I live in Hopkinton, MA, known for the start of the Boston Marathon.
I am a runner and as I ran a 3 mile loop around the center of our small little town tonight, I was reminded of all things marathon as we prepare. It's like spring cleaning to get ready for Monday.
The signs go up around town.
The starting line gets painted fresh each year.
The streets get swept and the road lines get fresh paint. The "No Parking" signs go up.
The town gets sprinkled with portapotties. The common gets about 30 lined up along one side.
News trucks will come in soon. Vendors will set up on the common over the weekend.
Our high school (the one I teach at) also gets taken over. The front becomes the State Police Barracks, especially after the bombings three years ago. Today, we had extra workers figuring out all sorts of wires and such at the school. Low helicopters were flying over the school today, so low you could reach out and touch them. It was a little distracting to try and teach.
Behind the schools gets a ginormous tent and it becomes the official "Runners Village". All the official runners get bused from Boston to our school. Then, they make the mile walk to the center of town to get to their corral.
Have I ever run it? Yes, living here really inspires you to. I grew up here. I went to high school here and ran track and cross country. Now, I teach here and coach cross country. When I was in 9th and 10th grade, I got to go into Boston and work at the end of the Boston Marathon, putting the medals on the runners as they came across the finish line.
It inspired me to run the marathon. I was young, stupid, and unstoppable. I was 16 and 17. Yep, I did it again after the first time. It was a blast and I can say I am long since retired with no desire to do it again. Instead, I will stand on the sidelines and clap for hours as they all cross the starting line.
I prepared for running those marathons by running the same 2/3 mile loop I ran tonight (many, many repeat laps due to not enough sidewalks around town). So, I guess I have been running it for almost 30 years.