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The Grueling, Yet Rewarding Victory Lap

 | Published on 4/24/2019

Two bus-loads of lively Striders took the trip to Hopkinton this Patriot’s Day. One, full of blinding yellow jackets and growing excitement to link arms at the human chain, absorbing the energy of thousands of runners attempting the Boston Marathon. The other, their teammates, anxious, furiously tracking the weather and still trying to decide what to wear. The volunteers arrived in the midst of torrential downpours just when race organizers called for everyone to seek shelter due to lightning.  They were all too happy to stay warm and dry on the bus until it passed.  

More rain fell as the runners started to arrive in Hopkinton.  As they ventured from the bus, through the poncho-covered athletes village, to the start line, the day seemed to brighten up with the smiles and cheers of many spectators and of course, our very own MVS volunteers. 

As the first racers lined up to start, many of our volunteers swelled with pride and emotion.  Here is where dreams become reality.  They say, "It all starts here."  The rain had let up significantly and, believe it or not, the sun shone through the clouds at the sound of the first shot of the starting pistol.  

Hearts racing, they were off! Only 26.2 miles to go, and little did the runners know, four seasons were about to hit Boston all in one day. But hey, that's New England for you, right? Through rain, beating sun, chilly winds (and a helpful tailwind) the runners coursed through 8 cities and towns.  For many, all the training paid off. It was a grueling, yet rewarding victory lap, with cowbells and shouts of encouragement the whole way. While Heartbreak Hill broke some hearts, it did not break spirits. The Boston Marathon is truly electrifying.  The lines of familiar yellow jackets holding out water and Gatorade comforted; the scream tunnel at Wellesley roared; the finish line felt so good. 

But the best part of the day? Reminiscing on the amazing journey of training, running, volunteering, and cheering that MVS had experienced over the past few months at the post-Boston Marathon party.