by Wei Ma
Left onto Boylston Street for the final stretch of 26.2miles, the finish line was in my sight. This is it. My 1st Boston Marathon and best marathon I’ve run ever!
I was lucky enough to qualify both Boston 2022/2023 with my Chicago Marathon in 2021. Due to a job change and the pandemic, I didn’t have a lot of training mileage in the bank. So I decided to start slow, run with feeling and enjoy every moment of the event. Fortunately, the weather was a blessing, with about 40-50 degrees.
I started out with one of my running buddies, who gave me good advice for the race. The first few miles were a comfort, with fast downhills at Ashland and Framingham. I tried not to push it but just went with the flow. The crowd on the sides of the road was just incredible. They are creative, funny and super energetic. I was just feeding off the energy of everyone along the way.
On the course, it’s empowering to see what people will do for other people that they love or the causes they support. I saw Adrianne (Boston Bombing Survivor)/Shalane running together, support for Ukraine, guide runners with para marathoners, charity runners, family teams of different generations. They are overwhelmingly inspiring!
Of course, it’s so fun to run through the scream tunnel by the women at Wellesley. I guess that was the fastest mile split of the race :). And the “not again” hills at Newton got me. I didn’t expect that there are 4 sets of hills. Heartbreak hill is just one of them! I didn’t train for hills and it was impossible to hit the summit without responding to levitating cheers along the road. Brookline is within the horizon.
I am so thankful to be in such a wonderful running community with camaraderie and inspiration. This was the 50th anniversary of when women officially became a division in Boston Marathon. It paved the path for the generations of female runners. Thanks to the volunteers, medics, law enforcement officers and other people who make this happen. The numbers show that over 90% of the volunteers every year come back for the event. It shows how much people love the Boston Marathon and that the running community is a society where people help each other.
Dashing down to the last 634 yards of thundering urban canyon, I finally hit the finish line at 3:10:41. I didn’t feel the pain but only excitement and joy. I loved very moment of it, and I am grateful to be part of it. Can’t wait for the next one!