Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Marathon Report

It was a bit chillier and a lot grayer than I had hoped, but even so, we soldiered on and headed to our Boston marathon viewing spot on Comm Ave. just after the women started back in Hopkinton. Our timing was impecible, the minute we got the chairs spread out and sat down, the first wheelchair entrant came whizzing by. This year the wheelchairs were not every lumped up in a pack, so every chair got maximum cheering as they rolled by. It was a much smaller wheelchair pack than in previous years.

Next came the elite women, fronted by the press trucks and a SWAT team. I'm not sure why we had to have a SWAT team there, but it was fun to yell "Hey SWAT" at them.

Finally, the elite men came by. Again with the press trucks, the staties on motercycles, the SWAT team, and other crazy vehicles, just to see the frontrunners come by. Yes, the Kenyans were out in front and yes, they are absolute works of art, those men. Gorgeous perfect legs like something carved by Michaelangelo.

Even though we were right down the road from a water and Gatorade stand, the road remained clean until the masses started pouring down the streets. Then all hell broke loose. Dick Hoyt and his son who is wheelchaired bound, ran by to a standing ovation and huge screams. Hoyt wheels his son, and this is their 25th Boston marathon, 65th marathon in general. We saw many runners named "Mike", many more from Canada giving the kids across the street to sing "Oh Canada" everytime a Canadian ran by. We saw the pink tutu guy, a guy with a '40 year old Virgin' shirt and everyone yelling "Go Virgin" at him, we saw several guys with two-toned mohawks that matched their running outfits, and we saw a lot of exhausted people walking. Nobody had the heart to tell them they were at the base of Heartbreak Hill. That's just too cruel.

The Girl brought a friend and they shared an IPOD and sang songs and chair danced most of the time. The Boy decided to go at the last minute, because the other alternative was chores and reading a book for school. He was much more pleasant than in past years and only begged to go home after 3 pm.

The runners are still going by, and we saw so many people just cut out and start walking once they started up the hill. We hang round mile 19, and it's so hard to watch the pain in their faces as their muscles cramp.

When we left, the street was covered in paper cups. Miraculously, they will be gone by morning.

Robert Cheruiyot and Rita Jeptoo pulled off a Kenyan sweep of the 2006 marathon as the male and female winners. Congratulations to them both.
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