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Good Things From the Marathon

Monday, April 15, 2013 11:24 PM

For the second straight year, J and I went to a party at the apartment of some friends who live at Mile 22 of the Boston Marathon route, in Brighton. Although it was a little chilly to spend all day on the sidewalk cheering on the runners like we did last year, we had a great time until the fun, accomplishment and friendly competition of the race were marred by violence and terror.

The investigation and the grieving will continue, but I want to take a moment to recognize some of the wonderful things that happened today. I heard reports about medical personnel among the runners who immediately veered off the course to help victims of the explosions, and strangers giving jackets to cold runners before they were able to get space blankets. There are Google Spreadsheets and Craigslist posts for people who need a place to stay after some of the downtown hotels were closed.

And out in Brighton, a runner trying to make contact with her children borrowed our friends' landline phone because cell service was shut down (which is making me reconsider our lack of a landline). They managed to find each other after a half-hour or so, and our friends invited them in for water, food and help figuring out how to get back to their car and out of town.

But before tragedy made any of those things necessary, of course, there was the bulk of the race, full of amateurs and professionals alike making good on months and years of training. Running a marathon is something I'll probably never be able to do, so let me share a few crappy iPhone photos of some of the amazing people we saw today. And a photo of an adorable Lab.

A wheelchair racer
A handcyclist
The women's leader, who was way ahead but didn't win
The pack chasing the women's leader
One of several military personnel humping packs along the course
The leading men
This very sweet dog, Baxter, wanted a carrot.

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