Tomorrow I’ll hit the Marathon Course with 300 fellow charity runners. We’ll ditch our cars at Boston College and take team buses to the start line in Hopkinton, so we can run the first 21 miles of the race.
I hope to finish. I hope to not get hurt. Mostly I hope to not get lost. Like I did the last time.
Yep, I ran the marathon course once before with my teammates; on February 12th we met at the Riverside T stop and took busses to the Natick town green to run the marathon’s final 17 miles. Run Natick to Boston—that was the day’s plan. Experience Heartbreak Hill, get a feel for the course, accomplish the week’s long slow distance, build team spirit and break in our screaming neon orange and blue Children’s Hospital singlets en meme temps.
All was fine—fantastic even—until I hit a certain stretch of Comm Ave and suddenly I was not running The Course but strolling down Memory Lane. I went to school in Boston—BU Class of ’92, that’s me—so the area is drenched in nostalgia. I passed apartments I’d rented, trees I’d studied under, stores I’d worked in to pay off overdue long-distance telephone bills (remember those? They’d come in the mail with a big red line across the top of the envelope?) lest my father find out that I’d run them up. And then I passed the road I’d walked down so many times to babysit at the home of Professor Murray Levin.
Murray was the professor who taught me about class consciousness, the proletariat and bourgeoisie, the tyranny of then-BU president John Silber. He was everything my Bill O’Reilly-loving father feared I’d find at a “liberal bastion” like BU. Which of course meant Murray quickly became my idol.
When I emerged from my Murray-induced fog, (which included flashbacks to lectures, to times he invited me to coffee, to the life-sized Lenin poster he inspired my roommates to hang in our roach-infested Allston apartment) there were no screaming blue and orange singlets in sight. And that little slip of paper the team coach had handed out pre-run with turn-by-turn directions for just such an emergency? Note to self—sweat and inkjet printing don’t mix.
Fortunately, I was saved by a knowledgeable BC student and then a well-placed team water station.
On Marathon Monday, the crowds will be so thick that the statistical likelihood of getting lost is rather slight. But then again, I have been known to pull off some impressively implausible feats, e.g., falling off a bike mounted to a Kinetic trainer. Still, even I should be able to stay the course on Marathon Monday, if not tomorrow!
If you see me on Comm Ave–please snap me out of it as needed! 🙂