopefully if we stand closely together at various points along the course, Kevin will see us waving and shouting as he runs by.
Boston is new to all of us. We know it’s the cradle of the American Revolution; and, in the preparation stages for this trip, we had lofty ideas of soaking in some of our country’s early history. There are two days before the race, but already we sense this year’s marathon has eclipsed thoughts of seeing the Old North Church or walking the Freedom Trail.
Instead we’re heading to the finish line now (about 18 miles from our hotel) to pick up Kevin’s race packet and get our bearings. Then we’re going to find some watering hole and work on our plan to cheer Kevin along the course and find him at the end. Word has it that spectators will not be allowed near the finish line, so we need Plan B.
Everyone knows what happened in 2013. And everyone has had a year to think about it. Not just those people who were stopped from finishing because of the bombings. Not just Bostonians or runners or people who know a runner. But everyone.
There is already a sense of coming together this weekend. I don’t mean Kevin and his team; I mean the entire population from Hopkinton, where the race starts at 10 AM on Monday, to Boston Commons, where it ends. That’s local residents, 36,000 runners, and a million spectators. We are one team.