In my ongoing quest to keep Daughters #1 & 2 excited about Mom’s 26.2 debut, last week I told each girl to choose something from the official Boston Marathon gear catalogue. Newly 15, Emma is reliving her girly-princess phase; she wanted something pink and pretty and was delighted when Adidas delivered: “Oh, cool! A pink unicorn shirt! I want that one!” she declared.
I explained that the unicorn is the official symbol of the Boston Marathon. Emma didn’t ask why, but I still anticipated the question and was troubled by the fact that I had no clue.
Courtesy of Google, I was only a search away from the answer:
“Chosen by the founding members of the Boston Athletic Association in 1887–ten years before the inaugural Boston Marathon–the Unicorn is believed to have been chosen as the organization’s symbol due to its place in mythology. In Chinese and other mythologies, the Unicorn represents an ideal: something to pursue that can never be caught. In pursuit of the Unicorn, however, athletic competitors can approach excellence even if they can never achieve it. It is this pursuit to push oneself to his or her own limit and to the best of one’s ability that is at the core of athletics. As the marathon matured, the B.A.A. decided that the Unicorn would be the appropriate symbol for the marathon.”
Kinda cool, huh? So now all you boy runners know why there’s a girly unicorn on your manly marathon jackets 🙂
Some of you have indicated you want to come cheer me on as I chase my unicorn. First, let me say that I am all sorts of smiling that you are coming out on Marathon Monday; this is completely-totally-wholly awesome and I thank you sooooo much 🙂 Second, a little expectation-setting is in order: since many of you aren’t seasoned marathon watchers, you may not realize what you’re signing up for; watching me run the Boston Marathon will not be like watching me do, say, the Marlborough Triathlon. This race is a wee bit bigger, both in field and crowd. Oh yeah, it’s also a wee bit longer of a day (the Marlborough Tri took me 1:28:51; come April 18th my fingers are crossed for a 3:45:00 finish). Also, the start and finish lines of this race are a bit farther apart than the Marlborough Tri’s short but hilly walk up Bolton Street 🙂
Still with me after all those caveats? Then I recommend you head to one of the three organized Cheer for Children’s sections listed below. Being amidst other Children’s supporters will make it easier for you to spot me and vice versa, not to mention more fun. Plus, my patient-partner Grace and her fam will be at one of these 🙂 (not sure which one yet–stay tuned). Here are the details, courtesy of the Children’s Hospital Boston Miles for Miracles support team. Don’t forget our team colors are blue and orange–if I have to wear them (here’s a pic of me in my stunning singlet), I think you should too 🙂
St. Paul’s Church in Wellesley
“Children’s Way” is located at St. Paul’s Church on Route 16 (502 Washington Street). This is just past the 13-mile mark. Fans will gather in front of the church at 10 AM. Runners will pass by between 11 AM and 2 PM.
NB #1: I am in Wave 3, so my start time is 10:40 a.m. At an 8:30 pace I should pass here in fewer than two hours–I leave the actual math to you 😉 I should still look pretty good here.
The Hills of Chestnut Hill
Located at the 20 mile mark on the corner of Centre St. and Commonwealth Ave. All Seasons Sports is across the street. Fans will gather at 10:30 AM. Runners will pass by between 11:30 AM and 4 PM.
NB #2: Look for Joan Benoit at 11:30–not me. I’ll be a wee bit behind her 🙂 I should be looking pretty scared by this point–the Hills and I have met; we are not the best of friends.
Bretton Realty in Brookline
“Children’s Corner” is located in front of the St. Mary’s T stop on the Green Line (C train) at 1001 Beacon Street, just a quarter mile before the 25 mile mark. Fans will gather at 11 AM. Runners are expected to pass by between 12 PM and 5 PM.
NB #3: Even I can do this math: Since I depart Hopkinton at 10:40 and I’m trying for a 3:45 finish, start looking for me around 2 p.m. Don’t freak out if I look shell-shocked here, but don’t lie and tell me I look “great”. I will know it’s not true! 🙂
If you’ve questions about the cheering sections, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. They are fantastic (and fantastically responsive) human beings.
Of course, you could choose to cheer at the finish line. Where’s that? Say it with me:
“RIGHT ON HEREFORD, LEFT ON BOYLSTON!” 🙂
Cheers to you!